1940s planting leaflet sold and 2 scarce button badges sold
WW2 Battle for Bread 1946 button badge £20
1940s Voluntary Land Company enamelled badge £55
This new post (2019) marks our plot no.51B
AFTER THE STORM... NOVEMBER 3 2023
first photo is Martin's shed and 2nd photo is our plot with the remaining sunflower still standing!!!
end of (hot) summer 2023
last harvest of French beans for September
all potatoes and onions stored away.
(Asian hornet alert in Kent for the first year)
late April 2023
Paul strims before the storm
apple blossom and wild strawbs (great at keeping ground weedfree too)
olive tree and rhubarb
and with my Rollei 35S...
late September 2022 (after solstice)
clusters of discovery apples
photos taken in June with film camera Rollei 35S
Mid July 2022
hottest day of the year 19.07.22
middle photo is our favourite produce - cupidon dwarf French beans
June summer soltice has been
and bee corner is empty - but a lovely sheltered relaxing corner now!
P in his customary allotment position!
super photo by Alice Minney using large format camera (May 2022 )
the Maris Pipers and sturton and turbo onion sets are now planted...
Easter weekend was unseasonably warm
APRIL 2022 - WE ARE READY!
Bees have had their varroa treatment and are snug now
in their new home with Mira.
My beekeeping has come to an end for the time keeping,
but has been a fascinating experience.
To anybody considering keeping bees - it can take over your life,
in a wonderful way, but you need time and space without neighbours
too close by, who can stress beekeeper and bees alike!
An experienced mentor is also a great help.
The equipment can be costly too, so there is lots to consider.
Bees insulated in readiness for winter - snug
last carrots and fennel harvested.
pomegranate given some Tuscan straw - thankyou Jo.
Indian summer and late nectar flow have resulted in bees 'going for gold'
Nothing is as straightforward! This wild comb on eke will be scraped up
and given back to the bees.
August into September
what a difference one month makes...
bees doing fine, but not much honey, so will need to feed them
to boost winter stores.
Meanwhile, the cucumbers have excelled as have courgettes of course and late French beans
not sure what is going on with sunflower triffids?
as beekeeping is now on the 'cool' list together with 'wild swimming'... I would like to just point out that the honey bee population
is apparently doing fine in the UK.
The problem for the future may well be finding enough nectar and pollen from flowering plants and particularly those that have
not been sprayed with pesticides, so all those bees on city rooves will be competing for food?
June - Summer? solstice and plants and potatoes in flower,
broad beans and rhubarb good to pick.
onions and sweetcorn coming on well, French beans, courgettes
and cucumbers only just getting going.
Meanwhile in bee corner - due to weather conditions, ie. rain and more rain,
we are feeding a bit of sugar syrup...
June 6th and the bees are IN...
next week's inspection to see if Queen is laying.
Meanwhile, on the plot, after a late start, the French beans are starting to emerge,
and soon we shall be harvesting broadbeans hopefully.
From now on... no more bug sprays so blackfly will have to be controlled by soapy water!
end of May - unseasonal weather changes.
Nuc of bees decided to swarm when the incessant cold rainy weather
turned into summer sun overnight - the minxes!
and I missed the drama, but our bee mentor Isabelle has saved the small colony.
MAY 16 2021
THE BEES HAVE ARRIVED!
they will sit in the spot to adjust their GPS to new location before moving into the hive
will have to trim the olive tree back a bit, the bees are not flying straight out of the hive as anticipated, probably put off by low straggling branches,
but they have weathered the May storms and are happy and thriving .
MARCH 2021 (still in lockdown)
Sanjeev, Diego and Natalie
(january sleep - not our plot)
our gnomes - they have 'been around the world' and back
DECEMBER 2020 (from TIER 4 LOCKDOWN)
last compost dropoff before Christmas
winter olives in Kent
pomegranates with some tuscan insulation
October 2020 (2nd lockdown imminent)
pre-slumber September 2020
August 2020 - HOT as the South of France
how long is a french bean?
March 2020 - Day one of lockdown!
preparing the ground...
The shed has been weatherproofed.
The ground is prepared - potatoes and onions now planted, rhubarb thriving
October 2019 - two photos taken with my Rolleiflex -T
never been tidier.... practically lunar
Deapite the endless bounty of courgettes that we gave away during August,
we were perplexed and disappointed to receive a standard warning letter,from the town council, in September,
notifying us that our plot appeared 'neglected and uncultivated'!!! You can imagine our response.
the great courgette giveaway 2019...
the great prune...!
wierdly mild weather and leaves still on bramley apple tree.
this year, the two pomegranates receive Joana's Tuscan straw blanket.
hot hot hot.... in fact the hottest summer since those carefree student days of 1976!
