Tag Archives: blueberry

Promises Promises: Buds to bloom and burst

It is the day after the night before, as Storm Katie ran amok around the British Isles. Mum and I headed down to the plot to see if there was any damage. The poly tunnel and walk in green house are still standing strong. My biggest concerns are always the grapevines and the fruit trees. Somewhat mindful of the potential inclement weather, I had staked the thin wiry trees to give them a bit of a fighting chance. There are puddles on the plot, on the lower part at least. This always happens, and the continuing plan is to raise that part of the plot.It is for that very reason that I have raised beds to help overcome the soggy soil.

Having checked for major disturbances, the first thought I had was about the Peach tree. A A variety called darling, this is a  very new tree to the allotment. Over the last week or so, I have been watching a small cluster of pink fuzz. The rest of the tree is forming buds, but this cluster is obvious because of its brightness against the bark. I have been checking almost daily, to see if the pinkness has burst. I’m not too sure if it is cluster of leaves or an actual blossom. This is a lot closer to success than my previous experience with a peach rochester tree, that didn’t do an awful lot at all. Hence the excitement of this tree actually doing something.


Concorde Pear also seems to be kicking off. Last year, we had all of two pears. I am not complaining about that, I am very glad for those two pears. They ended up on a chutney. For now the blossom isn’t actually very pretty, it’s fuzzy, spiky and awkward looking. My only concern is that we have a horrible frost and these will get obliterated as they have in the past.


Last year the Moor Park Apricot formed maybe less than half a dozen leaves. (No that is not the rest of my plot, nothing to do with me.) A year later, there are more green buds forming, and that means potentially more leaves. This, like having a peach tree, was an impulsive experiment. The growing season is still young, so this like the other trees will be monitored and observed closely.


These are Darrow, blue jay and blue crop blueberries. I like my blueberries, least of all because they produced a surprise crop last year. Two out of the three have been there for a year, the third is a recent acquisition. I am comforted by the number of buds though, a good sign. Blueberry gin may well happen again.


#NABLOPOMO: Blueberries and gooseberries on the plot

blueberry gooseberry

There was a lot of soft fruit planted on the plot over autumn. Uptil now, it has all largely been dormant. Hopefully, during this down time, the plants have been setting down root systems in preparation for the growing season. The blueberries are starting to get a wiggle on, and the variety named darrow is still in the lead with buds forming. Blue jay is not too far behind.

In the second picture, and a little harder to see, are the gooseberries. These are three of the hinnonmaki, I think, and all of the hinnonmaki are starting wake up and form little green leaves amongst the spiky thorns. it looks neat and tidy as ma has been ruthless in pulling out grass.

I am trying ye again with rhubarb, this was donated by my aunty. This time, I am putting the crown somewhere it might actually have a chance and not get rained on. Mine must be one of the few that doesn’t have any rhubarb on it. I might even search for a rhubarb and ginger recipe, as I was given a jelly bag by Father Christmas and have yet to use it.

Blueberry budding


There are three blueberries in pots on the plot. What you see above is the Darrow variety, the others are blue jay and bluecrop. The blue crop was the youngest, I think, as well as the smallest. I’m surprised that there are quite few buds on this already. My concern had been that the frost would nip at them, but they do seem to be fairly robust.

All three are in large pots, that have been filled with ericacaeous-how ever you spell it-compost. I did water them in with rain water when they were first potted in. Luckily we have had some rain since to keep them watered.

Planting Blueberries

Having researched over the last week or so, the blueberry plants have been planted into pots. I had found a rather twiggy plant at wilkos, this was the blue crop. The advice is to have more than one variety, so I have also found one called darrow and another called blue jay from a local garden centre. I had been toying with putting them into the clay. But research suggested against this. Advice is to put into pots rather than into ground. Blueberries require ericanaecious compost, or however you spell it. The pots have holes in, so I didn’t need to attack them with a screw driver, and now have the compost in. The plants have been plugged in and also watered with rainwater that happened to be held in a large container. The blue crop from wilkos seems to be the smallest, with the other two plants being much larger and robust. Suggesting that they are at least a year or so old, they did come in fairly big 1.5 litre pots.

Penny pinching and planting

Gardening, and allotmenteering, lays itself open to be very expensive. At least in the outset, and making preparations. Flicking through seed catalogues, surfing the companies online can also mean for pennies and pounds being spent.

Seed saving, as well as swapping, goes some way towards alleviating that cost. I have benefited from a number of swapped seeds, in addition I have passed on seeds for others to try. This particularly true, of people who wish to sow heritage seeds. Many seed varieties of yore, have been forgotten, save for the efforts of studious seed savers who have diligently saved seeds to keep them in circulation. There are off course many techniques, some simple others less so, that allow this to happen. With chillies, for example, one needs asbestos gloves given how potent some chillies can be. With tomatoes, one needs a penchant for slime in fishing them out of a jam jar. Beans, can be left to dry, and plucked from a crispy pod. It is that is simple. You will also get those plants and vegetables that are wont to sow their wild oats and cross widely. So that is seed saving, encouraged and plausible.


