Sunday, 22 August 2010

what a smashing day !

finally it was D-day for the brick greenhouse ! My allotment site was recently awarded two grants for the provision of skips so with this in mind it seemed the perfect time for Demolition mayhem.

2010-08-21   Clearing old Greenhouse  001

We spent yesterday emptying it - no mean feat !

2010-08-21   Clearing old Greenhouse  006

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  001-500px

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  012-500px

and then today the demolition began in ernst. It didn't take much persuasion for the roof to come down.

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  029-500px

the local inhabitants were a little reluctant to leave ...

2010-08-21   Spiders  042-500px

2010-08-21   Spiders  050-500px

the brickwork although not in the best condition is still pretty solid.

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  063-500px

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  120-500px

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  148-500px

We took a car load of rubbish to the tip and have another lovely pile waiting for the next skip on site (isn't it funny the things you get excited about).

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  165-500px

You wouldn't believe the size of the bonfire we'll be having at some stage though !

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  157-500px

Still lots to do. No idea yet what we'll do with all those bricks - or where we'll put them ! God they are heavy.

2010-08-22   Demolishing old Greenhouse  156-500px

It finally stopped raining in Sheffield ... hurrah ! I took the opportunity to have a good look round the plot.

My carrots and beetroots are loving the rain - they are big and beautiful ! My beans are also loving the rain. Courgettes are good, however, I think my squashes would like a little more sun, but they are OK for now - well apart from my lovely turks turban looks to have rotted in all the rain and the slugs have moved in - grrr. My cauliflowers have been ruined by the rain - so far my cabbages and broccoli look OK.

2010-08-21   Allotment produce  001-500px

In the greenouse, my tomatoes are lovely - the plants I would say are my best ever, although they are not as tall as they are usually. Lots of tomatoes though - yum. I think my early watering strategy and then the magic chicken poo has worked wonders. My melon died tho - I wonder why ... and I only have one pathetic sized pepper - although in fairness it did go in very late. My lovely chillies that I bought from the plant sale have been eaten along with my marigolds. Still - got nice tomatoes :)

2010-08-21   Allotment produce  007-500px

The birds look to have beaten me to the blueberries - there were about half left ... just enough for Blueberry icecream !

The blackberries are lovely - time for the ever gorgeous blackberry and almond meringue cake.

2010-08-22   Blacberry meringue sponge  041-500px

2010-08-22   Blacberry meringue sponge  042-500px

another butterfly


yes, this is stupid cat no. 3 stuck up a tree. Stupid cat no. 2 got stuck on the kitchen roof last night. Stupid cat no. 1 looks pretty bright in comparison

2010-08-22   Kinder stuck in tree  009

Sunday, 1 August 2010

I'd like to order some sunshine for this week please :)

Finally a couple of dry days !

Been busy doing lots of jobs - the onion bed had disappeared beneath rogue potatoes and bindweed and in protest a few onion flowers were waving in the breeze.


To say they went in so late, they've done pretty well and I've got some sizeable onions - better than previous seasons. Of course they are in the manure bed - but it's getting difficult to say that as it's now at the end of its 4th season ! Onions are now drying in the brick greenhouse.


I also took up the garlic, which has been suffering with the wet weather. The bulbs are tiny - similar size to the ones you get in the supermarket. Better than nothing though and considering how late they went in, I'm very grateful. Will definitely be planting in October this time - accidents allowing !

This is my monster carrot - it's as big as my head !!! You wouldn't believe how it smells ... really carroty. It's amazing - sadly for me it doesn't reflect any skill on my part as it is SELF-SOWN lol:


My beautiful peas have been neglected for the last 2-3 weeks, what with weather and then home commitments, so I was pretty downhearted to see that they have passed over their best. They were my best ever peas and definitely beneftted from the netting - however that was also their downfall, as it was so difficult to harvest anything. Need to find a happy medium next season. The old pods are now in the greenhouse drying - I'm wondering whether I can save the seed for next year. Some of the peas have already started sprouted in the pod.

The wildlife on my plot is thriving and I think must be mainly due to my lovely wildflower area next to the pond.


Despite digging up loads of teasels back in Spring there are still plenty around the plot. This photo was taken yesterday and today it has a band of purple flowers around it's middle. The flower heads feel lovely and silky when stroked - not for long though !


I have lots of butterflies on the plot, but they are very difficult to photograph, I have more luck with moths ... shall have to get my identification book out later...




mmmm puple beans !!!! yum, my favourite. Gold Rush have also just come in season and there appears to be some blue lake. In the greenhouse my one and only cannelloni plant is going great guns - hopefully it'll be even better now I've staked it ... it got tired of reclining on the floor :)


I'm amazed at how many ladybirds I have - I went to see how the artichokes are doing - sadly they still have lots of blackfly, but on just two artichoke heads I counted 27 ladybird lavae scuttling about !!


The most common one today was the English 7-spot - they were everywhere !


Not seen any yellow ones for a while though



The strawberries have obviously heard me muttering that it's their last season and are furiously throwing out runners - I have over 100 potted up at the moment. If they make it through the winter I should be in for a good season next year. I need to make some sort of cage to protect them from the birds next season. I also have big plans to have manure delivered this year, so the current strawberries in residence will be going to the great compost heap. I did wonder to myself as I weeded them this afternoon, why not just dig them up ...


The rain has been perfect for my courgettes (15 currently sat on the worktop, another 5 on the plants and 4 in our tummies last night LOL) and squashes. This is a turks turban - I've propped it onto a brick to protect it from the wet soil.


I've got three butternut squashes developing on one of the vines - fingers crossed I get a few more. Wonder if I'll ever beat my record first season.


This is the mystery bush - the tag is burried somewhere underneath the foliage - looks promising. Maybe it's a Winter Festival. Got loads of fruit on it;


This is how it starts out - two tone !


The comfrey is revving up for a second round. Must remember to stake it this time ...


Here are my borlotti beans, with the Crown Prince & Queensland Blue pumpkins in front and then the comprey in the foreground. The pumpkin leaves are huge (knee height) and there are lots of flowers and tiny tiny fruit ... maybe we need a bit of sunshine. Hint.


The allotment society are holding some skips days soon, so I must have a tidy up and find all those annoying pieces of plastic that keep apearing. I'm thinking of having some holidays in September to start dismantling the brick greenhouse - ooo now just think, if I could get that timed just right !

Rumour has it that the allotment officer is carrying out some re-inspections this week. It's ruffling a few feathers, but some of the plots are in a shocking state. Will be interesting to see how many eviction notices are served.

Maybe I should rename my blog to 'Duck ... the ladybird'. Wonder if it's only me that finds that funnee. Now, what was I supposed to remember ?