Thursday, 31 May 2012

My First Strawberry (Don't Laugh)

I picked my first strawberry from the allotment yesterday. 
Small and sweet even though you might need a microscope to see it!
 Hopefully a few more on the way so I had better net them before the birds get them first!
I also picked the first of my broad beans. I read that you could steam them whole but I didn't like the taste. I shall let the rest grow on until the beans have matured.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Ruskin Park

I was up in London last week and decided to pop into Ruskin Park as I had some time to spare before an appointment. The park gets its name from John Ruskin, the famous artist, writer and social campaigner, who lived nearby from 1823 - 1871.
There was a beautiful Wisteria walkway just dripping with sweet scented flowers.

I could have stayed there all day breathing in their perfume. 
 Lots of brightly coloured Rhododendrons. 
Lots of lovely mature trees with their fresh, green foliage.

 Amazing colours. 
In the distance are beds of bright blue forget-me-nots. 
 French Lavender in the foreground.

Canadian geese protectively watching over their young. 
So sweet!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Allotment Update - Runner Beans, Tomatoes and Courgettes

I've been busy on the allotment the past few weeks digging, hoeing, weeding and planting. It's been so lovely to be in the sunshine and fresh air.
The French Lavender, Chives and Comfrey are flowering and it's been lovely watching the bees coming and going.

Chives and French Lavender 
I've staked and tied in my Broad Beans

and I earthed up my early and second early Potatoes last week. You can see in a later photo how much they have grown since.

The Onions are starting to bulk up

and I've began planting my Runner Beans.
 I had such a good crop of these last year and they also tasted lovely eaten raw straight from the bush.
I have sweet peas either end too for flowers and fragrance although they seem to be taking time to get going. 
This will be a screen of green leaves in a few months time.
I've made little wells around each plant to make watering easier. See how much the potatoes have grown (in the background) since last weeks photo. 
I planted the first of my Tomatoes on Friday.
These were given to me by a neighbour (who also has an allotment) and are a bit further on than mine as they were started off in a greenhouse. 
I've inserted small plastic pots next to each plant to make watering easier and more efficient. This really is a lovely sunny spot so I hope they do well. I just hope we aren't plagued with tomato blight on the allotment again like last year.

The same neighbour also gave me these Courgettes as my first seeds rotted in the cold, damp weather we had earlier. 
I've had a lot of problems with weeds in my raised beds so as an experiment I completely covered the existing soil with layers of damp newspaper and then topped up with fresh peat free compost. I'm hoping this might suppress the weeds long enough for the courgettes to get going. Their large leaves will then hopefully do the job.
These are some of my Jerusalem Artichokes still at home in large pots. They really need moving to the allotment soon before they get much bigger but I'm having trouble working out where to put them. They need some shelter from the wind as they can reach over 7 feet tall and as they can become quite invasive too, I need to pick the right spot.

I hope everyone has been able to get out and about and enjoy the sunshine over the weekend and I wish you all an enjoyable week ahead.

Boot Sale Finds

I walked along to an indoor boot sale early last Sunday morning held in a local school. Although it was small and didn't look too promising to begin with I did manage to find a few nice bits and pieces.
 A pretty pink rose design needlework picture,
 two sets of small wooden hangers,
 a pretty floral 'Alfred Meakin' serving dish,
 a 'Grindley' serving plate 'Cream Petal' design,

 and a vintage talcum powder tin. I just love the design on the front of this tin.
 I also found two floral cotton dresses (for the fabric) and
 two pretty cotton lace panels.

As this boot sale is really local I shall probably pop along again next time it's on. I was back in the garden having breakfast by 9.30 after a nice walk and a chat with some friendly people.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Seaside Theme

My local Thompsons Plant and Garden Centre have got some great inspirational planting ideas going on at the moment.
 This is their 'Seaside Themed' display area.
Watch that seagull, he's got his eyes on your fish and chips!
Lots of drought tolerant plants. I particularly love the magenta-pink ornamental thistle on the left which the bees were loving too.
There was even a recording of the sound of the sea.
If the sun comes out I'm going to make a picnic, set up my deck chair and watch the next show!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Charity Shop Finds

A few of my recent charity shop finds...
a pretty glass pot with lid (very heavy) measuring 8" in height (£2.50) and 
pretty doilies (£1 set). 
I'm putting these aside to use on some bunting I'm planning to make.
Shells to decorate my garden shed and pergola (20p each), sewing hoops(50p each) and an old music manuscript book for craft projects (20p). I'm glad I found these hoops as I've been to two sewing shops recently and they've both been out of stock!
 A pretty, fluted, green glass vase (£4) dating from around the 1930's I think. 
I'm looking forward to filling this with the beautiful chartreuse flowers of Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Mollis) and the white daisy-like flowers of Feverfew when they flower in my garden. 
 A set of 6 small dinner plates by Midwinter- 'Indian Tree' design (50p each) and...
a child's dress (£1.50) which I bought for the fabric.