Posts Tagged ‘dahlia’

The celebrations continue…as does the rain

Well, what a hectic couple of weeks we’ve had. So much jubilation and partying. Not only was the Queen celebrating 60 years on the throne but one of us was also celebrating his 60th birthday…and what a birthday – surprise parties, surprise cakes (all in the allotment theme, of course), surprise trips to Budapest, loads of presents and cards. The list goes on and the surprises aren’t all over yet. He may not have had a soggy wet pageant down the river Thames laid on for him but everyone had certainly ‘pushed the boat out’ to make his birthday a time to remember.

Anyway, that’s enough of the spotlight on him…what about our plot and the garden? Well, despite the wind and rain, the jubilee baskets are holding up well and luckily were in full flower for the weekend. Here’s a few pics…

   

As far as the plot goes, the last couple of weekends have been hectic. We’ve tried to get everything finally planted out and this rain has made weeding a nightmare. We’ve spent many hours bent over solemnly picking out weeds, and that blasted bindweed, until we’ve felt like we’ll never be able to stand up straight again! Our hard work has paid off though as the plot is now looking excellent. I think we can declare it full – there’s not an inch of space left to plant anything else.

The cut flower beds have been all planted up and are doing well. There are three varieties of Cosmos, some Sweet Rocket, Zinnias, Calendula, Love Lies Bleeding, Stocks, Scabious, Echinacea and a number of other things.

That’s all before the 30-odd chrysanths and the 20-odd dahlias…

Why did we need so many dahlias? Who knows, but now they’ve taken up all of the remaining space so I’ve now declared the cutting section full. The good thing about the dahlias is that they have won us a number of prizes in local shows in the last few years, so hopefully this year we may be in with a chance of a bit of silverware! Fingers crossed.

The greenhouse has also been transformed – all the chillies and peppers have been planted, along with a couple of melons and a cucumber. We’ve even got a few chillies already.

The only disappointment this weekend was the weather which did put a bit of a damper on the village Open Gardens day on Tuesday where 14 different gardens plus the allotments were open. There were some absolutely lovely gardens. We’ve lived in the village for four years and had never realised there were such wonderful houses and gardens hidden away behind gravel drives and up little lanes. It’s just a shame the sun didn’t come out to attract a few more visitors. That said, a jolly time was had by all and it was all for a worthwhile cause – Marie Curie.

Let’s just hope the rain stops soon so that we can finish netting the strawberries before the birds start tucking into them!

 

 

Just hanging around for fine weather

What do you do when the heavy rain stops you from getting on the allotment? Hang around and wait for it to stop? No, you go shopping. Yes, that’s exactly what we did on Saturday. A thorough browse round Wilko and Homebase soon helped to brighten up the soggiest of days. A few bargains were had. It’s amazing how quickly you can fill a shopping basket when you didn’t really need anything! We managed to get some sweetcorn plants and two mini cucumbers from Homebase (these were on the list) and picked up some bargain dahlia tubers in the reduced section. These were a definite bargain – £1.74 for two…so we got eight to go with the fifteen we bought last week from Sarah Raven. Do we need them all? No…but it’s hard to walk past a bargain, especially when they all had shoots on them.

Bargain tubers

Now, I’m the one in this partnership who holds on tightly to the purse strings…in fact, it’s not often that those purse strings get untied…but himself on the other hand, has no strings on his purse. It might have had elastic at one point but I think that went ‘ping’ a long time ago. So, not a surprise to find him lurking down the Homebase aisle with a swanky metal watering can in his hand. The look on his face told me that hand and handle where not going to part company until they were securely on the other side of the checkout. That can was not going back on the shelf. Yes, I know we need a second one, I know we need one with a long spout, I know we need one with a decent rose so it doesn’t wash my delicate seedlings out of their pots … but how much is it? “Quite a good price.” came the reply. Yeah, how many times have I been fooled with that one? Actually, he was right, it was a good price, and here it is…

The smart new watering can

We spent the rest of Saturday camped out in the greenhouse with a flask of coffee, radio on, planting out our new purchases and testing out the watering can…lovely rose. The greenhouse is now at the stage where a hard hat really needs to be issued at the door. Having to negotiate your head around the twelve hanging baskets that are suspended from the roof is proving quite a challenge. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon have nothing on our greenhouse!Everything’s just hanging around waiting for the decent weather to arrive, whenever that is.

Just hanging around

Still hanging!

Even our heads have been replaced by baskets!!

Even though not much could be done outside this weekend, a lot of progress has been made on the inside jobs: seedlings transplanted on, tubers potted up. We’ve even managed a bit of cooking: a batch of chilli jam and a very rich ‘Death by Chocolate’ cake. Well, with weather that makes you want to hang yourself, you might as well end it all with chocolate!