Flowers…but not much else!

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything and lots has been happening on and off the plot. If you talk to any gardener at the moment they will probably tell you this year has been a bit of a funny one. Everything seems to be really slow if it’s growing at all. We’ve had unusually hot weather and not enough consistent rain which has confused everything. All this is to explain why I have almost nothing growing on the plot – getting my excuses in early!

Let’s start with something that is growing! The cucumbers. They got off to quite a slow start and I lost the first plant but they’ve had a bit of a growth spurt in the last few weeks and I’ve even had some cucumbers off them which is reassuring because I’d be really worried if they started producing aubergines! Cucumbers are one of those plants, along with courgettes that feel like the fruits just suddenly appear out of nowhere. One day you look and there’s nothing and you go back a few days later and there’s a fully grown cucumber.

The pumpkins are also doing really well all of a sudden. Again, they seemed to take ages to do anything at all and they’ve finally decided to grow. I have a fairly large fruit on there now and lots of flowers. Every time I visit the plot the plant has grown visibly and I have to wind it round the ladder which seems to be working really well this year.

We spent a few days in Leeds a couple of weeks ago, visiting my sister and her family. We spent most of the time relaxing in her garden but we did visit a garden centre one morning where I finally got round to buying some flowers for the plot – weird that it took a 4 hour drive to buy them but as we know if there’s a hard way to do something I’ll find it. I’m not even sure I can remember what I bought. I think one’s a geranium. I couldn’t decide where to plant them so they’ve been sitting in their pots since I brought them home. When I was on the plot this weekend I noticed one of them had started to flower so I felt I really needed to get them out of their pots. I decided the best place for them would be in the empty cauliflower bed. I’m hoping to move the gladioli there aswell and just make that a flowerbed.

Talking of flowers, the sweetpeas have finally flowered! I was almost losing hope this would ever happen. They seemed to be growing taller each week but with no flowers – so at long last we have flowers (which was sort of the point of planting them!)

This is clearly the week for flowers as there are also a few flowers on the strawberry plant – and we all know what flowers on the strawberry plant means – strawberries! Hopefully there’s still time for them to grow before the season’s over.

The purple sprouting brocolli is definitely not flowering or whatever purple sprouting brocolli does – sprouts? Anyway, it’s neither flowering nor sprouting which has been a massive disappointment as it seems to have survived being brutally attacked by anything with teeth since I planted it but all we have so far are lots of leaves and nothing else. Never mind, I’m not taking responsibility for this one as it’s been such a bad year for everything I’m simply going to blame the weather (tune in next year to see what I’m going to blame my terrible gardening skills on when next year’s brocolli still doesn’t grow! I’m joking of course, I won’t be growing flippin brocolli next year.)

More flowers – this time on one of the pepper plants but, surprise surprise no peppers. I really thought putting the cloche over them to create a mini greenhouse would help them grow but it doesn’t seem to have worked. Even if the flowers produce peppers now, it’s a bit late for them to have much growth and there’s definitely not time for them to turn red. So another disappointment this year.

I spent a couple of hours at the allotment yesterday afternoon – more to spend some time outside away from the flat, so I spent quite a lot of time just sitting in the sunshine watching the birds but as I was there I felt I should at least do something. I ended up clearing the far corner of the extension. If I’m honest it wasn’t a particular priority as the squashes have died (shocking I know!) so they don’t need the room but it gave me something to do and it looks much nicer now it’s done. I totally forgot to take any before photos, I guess because I didn’t really realise there was going to be an ‘after’ but you can see how much I cleared from the pile of cuttings I added to the compost.

So, here’s how I left the plot this week. No actual plans for next week – possibly doing some sort of plant growing dance round the plot to encourage the plants to do something – anything!

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