Best crop this year are the Franchi seed cornichons, which have turned into very sweet tasting cucumbers
late start for plants due to inclement weather! But we are on track now... although pomegranate may be a casualty, we shall see.
and olives doing well. Just ordered pomegranate tree as an experiment.
the annual picnic was great, despite K disturbing wasp's nest in the bottom of compost bin,
and after multiple stings is on antibiotics!
and thankyou Joana for organic Italian straw which now surrounds our primeval rhubarb...
Our olive trees are thriving - Kent is the New Tuscany dontcha know?
The colours here have NOT been tweeked at all. (small original olive plant bought from Folkestone market can be seen up the page)
October 2016 - ready for hibernation...
our produce August 2016
Summer Plot Party August 7 2016 - thankyou once again to Ann & Laurence
Our allotment association has a website too - see here
Archive of photos from our beginnings.....
and this is the allotment in 2006
autumn 2007 ready to start again....
+ some exciting produce.
Paul keeps saying that 'Kent is the new Tuscany'!
this is an olive tree by the way.
disaster strikes March 10th 2008 - the shed crumples
don't worry by Easter we shall be up and running again....
here it is as good as new, thanks to Colin and Dave who lent Paul a hand.
another new year and lots to do......
lovely apple blossom this year
June 2008 - mostly flowers so far
It is now mid August 2008 and this year we have had a glut of courgettes
- best recipe so far is sliced in chilli tempura batter!
meanwhile, here are some mystery beans - they started off as dwarf beans
but we left them as they were a bit stringy and this is what popped out.
I think they are a sort of 'borlotti' bean and so will try them cooked up.
a whole new season begins...
The Leviathan arrives...
It measures 22"/53cms. long and weighs in at 4.195kg.
This started as a courgette but we were away for a few days and came back to this!
the forget-me-nots have died down now and have made way for the lavender.
we have two apple trees, one is a bramley and one is an eating apple - cannot remember what!
there is also an ancient quince tree near the stream.
We are keen to get some beehives on the allotments (January - one has appeared)
onions have been spectacular
I am learning to string them up...
just visited plot since the harsh snowy winter - all seems fine!
Broad beans planted in November have sprouted and should be more resistent to pests - hmm.
Just pruned apple trees- some useful videos on the web to show how to do it!
looking forward to Paul's Easter hols so we can start digging.
Here is a link to IWM clip - it is potato planting season!
Easter Monday - ready for rotovating, but ground still pretty wet.
Here's Rosie who comes with her owner to the allotment.
She is waiting for me to throw her toy,
and only steps on the paths between plots!
this pot of pansies has been flowering all through the winter and still going...
april 2010 - apple blossom looking good.
the only casualties of the ice and snow earlier this year has been the mimosa ( of course it comes from the Med!)
and maybe the buddleia. Rhubarb is excellent.
everything bursting out now - some photos soon....
a querie - loads of tough looking ladybirds are congregating on the shoots and buds of the apple trees,
and leaves are curling in disgust. Not sure what to do, as I previously thought ladybirds were a good thing.
Just been told by seasoned gardener friend that these 7-spot ladybirds are bad news, north american intruders
that eat our native ones - she said 'squash 'em!'
first harvest of beautiful lettuce, and onions that had bolted.
a perfect antidote to today's exit from the World Cup
I've just planted a hollyhock plant that has germinated from a 'stolen' seedpod from Darwin's Downe House, (not sure where that is!)
think that is actually comfrey next to the foxglove - good for compost we hear.
broad beans have been excellent this year.
july/august 2010 courgettes, cucumbers, French beans - excellent, aubergine being eaten by pest.
wasp nest in shed sorted by town council - hooray.
just dug up loads of onions to stop them rotting in the rainfall this week...
Paul enjoys using the hose anytime!
cucumber plant frond - they have gone mad in the rain
2011 - and here we are again
30 bags of compost and some fine rotavating later - we are ready to go!
sturton onions, arran pilot potatoes now in the ground, rhubarb flourishing.
The allotment Tsar has installed a water trough at the bottom of our plot - fantastic help!
Our nearby Gurkhas will be delighted as they have a wonderful way of irrigating their plot,
by throwing buckets of water across the crops and repeating this when it has soaked through,
all pretty labour intensive.
comfrey excellent for bees.
Everything is popping up now.
We have had great broad beans, the artichoke plant has gone mad ( see photo).
NB. globe artichoke plants only last 3 years. Apparently you have to take
runners offand replant in the spring.
Even some raspberries have appeared which have been quickly eaten on the hoof.
Not sure how to thin out carrots which can be seen in this photo.
Our soil is now
looking the business, with bits of grit - it is much easier to weed. I have an African
tool, which I bought online which is truly excellent for weeding, called an 'azada'? (bought from Get Digging)
The courgettes have been good, tomatoes very slow this year, and cucumber plant drowned.
