Argh allotment challenge Epi 3

Argh Allotment challenge Epi 3

Opened with a plethora of beautiful blooms. Not a weed in sight.

Competitors but gardeners first. Not so sure about that at all.

Carrot challenge, of three perfect carrots. Uniform, free from pests. No forking. A disaster if inadequately prepared. It’s a bloody carrot! Sand was shovelled in, all very conscientiously. In waste pipes.

And done with precision.

The Volkswagen of carrot growing. Functional, technical, precise. Mention of the carrot fly, we are getting the names dropped now as far as pests go. A tad more realistic. Carrot fly does take on the role of being a comic book villain.

Who’d thought that a carrot would inspire such whispered hushed tones. It’s not a state secret, it’s a root vegetable.

And not eaten by Jim. Come on, a carrot is not going to be a work of art. Surely, the aim of growing your own, is eating it. The proof should be in the pudding. In the eating of it.

I will not be coddling my carrots. Wonky is good enough for me.

Gladioli always remind me of Miserable morrisey, and I like them. I would rather like some bright purple ones. They were lovely on my plot last year. Definitely want some more. As for table arrangement. Not interested.

A bit technical terminology from fern, a nice thing, as she explained about succession growing. That was okay, we like fern.

I like gladioli, so I’m not going to complain about those. Some beautiful whoppers. And some
Vitriol for Thrips too.

Chutney and cordial for eat. Was what the difference was between a chutney and a relish. Always good to see chillies, with their “phwoar” moment. Being a Bollywood, the aubergine chutneys gained my attention, with the different spices being used. Having made a courgette chutney that was very Bollywood, that bit was useful.

Grow your own is emerging slowly. Still very crafty. But getting there. The bearded blokes in ties are rather refreshing as are the mum an daughter team.

Sunfloo’ers as april ends

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These are romping away, and will probably need potting up transplanting soon. They always grow rather quick, I had forgotten that!

Might even sown some more later in May perhaps. These will flourish for a long time if the weather conditions are okay. So it’s worth watching this carefully. These are large sunflowers and sunburst sunflowers.

Climbing and running beans

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These are always so damp and wet to observe. At the moment the climbing beans have germinated and seem to be okay. The runners are taking their time somewhat. I think a few have started to rot.

These were only an initial sowing. I think I will sow some more in the coming weeks anyway. Need to put up some more wig wams anyway.

Squashes and cukes 2014

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Potted up some of the cukes and squashes. This only half the cohort; there are still 15 or so yog pots that have yet to germinate. Seem to be taking their time.

There is another 5-6 weeks before these can be safely planted out without the risk of frost.

Sinking The Bard: William Shakespeare 2000

Having celebrated my 30th birthday last week, a dear friend of mine has given me a rather apt birthday present.

Meet William Shakespeare 2000.

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Since it was his anniversary yesterday, it’s rather fitting that he arrived today.

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He is now sat on the very threshold of Project othello, next to the falstaff apple tree.

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There are two blooms nestled in there ready to explode. Rather looking forward to it 🙂

Prayer to the chilli gods

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Ye chilli Gods, make my chillies grow!

These are my second more diminutive batch of chillies, bells and super hots. The bengle, Dorset nagas and choc habanero are in the left, assorted scotch bonnets and jamaican jerk in the middle.

These were a later sowing, and they are late maturing Superhots some of them. They sit by a sunny bay window, which helps the boost up when the sun is out. But the current growth seems painfully slow.

Argh, allotment challenge Epi 2

Argh, allotment challenge epi 2

A marginally better episode.

“It’s a bean…why’s it gotta be straight? It’s a bean.” Those were my words, said over and over. “good beans are wonky.”

Straight beans? I had a surprise when the first ever dwarf bean I grew were like little question marks. I have never ever tried to grow a straight bean. I mean, why? I am not growing to model them on a cat walk. And the first mention of pestilence. Blackfly, as I’m glad that Jo squished then. (Incidentally, she is local to me, so hello Jo!) squishing. We all do it! Not so sure about the bean sandwiches at all though. But no, I am never ever going to want straight beans. Mama H’s curry just wouldn’t be the same, I tell you.

Roses, I love. My plot has them all over. Both bushes and climbers, red, white, blue and yellow. So a tad patriotic. A perfect summer rose and a summer wreath. Interesting challenges. All my roses are beautiful to me. Even the purple moon, that only produces one tiny floo’er. But my roses don’t last, and they are on their own ‘do it when I feel like it’ schedule. I could feel myself start to eff and blind as the roses were planted. I don’t profess to have any “skill or judgement’ as the show said. I simply leave them to get on with it. I have yet to kill any pests, thankfully. I can understand why the one pair cloched them. But again, I wouldn’t. Roses are tough, I just wouldn’t pander and pamper them. I always get a bit saddened when chopping roses. For both dead heading and cut flowers. For cut flowers, that actually pains me. They are special, rose are a treat. The king of flowers, a crowning touch to a garden.

The making of a wreath went over my head. If it looks pretty in a vase on the dining table, then that is good-enough for me and for Mama H who generally makes that request. By all means faff with floo’ers, just not my thing.

Last year I made lots of chilli jam jelly. But there is more to using stuff you grow as jam. Relish and sauce were the order of a day. Why not a courgette and tomato quiche, a ratatouille? Jo, saved the day for me and stopped me have a strop, she pushed the boat out, courgettes and aubergines! Woo-hoo! A woman who was being resourceful and doing what the show should. Ratatouille relish, well done 🙂

The judging criteria for eat.

A chunky relish and ketchup sauce. Try the supermarket.

Glad to see the chillies, a naga viper too.

I know that lots of people grow for The show bench. They have that right. I do feel however, that this missing something of a point. That is the key feature, with the shows that I have seen so far. Missing the point. Far too much of a crafty sowing bee, master chef bake off thing. Not enough about the growing, the trials and tribulations. The slugs and snails were absent, though we had Blackfly.

Now, right at the beginning, fern tells us that the contestants-and that is what they are here-have a list. They choose what they want to grow. I do wonder about this list. Is it all standard stuff? Standard as in expected allotment veg. I was glad to see aubergines and the world’s second hottest chilli. I do wonder how experimental the contestants are. No two allotments are the same; yet the show bench is very token. Carrots, beans. And chutneys next week. Thane’s parting words for a chutney are that it’s not pushing any boundaries.

Well, I could have told you that for free, Thane.