Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sunshine in Cork!

 Sunshine has finally come our way after record breaking  rainfall and a so far dismal summer.Not much news from the allotment as we have not been there a lot of the time apart from watering the greenhouse.                             Today I had to go into the city, not a very lengthy journey ( 10 mins by car)but I am allergic to traffic jams, trying to get parking etc so only venture in when I have to!   The city fathers are dealing with cutbacks in funding from central  government but the flower displays around the city are stunning.These petunia towers looked fantastic near the river with our City hall in the background                                                        

In the garden this afternoon, I spotted this lupin coming through the greenery.I had forgotten all about it, it was bought last year at Bloom in Dublin and spent the winter languishing in its pot.It is Lupin Manhattan Lights

While inspecting the above I also spied this bare green spike and discovered it is another lupin spike of the same flower denuded of its buds by slugs!They have been out in force in the humid wet conditions of the last few weeks.

Next to my garden bench is a pot of petunias, fuchsias and lilies, all bought cheaply as tiny plug plants in Aldi. My cheerful Buddha seems to be enjoying the sun too and warming his wobbly bits!
So summer colour is coming into the garden which is recovering after the hen invasion of last year.
They are still in their enclosure at the end of the garden and I leave them out for a wander now and then when I can stay out to shoo them out of the flower beds!
Slugs, snails and rabbits have been busy out in the allotment and what the blight and bad weather have not damaged  they have.
We had to pull all of our onions as they were starting to rot from the continued wet and cold.We salvaged most of them and they are drying in the greenhouse.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hydro Allotments at Mallow Homes & Garden Festival

 It is the third year we have been invited to make a garden for the Mallow festival, a big event on the gardeners calender in the south.We have had very heavy rains and our whole site had to be covered with bark mulch.It was not just a 'show' garden visitors came in and walked around and asked questions about the allotments and produce.
Some of the veg which was grown in the garden school beds.

 We had a shed, Angela cooked up some delicious food on a camping gas stove for us each day.We had nettle soup,banana bread, courgette cake, baked ham with new potatoes and this afternoon Zwena was making a nettle tea!
One of the raised beds which were made,painted and filled onsite
We  erected a picket fence to surround the garden, there were happy hens in an ark and they  laid eggs each day and  children were fascinated when we opened the nestbox to show them

Rosie demonstrating how to wash spuds! As one of large family when there was no running water, the spuds were put into a bucket with some water and moved around using a stick or broom handle and the potatoes were cleaned in double quick time.Angela then cooked the spuds for our Sunday lunch!

back on the allotment, Kathryn gave our scarecrow a complete makeover! He looks quite scary to me, a bit like a gangster

We had torrential rain which flooded homes and businesses in low lying areas.This is a housing estate near me where the residents had to be evacuated the water rose so fast.

The shed where Angela cooked up our tasty treats, with the water barrel and the edible hanging basket with strawberries, nasturtiums, cherry tomato and salad leaves.
Friday and Sat were lovely sunny days at the festival but today was back to cold and wet.Our strawberry barrel was the centre of attention each day, holes were cut at random in the sides of the bin.There is a lengthof plastic piping down the centre with holes drilled to distribute water evenly throughout the barrel.There are wheels on the bin so it is easly moved.We also have a herb one in the allotments.