A new thin stringless French green bean, called Cupidon, which we sourced from The Real Seed Catalogue
has produced some stocky little 'dwarf' plants ( they don't seem keen to climb up canes so not showy! ),
but with really excellent beans -
these are stocky bushy dwarf plants packed with delicious stringless cupidon french beans.
july 24th 2011
digging up potatoes before the slugs get to them
and laying out onions to dry.
Harris loved vegetation of all sorts - a fine lettuce and a fine animal.
Our new pair Lundy and Mardy like nothing better than sport with peas or beans.
the last artichoke of the season
so far excellent rhubarb.
compost has been added and ground rotovated by easter w/e - potatoes chitting.
hoping we haven't over pruned the bramley apple tree? (It's absolutely fine - June note)
Spot our new bird feeder, filled with sunflower seeds.
lots of good stuff now appearing - a bit later than planned due to wet/windy weather!
Here is some lettuce, artichoke on the bonnet of our renault 4, and Paul changing his footwear.
July 2012 onions turned over ready for drying out and maris piper potatoes being harvested before snails and slugs - best crop yet.
French beans are ripening well.. Bloomin marrows........
allotment chums decided that our onions were 'best in show' this year - which amazed us!
and here are our first beetroots - what a wopper! ( if you want a good borscht recipe, email Karen)
IT'S A NEW YEAR 2013...
AND OUR FIRST DAY BACK AT THE PLOT - APRIL 8TH ( as you all know it has been a blooming mad season until now ?
rhubarb is the first to appear, broad beans planted in December are growing and the olive bushes survived the inclement frosts and are now unfurling.
tarragon bush flowering into a bejewelled ball.
we are about a month behind this year due to weather but broad beans are flourishing and should be ready by end of June!
June 2013. Fabulous pair of robins found nesting in flowerpots (centre photo) and on patrol on two posts if you look carefully.
and Paul is resting!
August 2013 - the plant of the year so far is the cucumber - delicious and plentiful,
closely followed by beans and courgettes.
a very jolly time was had at this year's allotment picnic. - many thanks to Lawrence and Anne.
Paul happy with his improvements to the 'Merry Tiller'!
September 2013 - much cooler now, but Pattison Blanc (Patty Pan) squash thriving.
now to find out how to cook it! We've given quite a few away, so waiting to hear what folk have done with them.
and shed now weatherproofed hopefully,
JANUARY 2014 - HAPPY NEW YEAR
WET WET WET
We have just tried putting some artichoke seeds in germinating pots under a cloche at home,
shoots just appearing in a few pots - excellent. I bought the packet at Camisa's fab Italian deli
in Old Compton Street, must be good eh?
Still pretty soggy ground, but rhubarb plant very content as are lovely Tom and Britney
(recieving some fronds)
nearly Easter 2014 and Paul started his holidays from college with the visit to the plot - digging going well.
excited by this activity, I have ordered Maris Pipers from Martins in Cheriton and they have excellent plug
plants later on. The only thing I order outside of our local supplier is Cupidon filet green bean from Real Seed Company- simply the best.
But Real Seed Company have been so inundated with orders that their online shop is shut until March 29th!
- hope they don't sell out... ordered now!
PS. ALSO the cucumber seeds were spectacular 2014 ( see below)
Paul has been digging during his Easter break... good boy!
Paul stops for lunch - Easter this w/e and potatoes, onions, beans shallots now in the ground.
Karen uses gurkha technique for breaking up the earth. (sun visor is not stylish I know but it is very practical!)
June -Marigolds self seeding so pleased I didn't think they were weeds. French beans are being nibbled by something this year, but artichokes and broad beans looking good and feeling fine.
Compare and contrast
the first photo is a view of our flourishing but slightly chaotic plot and the second is the fantastic ghurka construction next door
Andy the cockerel and his harem. Spectacular beetle bottle green tail feathers that would grace any military helmet.
What a charmed life thanks to Ann and Laurence.
spectacular crop of cucumbers - now I need an easy pickling recipe. - thanks to Cathy Holliday, I have now pickled for a day!
Karen was asked to judge window box competition.
As in 1930s Bermondsey, free boxes were distributed around Folkestone.
The standard was high - hopefully
this can become an annual event.
'War on Slugs' winner St Johns Rd. Folkestone
pruning apple trees was the priority with our scary Japanese saw
( a bizarre yet very useful and efficient present from K's lovely 80+ year old stepmum )
Paul surveys our work.
Cucumbers - a French variety from Real Seed Company has provided masses of deeeelicious cucs.
The self seeded marigolds ran riot and slightly suffocated our onions this year, so they need to be culled next year.
APRIL 2016 - ANOTHER NEW SEASON
Paul tilling away merrily on the new improved 'merry tiller'. And I love old edging tiles - this is all we have.
Laurence surveys his work
June waiting for broad beans