Yesterday we visited Ryton Gardens for their Chilli Day and Exotic Crops Fair. While my son and husband took the chilli challenge and stocked up on hot sauces, I had a wander in the allotment garden, and was greatly inspired by the squash frame, above. You can actually walk underneath this squash tunnel, and there are beans growing up the other side. I am now trying to think up simple ways to replicate this on my allotment!
The lady who runs the allotment garden (and the bee garden) at Ryton came to our Annual Allotment BBQ last weekend to give us a talk on 'organic methods of pest control'. When she saw our bee garden (which is in its first year and looking a bit sparse) she promised us a box of divisions and seedlings from the bee garden at Ryton, and these I picked up and brought back yesterday. We will be extending the range of plants to include butterfly-friendly flowers, buddlieas, scabious etc. The numbers of peacocks on the buddlieas around our garden this year have been staggering. Now we are left with hundreds of pieces of wing all over the ground underneath!
|The Bee Garden in its first summer|
I have been busy making jam: blackcurrant, loganberry & blackberry, and plum. Also lots of blackberry sauce but I can't make any more jam until I get my hands on some more jam jars. Like most veg-growers we are having a glut of courgettes, and I have just attempted to make a courgette and chocolate cake, but unfortunately it's disgusting. Burnt on the outside and raw and soggy in the middle. I've never seen so many blackberries as I have this year: great big juicy ones too, even the wild ones.