Monday, July 31, 2017

King crimson

Autumn in the air for a while now and with it, the deep crimson of a gladioli; much less blousey than the pink and peach-coloured ones. The orange crocosmia spreads like fire despite the rain showers.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Late earlies

Late to be harvesting early potatoes, but the cold start to the season held them back. Without watering them through the drought, they wouldn't have grown to this size. For once, no sign of wireworm or blemishes on any of them.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

BoJo tassle

Most, but not all of the sweetcorn plants have formed cobs, with tassles like unruly haircuts - BoJo? Sometimes, tapping the pollen from the flowers helps, though it's been windy enough for nature to take care of that. Perhaps a little too wet and windy.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The kitchen beckons

Runner bean plants are still climbing, quickly producing pods that dangle hopefully in their efforts to return to earth and start again - but the kitchen beckons.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


The hot spell earlier in the year is now just a distant memory, like summers of youth. Torrential downpours have left everything soaked and near gale force winds have battered and blown over tall plants. 'At least you won't have to water the allotment', they say, not realising that that's part of the fun of it. After waiting in the wings, snails and slugs make the most of the damp, seeking out seedlings and horizontal sunflowers. Badgers dig more easily in the wet turf and soil, finding worms and crane fly larvae and not replacing their divots: worse, one took out an entire small crop of carrots, easily pushing aside some chicken wire. They'll be back for the sweetcorn before long.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blooming Norah

Despite the phlox seedlings being nibbled by mice a couple of months ago, most of them survived and are now in bloom. This one might be 'Norah Leigh'.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Some like it swampy

Torrential rain for most of the day; not so good for insects and delicate blooms but the celery can't get enough of it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Black gold

                Entering the rudbeckia and sunflower season.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sunshine & showers

                  Sunshine and showers bring out the gladioli.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dianthus caryophyllus

Carnations blooming in their second year, still smelling deliciously of cloves and honey.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pumps away

         Pumpkin, propped up on a brick for protection and warmth.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lily-like Funk

Surprised by the emergence of this hosta flower, looking lily-like and emitting a similar perfume. Turns out that they're also known as plantain lilies and Funkia, in honour of botanist Heinrich Funk.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cluster lilies

The cluster lilies, aka Brodiaea have appreciated the warm dry weather this year (what/who hasn't?) but are nearly over.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Leek honey

                          Honey bees love these flowering leeks

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Polygonia c-album

             A fancy name for the common Comma butterfly.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stenurella melanura

Today's insect on the alium is a Stenurella melanura longhorn beetle.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cetonia aurata

      A rose chafer beetle feasting on pollen on a flowering leek.

Sunday, July 09, 2017


                                Damselflies still busy at it.

Friday, July 07, 2017

5 a day

                       Soft fruit overlap. Jam experiments.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Broad fit for first test

Entering the broad bean season on the day of the first Test at Lord's.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

It's been a good year for ...

Helichrysum italicum aka the curry plant, enjoying its best year yet.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Plat du jour

Just as the main pea harvest is over, the cobra/french/climbing beans are coming into season. Unlike peas and broad beans, they don't freeze very well, so lots will be eaten fresh this week.

Saturday, July 01, 2017


     Difficult to tell pumpkins, courgettes and butternut squash apart.