One of my favourite things is waking up early to head down to the allotment, the morning sun is just perfect and shines over the plot so beautifully, it makes everything look so alive and fresh and it also makes my heart beam with joy. Not only does it look pretty but it’s so peaceful as well, it’s usually just me with a few birds and bees as well as my thoughts and they are always so content when I’m here in my happy place. Plus it seems early in the morning and later in the evenings are the only way us gardeners are going to be able to do any work during this little UK heatwave we are having right now!
Since arriving back from Wales late on Friday I made plans to pop up the allotment to harvest a few things and the main crop was going to be the gooseberries. They were in fact ready to pick 5 days ago but because I was off to Wales I thought they might as well stay on the bush until I came back so that I could make something with them when I had the spare time (they are actually bubbling away on the stove as I type this!) The two bushes on my plot are 5 years old but this is the first year I’ve picked a proper harvest from them. The previous years the fruit cage hadn’t been netted and then last year I kept leaving the entrance to the newly netted cage open so the birds would take all the juicy gooseberries before me! This year I made sure to tie the doorway closed and I was so pleased with my little harvest, I’ll admit it isn’t much but that small basket of homegrown gooseberries sure made me happy and proud. Whilst I was in the fruitcage I checked on the 4 black currant bushes and noticed quite a few ripe berries ready for picking. I filled up an enamel bowl which I’ll be bagging up and placing in the freezer, then when the rest of the blackcurrants on the bushes are ripe I’ll make some of my Dad’s favourite jam for him.
Next on the harvest list where the ‘International Kidney’ salad potatoes and one I was very nervous about. You never know with potatoes, even though the top growth has grown beautifully you just don’t know what’s waiting for you underneath the soil. I ended up digging up 4 of my potato plants which is nearly half the row, the harvest wasn’t as huge as I was expecting but the taste of homegrown potatoes over rules everything and I served these up with butter and mint at our family barbeque this weekend. I have plans to dig up the entire bed of potatoes so that my rows of leeks and swiss chard can be planted out ASAP.
Last but not least just before I headed home to beat the heat I cut a little posy of Sweet Peas and Ammi Majus. This combination is slowly starting to become my favourite and both flowers are really coming to life now. In fact the Ammi Majus are practically taking over that side of the flower border, not that I’m complaining at all! I simple adore the wild and rustic look to these flowers and I think they’ll be a must have on the plot every single year from now on. And the sweet peas? They’ve been grown on my plot since the very first year so they aren’t going anywhere either!
They don’t lie when they say gardening is good for the soul. I came away that morning after spending 3 hours on the allotment with a trug full of homegrown goodies and a very happy heart. All my stresses and worries had faded and I was set for the weekend ahead which just so happened to be jam packed with tea and cake plus a trip to a local lavender farm (blog post to follow soon!)
I hope you all have a lovely week and find some time to do what you love x