Two Weeks Later……

Because of the lovely warm weather we have been having  we now have tomatoes and cucumbers planted out in the plastic greenhouses and peppers in the main greenhouse, so fingers crossed there isn’t a late frost!

  

We took all the plants sown at home down to the cold frame at the allotment and everything is coming along great. Although this weather is wonderful, the lack of rain has meant we have been down to the allotment everyday to water, and even if it looks like rain we still have to do the greenhouses so a lot of our time has been spent down there.

We decided this year not to bother with runner beans and so have planted out climbing and dwarf french beans. I have nothing particular against runners but they are a bit of a faff to prepare and if you pick them too late then they can be stringy and not very pleasant whereas french beans are just as prolific growers and, in my opinion, tastier. However, if its anything like last year, we will be offered plenty of runners from other people as you always get far more than you need.

 

 I have also sown some salad veg in pots at home, although we have plenty at the allotment you can guarantee that I will forget to pick it and bring it home so I thought I would have some here as well! The worse that will happen is we will have salad for dinner everyday and as I’m not the greatest fan of cooking that’s no bad thing!

The lupins are coming into flower now as well and the french marigolds wont be too long before they are ready to be planted out. The blackberry bush that produced monster blackberries last year has come into blossom. We moved it at the end of the season as it was in the wrong place and so we are pleased that the move didn’t affect it. It is a thornless variety and, although not very nice for eating off of the bush as they are very sharp, they make the most delicious jam.

        

The Brassica were planted today using my ‘secret’ formula! Basically I mix one handful of  compost, one of lime, one of washed then crushed eggshells that I have been saving through the winter and one of fish,blood and bone. I make a big pot of this mixture then use a bulb planter to make my hole, add a good handful of this mixture then plant the Brassica. Today I planted some red cabbage, white cabbage and cauliflower. Ian built the cage around them so that we can net them to stop, firstly the pigeons from eating the young plants, and secondly to try to prevent the cabbage white butterfly’s from laying their eggs on them. I put cabbage collars around each one as the butterfly lays its eggs at the base of the plant but also I have an old beer barrel that I have water in and to which I add my rhubarb leaves. This is left to ferment and the resulting liquid stinks! I add a jamjar of this to the watering can and sprinkle over the Brassica and the cabbage whites hate the smell. So far I have had 3 years of perfect cabbages so it must be working!

We are really pleased with the allotment this year, every bit of the ground is being used for something whether its old favourites like onions, potatoes and carrots or first attempts like the spinach.

We also went geocaching at Coombe Hill, a National Trust site near Chequers, the Prime Ministers country residence. It is the site of the oldest British cache so we were pleased when we found it and could sign the log. It is a wonderful place for a walk and the views are fantastic.

 

Now the conservatory has been cleared of seeds we had a good tidy up in there and have put a table and chairs in it at one end and Ian’s work bench ( aka my seed table) at the other. It is not a big room but over the past 13 years it has had a variety of uses from plain junk room to the girls playroom  and finally now we can sit in it and admire the garden, the very reason we got it all those years ago. After painting the outside white a few weeks ago I have decided to do the inside white as well so that will be next weeks job while Ian is away fly-fishing. I have also sorted out my ‘corner’ downstairs and have organised it so my current cross stitch project is easier to get to, as well as sorting through the various magazines that were stock piled there! So, for the time being, everything downstairs is looking sorted however the back bedroom that we turned into a craft room looks like a bombs landed in it and so that will be the next room to be done!

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