In tending the plot, an interesting experiment has developed. There are some roses that are more expensive than some of their plot counterparts, bought from a mail order company. The counterparts, are from a shop, where everything is priced at one pound or from a shop where goods are priced at being a penny below the pound. You can see the statement of the obvious. There is not much in the price of these two groups of roses, approximately £1.50 would separate the roses from online and the high street bought ones. Before the snow descended, the online ordered ones were actually demonstrating some growth on the thorny stems. The high street ones, did actually look a bit sorry for themselves. They were also still covered in green protective wax, that I had thought would have disappeared by now. 


Previously, spring flowering bulbs had been planted. It would be a surprise if any of these actually came up now,to be fair. All, generally, from those high street shops where you spend a pound. In the past, these have been reasonably successful. There are also some blueberries and redcurrant plants.


As I venture into these high street shops, I do wonder about the success rate. More recently, there have potatoes, onions, different seed varieties on the shelves. A reflection perhaps of how more and more people are choosing to grow their own food. The variety does seem to be getting more and more extensive, and more value compared to the stock held by garden centres. For many years, there has always been a clamour for Aldi and Lidl with their gardening GYO offers. With Wilkinsons also proving themselves to be a useful resource. 


Then there is the pot making contraption, Whilst it is labour intensive, it is incredibly useful. Made me reconsider, just how much money could be spent on pots that weren’t going to be occupied for very long. With the broadbeans currently in paper pots, I hope that this will also help the rather challenging clay soil on the plot.


It remains to be seen, if being savvy with pounds and pence makes any difference,

Yours in anticipation,


Horticultural Hobbit

Purchases and Puddles: Hello 2013

Having not paid a visit to the plot for the duration of the festivities, today I ventured down. Not before, though, purchases had been made on the behalf of Santa Clause.

Purchased today from Poundland

3 x Red Beauty Roses

1 x Pink Rosa

1 x Kronenbourg rose

2 x Blueberry

2 x Red Currant

I had been wanting to get the roses, I kicked myself last year having missed them. That, and I have now cottoned onto the bargains that certain pound and ninety nine pence places present. There are opponents and proponents of this approach, there will always be naysayers. I would like to find out and explore. In addition to this, I know of a certain value supermarkets that are renowned for their GYO offers.

If it goes pear shaped, it will go pear shaped.  There was also the eight Raspberry canes that were being planted out. These are a continuity collection, in that these are meant to crop from Summer through to Autumn. I bought sixteen, and shared these with Aunty Tish who is planting these on her plot. She had given me a redcurrant last year. I may well have killed it by not planting it properly and then pulling it out as it looked brown and stick-y.

Brown and sticky, is what everything looks like, to be honest. The roses were covered in a thick layer of green wax. I had read about this, and perhaps need to look into that. It will be interesting to see how these roses, each costing a pound each will fare with the other roses. The other roses, are Hybrid Tea Roses and were purchased as the ten items were in a collection that was marked as being half price. So how will a rose costing a pound, fare against a rose that was meant be four times that (The roses were £2.10 each when I found them).

And the puddles. There are still puddles, and puddles of standing water. Slightly wiffy, standing water, I might add. The plot is best described as wonky, entirely uneven and all over the shop at that.

Onions, shallots and garlic have made some progress. There are certainly more garlic shoots than there are any other allieums. I was pleasantly surprised, but the garlic shoots standing proudly and like sentries. That is a sight, that perhaps I had not anticipated. So very, very nice to see. There are may be two, broad bean shoots. These would be the claudia aquadulce. Not surprised by that, though one was very nibbled looking. There are shallots present, and they are sending up shoots. Again, not many, but it is happening.  I had to return a few onion sets to the ground as they were pulled up; most likely by birdies. A couple of sets were littered around, having been snacked on by them horrible creatures that are squirrels.

Leeks, there were a few. I think Aunty Tish had given me 22 babies. I couldn’t put a figure on the number that I saw. Only that there were a few,standing up right and paying attention, amongst the rather moody and muddy looking strawberry runners.

Bulbs. There are some. Sprouting in a border. It was a blink and you missed it moment; but I assure you. They were there. I must have planted hundred in the early autumn. Not many at all, have started to sprout. That may well be because it is still early, and spring bulbs have some time yet to make themselves known. Or, they too have become a casualty of the deluge. It is difficult to make any absolute comment based on the observation of the plot at the moment.

A moment of bah humbag, the headline news this evening that Blighty is going to suffer further extreme weather.  Honestly, tch.


Yours in Anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit