Thursday, 21 July 2011

Update from Canford E (or A new enemy at the allotment)

Been a while but busy, busy with the growing season in full swing.  Have been growing big patches of poppies  to collect seed heads for the heart willow wreaths we will be making for the Christmas season.  Also growing  Cyperus glaber for the first time which should give us something new to take to the workshops we are running this year - Saturday 10th December with Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project at Bristol Zoo making fireplace and staircase garlands - with a walk and talk about the history and folklore of Christmas foliage, and two over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th December in the Potting Shed at The University of Bristol Botanic Garden.  Booking details are on the greengarland website.  Really looking forward to those.

Canford E July 2011

All that talk of a summer like the one in 1976 seems like a very distant memory now.  We did have a very, very dry spring (like 2010) and, like 2010, it looks like its going to be followed by a wet summer.  The Canford gardeners are now standing around just WAITING for the blight to arrive - the conditions are just perfect.  We have been distracted slightly from worrying over our potatoes and tomatoes tho' by a new enemy - not seen around these allotments certainly since we took our first half  plot some five years ago.  Rabbits!  So we are busy building rabbit defences in order that we can grow the carrots to a size where if the carrot fly doesn't get them, bugs bunny doesn't eat all the top growth, the badgers will dig them up, eat a few and toss the rest around, munching all our sweetcorn on the way back to the sett nearby. Pah.

Hard to stay grumpy there for long.  It's light at 4.30 and still light at 10 so if you can bear the  biting insects at those times of the day it is a lovely place to hang out, do a bit of weeding, more planting of beetroot carrots and lettuces, and come back with baskets loads of lovely fresh berries for jam making, boxes of fresh veg for the kitchen and loads and loads of lovely flowers for the house.   Is all that hard work worth it ? You bet. Love it, love it, love it.....