Almost a month ago (where does the time go!) we went on our annual summer holiday down to Cornwall. This year we were blessed with sunshine for ten whole days! Ten whole days of long beach walks, collecting pebbles and shells, wildflowers, ice cream, hikes, bike rides, national trust visits and lashings of cream teas. One thing I particularly enjoy is a visit to a kitchen garden, bit like a busman’s holiday I suppose! For the last couple of years one place has been on our list of places to go, but, we just never quite make it there, The Potager Garden and Glasshouse Cafe. This year we made a special effort to get there.
Last Sunday, 1st September was our allotment sites annual show. Held every year as a joint event with the NGS gardens for charity open day, however this year was to be a little bit different to previous years. All thanks to two of our plot holders featuring on no less than Gardeners World! It’s not the first time our plots have featured on television, Nigel Slater came and filmed for his Simple Suppers series, but that was sadly before our time. This time however the camera crews had came to film a special couple, George & Serge who have a special allotment plot which won them an award of merit from the ‘Gardening against the odds’ award. Their plot is gorgeous, part English country garden, part Potager and part sculpture garden. It really is beautiful. So thanks to their feature on Gardner’s World (Friday 25th August) and an advertisement of the show by no less than Monty Don himself, the show was a hit, attracting some 700 visitors to see Serge & George, take in the exhibits, tour the site and enjoy homemade cake and teas.
Continue reading “Oranges & Lemons. Colours of plot 18a #1”
If I was to pick just one jam to take away to a desert island (or should that be dessert island!), it would be strawberry. I adore it. It peps up my porridge in winter, the jewel on the crown of a cream tea, essential for a Victoria sponge and who would say no to simple strawberry jam sandwich? And whats more its dead easy to make, virtually makes itself. The varieties we have in our strawberry patch are a mix of ‘Cambridge Favourite’, ‘Florence’ and an everbearer ‘Albion’. ‘Florence’ are my favourites. They are a lovely big mid-season strawberry, dark red all the way through. The plant is large and bushy and hold their fruits high but also disguising them from foe.
Continue reading “Straw-mendous Strawberry Jam”
Forgive me, I’ve hardly blogged about the plot this summer. Recent weather aside (it’s a wet and windy Saturday afternoon as I write this), it’s a been a glorious summer and to be honest with you, we’ve just been so busy enjoying it down 18a. After a unseasonable cool start to the season full of worry whether we would ever get any kind of crop going, we approach the end of the growing season with a bumper crop of unexpected allotment loveliness. After a rather crappy first 6 months of 2013 for myself personally, the allotment and the abundance of nature there have helped me overcome my blues and banish my little rain clouds. So what’s been going on down 18a? Well let’s see…
Continue reading “Bountiful. A review of the season (so far…)”
This morning I found myself in a baking mood. Only having 2 eggs in the fridge, that old baking quandary, a batch of fairy cakes was in order. Note I call them fairy cakes and NOT cupcakes. Wikipedia refers to the Fairy Cake as the English version of Cupcakes, how very dare you sir! Fairy Cakes are as British as a cup of tea on a summers day or a rainy bank holiday. Continue reading “Bringing back the Fairy Cake: Blackcurrant and Lemon Fairy Cakes”
Oh my days we’ve had a lot of blackberries this year! One of the best things about our plot is the fabulous thornless Blackberries we inherited when we took the plot over. I don’t know what variety they are, though plot neighbours guess at ‘black satin’ or ‘black lace’ (what the 80s pop group?). But I’ve found little reference to either commercially. Whatever their name they are fruit superstars at 18a! They fruit their little socks off from mid-late July right through to the frosts. And boy are these beauties prolific! With 4 plants and around 13 canes between them they keep us occupied picking, eating, freezing and jamming for weeks. Continue reading “The Blackberry Bonanza! – A glut of Blackberries”