Thursday, 21 May 2009

A 'forebear' of WTA celebrates his 70th!

5.55pm. Rain has 'stopped play' on Walnut Tree Allotment. Still, it's a good time to come in and salute 'Mart-The chief of Staff's' 70th Bithday today! WTA can trace it's origins and my love of garden directly to The Chief of staff who had some of his own brilliant veges patches in his time if far flung places in Western Australia including, Forrest River Mission, Mogumber, Meekatthara, Wubin, and Perth (Wembley Downs). Mart has taught me a thing or two in my time about growing vege and I'd have to say is directly responsible for fostering my love of the soil. The Great news is that Mart will be making a special guest star appearance on WTA later in the year- something I can't wait for. Have a great day and GO WELL Mart. WTA salutes you and sends all it's love.

I've had "guest star " on the allotment this weekend - Aussie mate, Jeremiah Bullfrog who has been busy tending his own plot in Rickmansworth, Herts and charming various stall holders at the Chelsea flower show this week. The Bullfrog is a proof reader extraordinaire - some would even say a proof reading savant. His agricultural science connections make also make him somewhat of a font of knowledge when it comes to growing one's own.
Bullfrog's love of the language extends to even proof reading commercial packaging including the planting directions on an Unwin's packet second early 'Smile' potatoes I had lying around the kitchen (as is his want). The Bullfrog's jaundiced eye managed to pick up a few anomalies in Unwin's use of the language and was left a little confused over the difference between chitting and sprouting.
On leaving today Jeremiah Bullfrog presented the Hearing scientist and me with a fabulous copy of The quintessential garden, or, Pondering the giant spinach by Jocelyn Wild a superb and humorous look at some of the more eccentric sides of English gardening. A speedy return to the hedgerows of WTA, Bullfrog. You will be missed!
As of this afternoon my first lot of Sweetcorn (Incredible F1) seedlings have gone 'non dig bed alongside courgettes . The six brussel sprouts seedling (Eclipse F1) nurtured with great care over the last few months and now nicely adavanced have also been placed in WTA soil.
This year outdoor cucumbers (Marketmore) are having there first run on the allotment. The first six healthy plants grown from seed are now in and hopefully settling in with the added rain. I never thought growing cucumbers outside in the UK was a realistic option, and maybe it isn' t this far North
A now for some 'worrying' news.... The five butternut pumpkins/squash I planted out a few few weeks ago look like they are struggling and may not make it. Right now I can only think that the compost/cow manure hey were planted in was not rotted down well and enough and subsequently too rich. The good news I kept a few in reserve and will locate them on a part of WTA should the unspeakable happens and I loose everything. Keep a few reserves on the cold frame 'bench' has been part of the plan this year and hopefully pays off. The 'reserve stock' make good pressies if they are not needed or good replacements for mates elsewhere whose plants may have hit hard times and not made it..
The rest of the week beckons and with another four days off its time to hit the weeds in the top bed. Grow Well...

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