I feel much better this week although I’m absolutely exhausted. It’s been a busy week so I’ve only been on the plot twice but both times have been fairly productive and I’ve enjoyed it when I’ve been there.
I’ve spent most of the week making the final preparations for my mum’s surprise 80th birthday party. The surprise being, lots of her friends, many she hadn’t seen for years waiting outside the venue to greet her as she arrived. The surprise was NOT, as one of my sister’s pupils thought, the fact she was 80 – she knew she was 80, this did not come as a surprise to her. The other thing the surprise was NOT was us all jumping out at her and shouting ‘Surprise!’ – seriously, some people did ask me! She’s 80 for god sake – we wanted to surprise her, not kill her!
She survived the surprise and it was a great night catching up with friends – some we hadn’t seen for years. Random Cafe provided the buffet and did us proud (obviously!) An exhausting evening from my point of view – who knew organising a surprise birthday party could be so stressful? but totally worth it.
So, before all the madness of yesterday evening, I took some time to go to the allotment and enjoy the peace and quiet. I can’t say I actually did much – a bit of weeding, a bit of pottering, but it was nice to have some time to myself before I started stressing about whether or not the party would go to plan.
I also spent a very peaceful afternoon on the plot today. There really isn’t very much to do at the moment, just waiting for everything to grow and be ready for harvest. I gave everything an extra long water today as it’s been very dry – thank you Michelle for letting me use your water as my water butt is almost completely empty due to no rain. I am very aware of the amount of weeds on the plot so I decided to make an effort to tackle them today. There always seems to be loads in the strawberry patch so I started there and pulled up a fair few. I ended up over by the pear and apple trees. I’ve had my eye on this bit for a while now. I completely cleared it a while back when I dug up all the brambles from behind the shed but lots of the weeds have grown back. Weirdly, I’m surprised by this. I think I may have the same attitude to weeds as I have to dust: namely, “I dealt with all this 6 weeks ago – do I have to do it again?!” But, of course, like dust weeds come back. So, this afternoon I found myself crawling around under the pear tree digging up stinging nettles, brambles and dandelions. I totally forgot to take any photos so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it looks better than it did.
Only a small harvest today of some cucamelons and a couple of strawberry/raspberries. The strawberry/raspberry plant has definitely yielded more fruit than the strawberry plant and it’s already produced 1 or 2 offshoots. However, despite not giving us much fruit, the strawberry plant has so many offshoots it’s almost doubled in size. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to stunt its growth but I’m going to have to find out before it takes over the whole plot!
One of the sunflowers has finally flowered! YAY! It’s taken its sweet time but we got there in the end. Still waiting for the other (smaller) one but neither of them had a great start so they’ve done well to survive. I have 2 rogue sunflowers in one of my window boxes at home. I say ‘rogue’ because I definitely didn’t plant them. I can only assume a couple of sunflower seeds from the bird feeder fell into the window box and germinated. Not sure if they’ll flower now as it’s very late for them but we’ll see.
The tomatoes seem to be stubbornly remaining green. Having pinched off a lot of unnecessary growth (and, accidentally, some necessary growth too! Currently on my kitchen windowsill in the hope they’ll ripen.) I have lots more fruit but none of it is turning red like it’s supposed to. I checked Michelle’s tomato plant today and lots of hers have turned red so I’m not giving up hope just yet.
I forgot to show you the shark (which is actually a pirhana) garden ornament Louis bought on our trip to Worthing. Both he and his grandma picked one up but ours has been in the boot of my car since we bought it – I keep forgetting to take it to the allotment. Today I remembered and it’s now in the ground next to the strawberry/raspberry plant and the chrysanthemum.
Rhubi needs to be harvested again but I haven’t used the last lot I harvested from her so I’m leaving her as she is for now.
I think I may have broken the spinach. It really doesn’t seem to be recovering. I gave it an extra long water today so I’ll have to see how it’s faired next time I’m there.
The pumpkins are looking great. There are a couple of big ones. I don’t want to pick any more for the time being as I still have 3 in the shed waiting to be brought home.
It’s the same for the potatoes. There’s still a whole row in the ground but I still have lots at home waiting to be used I don’t really want to add to the pile. I’m told they can stay in the ground for ages so that’s the plan.
I’m so pleased I followed Dan’s advice to deadhead the dahlias. Look how many more flowers we now have. Gorgeous!
Here’s how I left the plot this week. More weeding next week, I think.