We're home from our holiday in Cornwall. The first thing I did before even unlocking the door was to have a quick glance around the garden, it was like a jungle, everything's grown so much whilst we were away. It didn't look good, the worst thing was the grass, so overgrown, but Mick's been out with the mower this morning so it's looking slightly better now.
I'd love to say that everything in the garden was rosy on our return, but unfortunately, it wasn't. My garden helper is a flower gardener rather than a vegetable grower so I can forgive her not pinching out my tomatoes, at least they were alive and thriving, but I've given them a good tidy up today. The first few tomatoes are now ripening.
The cucumbers had grown to gigantic proportions. My helper didn't realise that they are mini cucumbers and that she should have helped herself to them. Most of the Crystal Lemon cucumbers should be ok though, they're being passed on to my dad as he enjoyed them very much last year.
I was impressed with the fact that I'd remembered to sow my biennials this year. I was going to have a riot of colour at the allotment next year with beautiful wallflowers and sweet williams but alas, they are no more, they've been well and truly fried. Perhaps I'm not too late if I sow more now.
Not everything is doom and gloom, I haven't missed the blueberries ripening, they're just on the turn now.
The plums too are just starting to ripen.
The apples have grown whilst we were away. This is Gloster, a red variety. The Golden Delicious isn't looking too delicious at the moment, I'll have to see how it goes on.
Everything at the allotment was at the mercy of the elements as I didn't have anyone to look after things there. We popped down today and the weeds took our breath away, we'll have to put some serious time in to get things back under control. We did get a surprise as we looked beyond the weeds though, these beautiful poppies are popping up in the potato bed. Apparently, Mick's been pulling them out as he thought they were weeds, I've told him to leave them be now, a welcome sight amongst all the green foliage.
One thing we were expecting was the courgettes to have grown to comedic sizes and they didn't disappoint. I'd usually stuff them and use them like marrows if I miss harvesting them at the size they should be, but I think they're too far gone for that even.
The One Ball courgette variety are ok though, we've caught them just in time before they start ballooning.
The onions are looking good, just about ready for harvesting as their foliage is starting to topple. I think I've even managed some red onions this year, that'll be a first.
I planted four different varieties of beans this year, St George runner beans, Cobra, Blue Lake and Purple Cascade French beans. The slugs had a field day with them so I resowed all four and Mick planted them out two days before we went on holiday. The runner beans and the Purple Cascade French beans had hardly been touched by the slugs but the Cobra and Blue Lake had been decimated. We checked on the newly planted beans and the same has happened again, the slugs must enjoy green French beans more than runner beans or purple French beans. The first sowing of runner beans have done well and are now covered in flowers and tiny beans, they'll be ready for picking in days, and the second wigwam which Mick planted up will prolong the harvest.
The Purple Cascade beans were ready for harvesting today. We shall have some with our dinner tomorrow and some are going to my mum and dad's, I'm not sure what they'll think of purple beans.
We dug some potatoes up from the allotment today and I'm thrilled to say that not one had any slug damage. Perhaps we'll be able to do away with all the containers we grow them in and grow them at the plot now. The spuds we grew on our last plot were so riddled with slug damage that we gave up growing them there and decided to just grow them in containers, so this is a great result. I didn't mean to dig up any Pink Fir Apple yet, they're a maincrop variety so I was going to leave them a bit longer but I obviously haven't labelled the rows very well. Here we have Anya on the left, Pink Fir Apple above centre and Arran Pilot on the right. The Arran Pilots are going to my mum and dad, there's plenty of the other two to last us this week.
It's always worrying leaving the garden when going away on holiday, but I'm appreciative of someone helping me out and the odd disaster isn't the end of the world. There's definitely good things to come.
It's Swap Time 2016 - If you've joined in with my Twelve Days Of Christmas 2016 swap, then your parcels should be posted off no later than tomorrow. I've got two swap partners ...
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