Friday, 25 July 2008

At the allotment

When I was buying my vegetable seeds earlier this year I decided to buy a packet of flower seeds to add a bit of colour to the plot and to attract bees. I couldn't decide what to choose and in the end bought a packet of mixed seeds called North American mix. I planted a couple of short rows (with some dwarf french beans between them) and they are flowering now.

A large proportion of the mix seems to be Californian poppies but there are some other interesting flowers as well.

The edible side of the allotment is growing well as we move through the season. This week we had the last of the mangetout and also the last picking of the rhubarb. I will make sure the rhubarb now gets plenty compost to feed it ready for the winter.

I have been harvesting my dwarf french beans and there is a very good crop on each plant. As I made three plantings a few weeks apart we should have beans throughout the rest of the summer.

I have been picking blackcurrants again. I have two bushes ripening at the moment. I don't know the name as I bought them as cuttings from a village plant fair but I think they might be quite an old variety. With my early blackcurrant bush, the berries all ripen within a short space of time and I know modern commercial varieties are bred for this characteristic as it makes for more efficient picking. Old fashioned cottage garden varieties used to ripen slowly over a few weeks, more convenient for the house-wife who got a steady supply of ripe berries but not good commercially when the whole crop needs to be picked as quickly as possible for processing.

These two bushes have berries at a range of ripeness so we will have fresh blackcurrants for a while yet.

The sad story of this years courgettes continues. After all the first plants were devoured by slugs, the second batch have been trying to catch up. My neighbours have been picking courgettes for weeks and I have been really pleased when walking towards my allotment to see the bright yellow flowers. However all the flowers so far have been, without exception, like this one - male flowers!

I am beginning to wonder if I am actually going to taste a homegrown courgette this season.


Candyce said...

I enjoyed all the flowers paticularly the white one with a polka dot on each petal--so sweet!

Hope you get zucchini soon! (As we call it in US)

willow said...

Hi Candyce, I liked that one too. I'm going to let the whole lot run to seed so hopefully I shall have some self-seeded plants around the plot next summer as well.

Simply Authentic said...

The flowers look beautiful! And how great that the allotment is producing so well. Hopefully you will have some female flowers come on or will be able to have cross pollination of some form!