PlotDaze

An inner city allotment


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June 2018

IT’S SUNNY! Proper sunny. Hot. Heatwave. Fantastic! At last, and everything is blooming at the allotment. June is one of our favourite months, the colour kicks in and the evenings are long and made for pottering about while the birds are singing. OK, enough of the romanticism.

We have only planted half the number of beans we usually do. There are some still in the freezer from last year ! We planted more borlotti beans and they are bushing up nicely. The bean tent still looks sparse though.

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No more plastic netting!

Today we released the sweetcorn, it was under house arrest beneath a large netted framework to protect it from the neighbourhood squirrel. He likes to sharpen his front teeth on the stalks and decimates them while he performs his dental work. It all looks good apart from one which has reached about half a foot and then just refused to grow. Maybe it will have a growth spurt now it’s free.

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Must do some weeding …

Most of the celery rotted, but we managed to save five bunches. We put them in the salad bed in deep holes. It’s right in front of the greenhouse and much easier to water. It’s doing well, just wish there was more of it!

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Just watered.

The lettuce in the salad bed is Romaine. We only grew one variety this year, usually we grow Little Gems and some Cos, but only the Romaine seedlings did well. It’s next to the mixed variety baby beetroot. They’re coming up tomorrow. Poking up in between them are some pickling onions fighting for space.

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Never enough greenery.

We have a spare corner at the far end of the plot. It gets a fair amount of sun, although it can be shaded from the orchard for the early part of the day. It’s where we have been growing roses in large pots, so as a winter project we’ve decided to convert it into a small raised rose garden. We have even been looking at obelisks to grow a climber up! This is a rose we picked up last year just for the colour, unfortunately it’s not scented, but it looks great.

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Would love a vase full of these.

As the song goes, ‘Always wear sunscreen’. Happy Plotting!

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RHS Chatsworth 2018

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Chatsworth House and Cosmos. EVERYONE took this photo!

Last Friday (8th) we visited RHS Chatsworth. We went last year and enjoyed it so much that as soon as the tickets went on sale we bought them for this. There were no traffic difficulties, lots of attendants all very polite and helpful and the doors were already opened when we arrived at about 9.30.

The walk toward the bridges that take you too the heart of the show was breathtaking. Thousands of cosmos (in pots! A handy hint we’ll be nicking!) lined up in front of the mansion house to gave an initial wallop of colour and drama. So many people stopped to admire it and take pics.

Unfortunately the flower bridge was not included this year, but the sculptures along the river side were just as interesting.

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Giant gold buttercup anyone?

The inflatable Great Conservatory was adorned with a display of orchids, designed by Jonathan Moseley. It was colourful and a magnet for the visitors. Even if you’re not a particular fan of orchids you had to admire the scale of the display.

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 The dome of the Great Conservatory.

We were trying to be restrained when visiting the floral marquees. ‘We’ll have a look around before we buy anything …’ This lasted for about five minutes. We bought plants. Nuff said. It was a huge sweety shop of plants! There was something for everyone. We’re saving up for next year. One display literally stopped us – a huge pyramid of various lillies, the scent was heady.

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Someone invent Smellovision!

There were many more places to sit this year, more places to eat or bring your own picnics. It was very dog friendly, but I did see a one getting a bit shakey in the packed Floral Marquee, maybe best avoid those places if you bring your pooch. Common sense eh?

There was copious entertainment in the theatre and educational sessions for those who were interested or who could get a seat. At one rainy point in the day were took shelter in the theatre and were joined by a couple of stilt walkers who wore flowery outfits and were happy to pose for photos, which everyone took advantage of (sadly not us – too slow!)

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Couldn’t resist giant Alliums (Schubertii) in a mop bucket.

It was a pleasant day; no mud, no queues for the toilets, no stress. We had our picnic lunch sitting by the car in the beautiful surroundings of Chatsworth. There was a joy in watching plantaholics like ourselves trying to cram their purchases into their cars. One woman threatened to leave her mother behind so she could squeeze the huge fronds of a delphinium into her car ( a mini !). The mother was not best pleased.

It was a great day. Cheers Chatsworth!