Tag Archives: garden

Not looking good…

Bit concerned about my azalea – it is not looking very healthy at the moment.

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It seems to have gone downhill quite quickly. I’ve tried some plant food and forking in a bit more erinaceous compost but nothing is working. Next step is to dig it out of the pot and try replanting it but I think that won’t be that easy a task. This is what it looked like in its full glory, photo taken on 28 May this year – really hope I can save it but I’m not confident at the moment.

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Plan for growth…

The ‘growing stuff’ bug really has caught hold, even though results are a bit mixed in the raised beds in the garden this year. So when we found out that there were some vacant plots in the
village allotments, our ears pricked up!

I hadn’t even realised that there were allotments in the village, they are tucked away behind the primary school, down a little lane. Off we went to reccy and whilst most of the plots were very organised and clearly well tended, there were indeed a couple which were neglected and looked deserted.

Took a bit of digging (not literally…!) to find out who looks after the admin for the site but we eventually found that it is owned by the church diocese and administered by a firm of
surveyors. We got in touch and they duly sent out their junior person who met us on site, armed with his plot map.

Not easy to work out which plot was which as only a few of them were numbered but we
identified the one we thought was unoccupied (certainly looked that way, those weeds didn’t grow overnight!) and he showed us another plot which was showing on his list as being vacant.
However, this one, though overgrown, had a pigeon shed and chicken coop half way down the plot which were both very much occupied.

So back to the office he went to find out more. We went home, discussing how we would divide the plot up, where we would start, what we’d grow… Shouldn’t have got so excited though as he phoned back the next day to say that he’d spoken to the deserted plot ‘owner’ – apparently he knows the plot is neglected, he’s working long hours but ‘might’ retire soon in which case he will get back on his plot. And the other plot wasn’t unoccupied, there was a mistake on the plot plan.

So in the course of a couple of days we’d gone from not thinking about an allotment, to getting hugely excited (and a little bit scared!) about getting one, to being highly disappointed that we can’t have one. He mentioned something about another allotment site in the village but we can’t find it so Monday’s job is to make sure he has us on the waiting list for a plot and to find out exactly where he means with the other site. We scanned the village on Google Maps/Earth and can’t find another site. Obssessed, us? Never!

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All Go in the Greenhouse

Even though I’ve only had my greenhouse for a few months, I can’t imagine life without it now! It is crammed full of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and everything is doing really well.

We’ve already harvested a few of the first red tomatoes (delicious!)

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The cucumbers are doing very well too – we picked the first one a few weeks ago and it all seemed to go very quiet until all of a sudden, tiny cucumber plants sprouted all over the place. There are at least four on one plant and three on another, luckily we eat a lot of it!

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I’m also growing Crystal Apple cucumbers and again, the plant has gone a bit mad – great news as these are the tastiest of cucumbers, can’t understand why they aren’t more popular. I’d never heard of them until last year when I saw a packet of seeds and decided to try them.

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Plenty of peppers in the greenhouse too, I have to keep swapping them round on the shelves to make sure they all get enough sunlight and space.

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We’re now having conversations about whether we should take on an allotment, hope we’re not getting too carried away – this veg growing is a bit addictive…

Rust & Ruin…

My first time growing broad beans, I sowed them last October, kept them alive all through the winter, then planted them out in Spring into one of our raised beds. It was all going so well until the rust came… It hasn’t been a complete disaster as we’ve had plenty of delicious beans over the last few weeks but the plants are not looking healthy at all now:

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All the plants are going to have to come up and can’t go in the compost bin which is a shame. The peas which have not thrived at all can come up too. I’m more disappointed in the peas than the beans – we’ve had a decent harvest of beans but not much more than a handful of pea-pods so I’ll have to try again next year. I can’t believe I’m planning next year’s crops already!

Next blog post will be a more cheerful one, I’ll do an update on the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers which are all doing well… (touch wood!)

Braving the thunderstorms…

Visited the first Stratford on Avon Home and Garden Show held at Alscot Park, we had a great time in spite of black clouds, thunder and lightning and heavy rain!

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The house was out of bounds but we had a wander round the grounds. Really loved the
stunning lavender garden which was humming with hundreds of bees making the most of it.

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The black clouds were beginning to get closer so we didn’t spend quite as much time looking at the gardens as we would have liked (another reason to come back again next year!) but here are some of the views we saw:

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We had to escape thunder, lightning and heavy rain so nipped into the demonstration
marquee to listen to the Weber BBQ chef talk about pizzas – with some tasters too,
a nice little interlude.

Then it was time to make our purchases before heading home. These included some metal
garden sculptures from Zimbolic:

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Thyme and sage from Hooksgreen Herbs:
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Campanula from Naieus Exotics:
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Seeds from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants (really looking forward to growing these flowers):
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No photos of the chocolate brownie, that disappeared quite quickly…

Shame about the weather, but it didn’t spoil a lovely day for us and we’ll definitely be back next year, hopefully without the storms so we can spend more time in the garden.

Guilty of neglect…

But I’ve been making up for it over the last week. We had a great holiday in the South of France but my crops did look a bit thirsty when we got back, especially the tomatoes which were
looking very droopy. Plenty of water and some tlc was the order of the day but it has been a challenge as work has also been very busy.

There has been some potting on, tying, staking – and of course, plenty of watering so things are looking much better now.

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I’m happy with the tomato, cucumber and courgette progress – broad beans are also looking good with peas beginning to make an appearance too. I’ll do a separate update about the
peppers soon, some are looking very good but not all of them.  

Still fighting the slug battle, I’ve lost a cauliflower and two lots of marigolds in spite of the beer traps and our family of frogs living in the back garden. My latest weapon is a layer of ash all round the edge of the raised bed of cabbages, let’s see if that does the trick.

So much to do, so little time…

No need to worry…

We’re away on holiday, having a lovely relaxing time except for the niggling concerns about my plants, would they be ok without my tender loving care?!

Luckily they are in good hands, and just to prove it, I’ve been sent some photos – the greenhouse is looking a bit crowded:

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And is that a tiny tomato I see? As well as an even tinier cucumber?

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And look, some tasty ripe strawberries, I’m hoping there are still some left to pick when we get home:

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I can relax and enjoy the rest of our holiday now… and try and resist the urge to plant some tomatoes round our villa, with this heat, they’d do very well 😉

Breaking News…

Early stages but there are encouraging early signs of a bumper harvest at Broad Bean corner…

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There have also been some sightings of unexpected strawberries in the forgotten about and completely neglected basket left over from last year:

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Finally for now, a bit disappointed in this garlic from last Autumn as it isn’t quite as big as I thought it should be – hopefully it will taste ok though, it is tied up and drying out before heading for the kitchen.

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