Spring came, then summer came for two days, and now we’re back to a chilly east wind. Everything is late. This actually suits my purposes because it turns out that childcare is a full-time job – who knew? – and with Matt busy on work projects and a wedding to organise I haven’t had chance to get on top of many allotmenting tasks.
Harry and I zoomed up the M6 to Liverpool during the warm spell to visit Matt, who was working on a show at the Bluecoat gallery. It felt good to get a taste of a different urban life for 24 hours.
I came back to a tulip patch bursting with colour. Just like last year I actually missed the optimum picking time – a day of 24c heat brought the buds unto full bloom – but these feel like a bonus harvest given that tulips are only meant to last for one season. The flowers are definitely smaller this year and look more than a little bashed – but something is better than nothing and I gratefully cut a few handfuls of clashing stems.
With Harry distracted in his walker and waving his favourite wooden spoon around, I try to crack on with more seed sowing and potting on. My sunflowers have germinated well but – as ever – resemble wiggly worms in the way they have grown; leggy and at weird angles. This happens every year and they still come good, so I am not too worried. The last few weeks’ and days’ enterprises include:
Sowing: more sweet peas, perpetual spinach, blue and pink clary, pink limonium, bells of Ireland
Potting on: Sunflowers, tomatoes, borage, courgette, squash
Hardening off and planting out: Last year’s chrysanths, broad beans, sweet peas, runner beans, climbing beans, borlotti beans
Coming along: zinnia, cosmos, chard, fennel, dill, heartsease viola, cleome, lettuces, cornflower, nigella
Desperate for attention: the hops, as ever, in need of the hopolisk!
Eating: Asparagus but only that in Worcestershire farmshops; the Birmingham stuff is still from Peru
Also… Wedding food, invites, outfits & flowers, all basically an excuse for spending too much time on Instagram