Friday, July 09, 2010


It's 36'C and sunny here in Arnhem. I'm Scottish. I don't do 36'C, not for three days on the trot so far and set to last till next Tuesday when it goes down to a more civillised (but still too hot) mid twenties. It's too hot to knit, to spin, to sightsee, to cycle, to sit outside or inside the tent, to eat. I am melting. And people actually go on holiday in search of weather like this???????

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Farewell and enjoy the view.

Time has run out...I'm off on holiday tomorrow. We're going to Europe...the Netherlands, Belgium and France...for a month of camping in the old trailer tent.

I did intend to take some photos of What I Did at Woolfest but really, I've been too busy packing and at the allotment. So instead (and especially for Jean) here's some pictures of the allotment instead.

Overview for July.

Different crops...sweetcorn (Yes, in Scotland!) and the courgette/squash bed behind. I grow these through black membrane to suppress the weeds and to keep the soil as warm as possible. The hose arrangement is "leaky" semi-permeable couple the main hose up to it and the bed gets watered at base level. Otherwise with courgettes and sweetcorn a lot of sprayed on water would get trapped on the foliage and wasted.

Yellow onions, with strawberries and potatoes behind.

Broad beans.

Gooseberries and apples. This is a family apple tree, with three varieties grafted onto one trunk. It cost me 50p at Woolworths a few years ago!

Crops...this is the first of the early garlic. It's been a good year for garlic. It likes a bit of sun.

New potatoes International Kidney, otherwise known as Jersey Royals if you grow them in Jersey. Plus two varieties of strawberry.

Red hairless gooseberries. They still have spines on the plant though.

I do sometimes get asked if I grow anything other than fruit and veg on the allotment. Well yes, I do have some flowers but they're more tucked into corners than grown as a focus. Still they do provide some colour.

Roses. This was a nameless one out of the garden centre reduced to clear box.

Clematis...a Montana species. This covers the trellis between the end of my allotment and the communal barbecue area.

Volunteer poppies. I pull up the common red ones but I like these ones so much I spare them. They're very prolific however so I may have to start culling them soon!

Californian Poppies. These also self seed everywhere but the hover flies and bees love them, so they're useful.

Not exactly a flower but a self seeded onion. I let these stay if they're not in an inconvenient place because they're fun to look at. This is a Welsh Bunching Onion.

The Shed, just to show you that I do tidy it up sometimes. Yes, these are slug pellets on the shelf at the back. I'm mostly an organic gardener but I'm also a pragmatic one.

And finally, everyone needs to end a long blog post with a picture of a Cute Animal. This is a Ouessant lamb that was the most popular sheep at's about the size of a small cat. It's being hand reared and will live with a small flock on a childrens zoo down south somewhere. Ouessants are true miniature sheep, not dwarves.