Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June of Many Weathers

What weird weather - summer to winter and back again!  Saturday was lovely and sunny and warm and I went to the Bloom Festival at the Phoenix Park.  This is Ireland's version of Chelsea, and I have to say I think Bloom knocks spots off it!  As well as the show gardens (lots of green and purple and cottage garden flowers this year) there are massive tents displaying garden products of all description, there's a huge food area with samples of Irish produce, and a massive picnic area with glasses of wine and strawberries and cream within handy reach.

Sunday was the Malahide Allotment Open Day - and it was freezing!  Wind and rain, back to woolly hats and winter-coats, but the bbq and tea van cheered everyone up sufficiently to save the day.  Yesterday was back to sun and blue skies, today it's grey and rainy...weird!

Anyway, I've been really busy at my allotment in Donabate lately, and it's paying off.  I find a big effort in April and May sets the plot up well for the summer, then it's just keeping on top of things in the hotter months - that's the theory anyway!  We shall see.  The sun and then rain of the past fortnight has meant everything (including the weeds) has doubled in size.  The tomatoes are charging in the polytunnel, the pumpkins are all planted out, and some of the garlic is nearly ready to lift.  Here are some photos from yesterday afternoon:

This is the third year for the asparagus, so we're cutting some of it this year - it's very very tasty!  We're getting about ten or twelve spears a week, enough to liven up a couple of dinners.
One of the nine different courgettes, planted out in big tubs...I might be overdoing it this year!  But I like having a variety of shapes and colours.
Mixed brassicas, hopefully protected from the cabbage whites - but in my experience they always find a way in!  As usual I'm not quite sure anymore which is a brocolli plant and what's a cabbage, but time will tell.
The early spuds are recovering slowly from the frost hit, but they're much smaller than they should be.  The maincrop spuds have overtaken them - they were smaller than the earlies when the frost came, so they escaped unscathed.

The first foxglove of 2012, beset by bees as usual.

Garlic to the front and onions to the back.  The garlic has pretty bad rust, but is nearly ready to lift anyway.

I got a present of this lemon tree - and it has some green fruit already!  It's a bit big for the poly, so it's been kicked out for the summer.

The peas are loving all the rain!  This bed has two types of pea, broad beans, snap peas and french beans, as well as geraniums.

There was a live frog and a dead frog in the pond last week - what killed the dead one I've no idea.  I checked the three goldfish yesterday, all three were present and correct.  In summer they can hide pretty well beneath the foliage, last year I thought they'd all been eaten it was so long between sightings.

Assorted pumpkins - Aladdin, Musquee de Provence, Blue Hubbard, Uchiki Kuri, Atlantic Giant, Birdhouse Gourd and Ornamental Squash.

The rhubarb is still doing it's best to take over the world.  There's elephant garlic doing very well in this bed too.

Sweet pea - smells beautiful too, I cut some to bring home.

The bees adore chive flowers - they're literally all over them!  I love the flowers too, great purple splotches of colour.
The next jobs in the forthcoming weeks are to lift and dry the garlic, to start harvesting some new potatoes, to sow some winter veg, and once the onions are lifted, to sow some more carrots and parsnips and plant out the leeks for the winter.  The only thing I'm very behind on is roots - I sowed beetroot and carrots and parsnips at the start of April, but nohing germinated.  Then I got a load of free compost, which got dumped on the empty roots bed, so I'm only getting the bed cleared again now.  The chillies have been really slow this year too - I'd like them to get a move on soon!


  1. Very nice post and your plot is looking in all round excellent condition. Your right about Junes' weather. I've been rained off for the past week.

  2. Thanks. It's rained here solidly for two days!! No more gardening for a couple more, until it dries out a bit.