Saturday, 31 July 2010


Cloudy cloudy cloudy. As in not sunny. We've had a little bit of rain, a bit more than taking the mickey but not by much. Still, I'm cropping peas, runner beans, french beans, pea beans, cabbages, carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, gooseberries, raspberries and cherry plums. And picking sweet peas, snapdragons and carnations to brighten up the house. So I can't really complain, other than to say it's cloudy.

Broccoli and trefoil

The trefoil with it's nitrogen fixing properties is benefiting the perennial broccoli which I planted amongst it. I'd like to say that but actually the truth is it was a happy accident. I sowed the trefoil first as a green manure crop and as it didn't appear I thought it had failed to germinate. So I planted the broccoli there instead, which of course is when the trefoil sprang into life. I can't say for sure if the trefoil is benefiting the broccoli as I haven't got a control crop to compare it with but it doesn't seem to be doing it any harm.


You probably don't need me to tell you that comfrey makes a brilliant fertiliser; its deep roots bring up valuable trace elements and minerals. Some people make a stinky feed from it but I prefer to use it as a mulch.

I cut it down just before it flowers, leave it to wilt for a week then spread it between rows:

Spread out:

A week later it's rotting down nicely:

Cherry plum

What I thought was an ornamental cherry tree I now know, thanks to the good folks at Allotments 4 All, is actually a cherry plum (Prunus nigra). Whatever, the fruits are delicious.

Winter tares

The phacelia which the bees have been loving so much was nearly over so it's in the compost bin now. In it's place I've sowed the area with winter tares. Last year I only got patchy results from this when I broadcast it so this time I've sowed it in rows.

Chinese yam update

I sowed the yam tubercles in the greenhouse back in April and planted them out at the beginning of June. I made a little bed for them by the shed there, adding plenty of compost of course, and because the area is weedy with field bindweed I lined it with weed control fabric to a depth of about 50 cm. Most of them have managed to reach the top of their little sticks so I've put some bigger ones in. Next year they should make lots more foliage and this is also when the yam tubers should be ready for harvesting. The side of the shed faces south-west. Spoilt to death they are so they'd better perform. The marigolds are for good luck.


Oh yes.

Carnations starting to flower

I also like to think how this shows how crops are healthier when growing between flowers. Although the beans might have done that well anyway for all I know.


I love this combination of evening primrose, verbena and flax going to seed. Totally accidental of course.

Meadow mix

Couldn't go without posting another picture of this now could I?

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Manky cabbages

My first patch of summer cabbages is doing very nicely and has been feeding me for a couple of weeks now. However this second lot, which were planted out in the middle of June, didn't like the stress of the dry weather one bit and have succumbed to every pest and disease going. Needless to say most of them are now in the compost bin.


I cropped the first runner beans this week - all four of them. So it's no secret that this particular crop is a bit of an embarrassment this year. Luckily the pea beans and French beans are doing well:


Cropping now - Amsterdam Forcing:

Rhubarb and raspberry jam



I love to watch the way the bees get into these.

Meadow mix

The latest flower to appear here is the pretty tickseed:

Back garden in July

Blue scabious

Bumble bee on fleabane

Perennial sweet pea

Geranium "Brookside"



Rose campion



Saturday, 17 July 2010

Wet and windy

Wet, windy and a lot cooler. At least the ground's had a bit of a soak. A good time to get some mulch on.

Mulching after the rain

Opening up the compost bin:

Spreading between rows:

I had enough compost to mulch the peas, beans, asparagus, broccoli and carnations. It'll keep the moisture in and of course feed the soil. Now I'll be able to turn the other bin into this one.



The birds usually beat me to these but there's usually enough left for a treat.

First tomatoes


Flowering in the cornfield mix:


From saved seed:

Meadow mix

Still going nuts, mainly poppies, bishops flower and cornflowers now with a splash of red flax: