Monday, 29 July 2013

Summer at The Allotment

Summer at the allotment and now is the time the plot looks its best.

So before the crops are dug up or harvested I shall take you on a little tour around the plot and share with you some of my allotment summer.

Looking over the picket fence is a stunning display of vibrantly coloured Bergamot alongside the feathery fronds of the Fennel

Upon entering through the gate on either side is the silvery foliage and shocking pink flowers of lychnis. 

The poppies struggled this year and so are not as magnificent as they have been in previous years, but their wash of colours remind me of a Monet painting.

Purple Verbena Bonariensis and Teasels attract the bees and the butterflies.

There has been an abundance of fruit so far this year.

 Redcurrants dripped from the branches (the netted redcurrant bush can just be made out in the bottom left hand corner of the above photo) 

and the stems of the red gooseberry bushes bow over with the ripening fruit.

Blackcurrants are nearly ready for picking whilst summer raspberries are plentiful

and the Bramley Apples promise a bumper autumn harvest.

There was a glut of strawberries and I was lucky enough to be invited by the very kind Eleanor to gather as many of her crop as I wanted while she was away on a three week holiday. Eleanor's strawberries are the envy of all the allotmenteers so I was only too eager to avail of her kind offer.

Freshly picked juicy sweet strawberries and cream were thus enjoyed in the garden on several occasions.

Unfortunately I am not a fan of jam, and although I intend to experiment with making jellies later on (I have a lovely recipe for Apple and Lavender Jelly), my harvest of strawberries was not destined to be turned into jam. 

Instead I blended them with combinations of my other harvested fruits - redcurrants, raspberries, early blackcurrants and even some of the frozen blackberries left from last year to make fruit smoothies. 

A special ingredient I add when blending the fruit to give the smoothie an extra zing is a few sprigs of garden mint.

At long last I got round to making a cake for my much-appreciated men-folk - Rhubarb and Raspberry Crumble Cake.  

(My food photography leaves a little to be desired, but the cake was definitely delicious and much appreciated by the men-folk).

On a healthier note, the peas are fattening up in the pods

however as usual not many will make it home - as I cannot resist ripping open the pods and eating the peas where they have grown!

The runner beans are rapidly running up their bamboo supports

their red flowers providing a splash of colour together with the bright yellow sunflowers which line the path

and the self-seeded calendula scattered throughout the plot.

An echoing of the poppies and montbretia along the boundary.

In contrast the morning shade beside the shed at the bottom of the plot has an almost ethereal effect

and as the sun rises in the sky the dappled light picks out the yellow and green of fennel 

against the duck-egg blue of the shed

The sky has been blue over the allotments and sun hot.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief pictorial visit to the plot. 

I have not been the only one enjoying the summer at the allotments, but I shall tell you more about that soon. 


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