Sunday, July 12, 2009

And so, at last, an update

Back from hols, back to work tomorrow; so how's it been with the allotment while we were in Crete?

30C heat for a few days I gather but also torrential downpours. That has a predictable effect on the weeds! But overall it isn't looking too bad. I'd give it 6/10, after two weeks total neglect. In detail:

Blackberries - doing VERY well. Himalayan Giant are prolific & huge (the clue is in the name?) but v thorny. Oregon Thornless are smooth (!) and have a heavy crop but they ripen later so aren't ready yet.
Raspberries - the earlies seem to have peaked while we've been away, with signs of pigeon damage, and the lates aren't ready yet (come on lads, get on with it).

bush - well, it's still there but isn't doing much.

- beginning to bolt but will still get a few pickings then need to resow for more later.

Onions & Shallots
- disappointing - I'm doing something fundamentally wrong with my onions (he squeaked, painfully). Too much competition from weeds I think. Need to rethink them for next year.

- doing well, need weeding
Brassicas - red & ordinary cabbage doing well in Fort Brassica but it needs better access for weeding. At present it looks like Thistletown. The hurdles are good at keeping they pigeons out but I need to rethink the fixings and the roof for better access. All this for a few cabbages.

Climbing French
- OK but need to get up their poles more (Allez! Montant!!)

Dwarf French
(La petite) - OK, but need to start flowering.

- amazed that I've got any; they're all volunteers from last year.

- hanging on, altho some have clearly dropped as there aren't as many as before hols. But we may actually get some ripe ones this year.

Runner beans
- flowering nicely.
Rhubarb - seems to be having a second coming. (Hmm.... No good'll come of it; ee mark my words)

- needs coppicing in the autumn. Ee, that our Hazel, she's a right un; always needs a good coppicing

- roaring away

- fruiting well. We had fried Courgettes in Crete - actually we had lots of different versions but the ones we liked best were very thinly sliced, dipped in a light batter & then flash fried as a starter. Yummy.

- still alive (x2) but not fruiting yet. Come on lads; I'm looking forward to my Burpless Tasty Green

Sweet Peas, Cornflowers & Morning Glory
- all OK but looking a bit 'thin'. The whole plot needs a good feed. Bring on the manure in the autumn. But at least the Morning Glory 'wall' shows signs of delivering on the idea.

Flowering Mallow
(Lavatera) - totally OTT as usual, and determined to fall over like the blowsy old tart it is. It's going to have to come out in the autumn because it's where the manure is going to go. But it makes such a good show I'll have to put another in somewhere else.

- gone completely over & now only good for Mushy Mangetout.


Nutty Gnome said...

Your allotment's not done too bad given the wildly variable conditions we've had whilst you've been sunning yourself in foreign climes!

I'm THOROUGHLY hacked off with my carrots! I gave 3 long rows of them tender loving care and what do I get? One sodding carrot! If the new ones I've planted don't get their act together while I'm away, that's me and carrots done!

Woody Wilbury said...

Thanks Nutty

I've never had any luck with carrots either (and don't like 'em much so it's no loss!)

The Gnome said...

Can't help but feel that life is a little fraught on your plot at the moment Woody. Vegetables not doing what they are supposed to etc. You need to assert your authority. Tell them who the master is up there. They are not there for fun, after all.

How's the film coming on ?

Woody Wilbury said...

Hi Gnome

Film is coming on nicely, thanks. We've done the London & Scottish shoots, in May. There's some more going on in Oregon & California as we speak. Then there's a massive post-production (translation - putting it all together, I think!) job to go on in the USA before the Scottish premiere on 29th Oct in Pitlochry. It'll still be a work-in-progress then, before a 'proper' premiere in Portland, Oregon in the Spring, perhaps at Fort Vancouver (where Douglas was based for a lot of his stay on the Columbia River, as a guest f the Hudson Bay Company.

Some damn good allotment-style gardens outside [reconstructed] Fort Vancouver. And did you know? - the HBC always favoured Orkneymen for their rougher postings becasue they were a hardy breed, well able to cope with the tough climate and conditions. And they were still actively recruiting as late as the 1970s. A friend of mine recalls working with them out of a Jobcentre in Glasgow!