bean feast

fresh Czar & Borlotti beans, with aromatics : carrots, onion, garlic, sage, bay and rosemary – all from the huerto
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Time to clear the broad beans to make space for the winter kales that have been growing on in the greenhouse. Surprising how long it all takes, but very satisfying to go from a post-productive, weedy and dead leaf covered bean patch to a neat butterfly-proofed brassica bed.

old broad beans (celeriac in front)
old broad bean plants chopped and composted
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Rose de Roscoff onions, Sunshine beans & early autumn raspberries
Red Baron, Snowball, Garlic & Setton drying in the greenhouse

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…an hour later…
bon appétit!
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roses and a peony

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busy times

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harvest of PSB, flower sprout shoots and what’s left of a slugged January King cabbage
L-R: Chicory Variegato di Castelfranco, yellow and pink chard, beetroot (boltardy, golden and chioggia), newly pricked out Little Gem & Great Lakes lettuce. In plot beyond, onions under fleece, Bunyards Exhibition broad beans and Northern Lights leeks
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surrogate flowers

Recent displacement activity, missing both skiing and flowers, I knitted a cashmere ski hat with a flowery motif. Good diversion while waiting for the garden to wake up 🙂

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midwinter pickings

So few grains of happiness

measured against all the dark

and still the scales balance.

Jane Hirshfield
Kohl rabi (varieties Gigant & Azur Blue), Florence fennel (Rondo), parsnips (Tender & True), radiccio, a rather slugged January King cabbage, yet more chillies, flower sprouts, thyme and a couple of branches of bay.
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gage tree and brassicas

The Old Gage tree I planted 2 years ago mysteriously started to die just as it was in the full glory of spring blossoming – an ominous harbinger, though we didn’t know it yet, of the year to come. On investigation, it turned out that the council strimmer had been a bit over-zealous and had damaged the bark just above ground level. Anyway, I have now just planted a replacement Oullins Golden Gage, and the council have kindly provided a protective guard so hopefully this one will thrive.

strimmer damage
newly planted Oullins Golden Gage – snowdrops also planted at its base

The brassicas are doing well, various kales, PSB and trying purple cauliflower Graffitti for the first time, along with flower sprouts and brussels sprouts. All need protection from the voracious pigeons who have shredded the red and yellow chard.

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May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide you all the way on

*Mike Heron – The Incredible String Band (1968)

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easy allotment supper

And here below is today’s harvest, all looking good apart from the gnarly carrots which, although the root flies got to them, still taste lovely – excellent for soffritto base.

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rosy posy

Absurdly flamboyant dahlia, with roses Boscobel, Champagne Moment and Chandos Beauty
And Sommer Aster + sunflower from seed bought from Copenhagen Seeds
Ushiki Kuri squash – took ages to get going but lots of fruit coming now
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july smiles

the rose is Uncle Walter, remembering dear friend Walter Cairns, late Literature Director of the Scottish Arts Council
sunflower from Copehhagen Seeds
onion harvest (rose de Roscoff) and newly seeded lettuce, endive and radish
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high dry summer

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grow grow grow

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