Monday, 8 May 2023

Wildflowers near where I live

For the past couple of years we have been getting more interested in identifying wildflowers when out and about on walks and cycle rides. There's so much to learn and so much that we think we overlooked before!

In order, these picture are of Bugle, Cowslips, Bluebells and Lesser Celandines and Wood Anemone. 

The Lesser Celandines in particular have been all over the place this year, big areas of them, even some by the A64 along with Danish Scurvy Grass and now the first Red and White Campions coming through. 

Allotment Update

It has been some time since the last blog, I really ought to keep up to it! One of the things I have been doing quite a bit of recently is recording sightings of various species on iRecord which is a fantastic resource, like iNaturalist and BirdForum for recording sightings. Another app I have been using is PictureThis which, although not perfect, does get most things right or at least lead one to the right species or family. 

Anyway, on to the allotment. This Spring has been quite cool. This has been good for stored fruit and vegetables from last year such as apples and onions but not good for getting new crops going! 

The blossom on the Conference and Comice pear trees.
The blueberries have had plenty of blossom too!

I do wonder whether the apple trees will produce quite as many apples this year, but they do have plenty of blossom and look really lovely. 
This is a mixture of overwintered onions and garlic and this year's onion sets. Leeks are starting to pop up in the patch at the rear. Also in this area, out of shot, are rows of parsnip seeds and spring onions. 

Although it has been cool, there's has hardly been any late frosts, just a small number of nights where I have had to cover over the potatoes and fruit trees to protect them from damage. 

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Winter Protection in the Allotment

 Many of the plants in the allotment are winter hardy - the fruit trees and bushes shut down for winter and vegetables like parsnips and leeks will be fine in cold weather. However, a few of our plants do need a little bit of extra protection at this time of year. 

This is our Mayer Lemon tree. It used to live in our house but was always getting plagued by scale insect but we found that after a few weeks one summer at the allotment it started being healthy and there were no scale insects. There is always something to eat the bugs!

But, it needs to be kept warm over winter, even though it is in the part of the allotment that gets the most sun with a hedge protecting it for the north wind. 

So, it gets well wrapped up in bubble wrap and with a mulch of straw for the winter!

The blueberries have been weeded and given a mulch of straw. They are getting rather too big for the cage so I am going to dig out some more earth in the base and so the pots will sit deeper nto the ground for this coming year. Ultimately we may need a bigger cage! 

These are our carrots. The tyres provide insulation and protection from carrot flies, and a mulch of straw keeps the tops of the carrots away from frost.