The Madness of May

Apologies for my lack of posts recently. I’m afraid my blog has taken a bit of a back seat lately, behind my journaling, which is behind my allotment duties, which is behind my Etsy shop, which is behind my freelance work. Oh not to mention general you know – having a life … friends, family and the important stuff like walking the dog.

The allotment plot is coming along fine, despite the crazy roller coaster weather we’ve been having. The propagator and heated mats were switched on, off and on again, and I’ve had trouble trying to harden plants off this year. One minute it’s too hot indoors and they all get put out, and then the weather turns cold again overnight. I’m just too lazy (and lacking in time) for taking plants in and out like I’m doing the Hokey Cokey, I do it for the first night or two then I accidentally forget them and they get left out overnight. Annoyingly this year that coincided with an exceptionally cold night and some of the plants suffered. The blasted weather, it’s always the weather’s fault.

The climbing beans have especially suffered from the inconsistencies in the temperature, but thankfully it’s only the seed leaves which have wilted and the new growth looks green and healthy, so let’s hope the weather decides to sort itself out. The chillies took a bit of a knock too, after I’d cosseted them so much, but I think they’ll recover. Tomatoes, sweetcorn, courgettes and sweet peppers have all also been planted now. The potatoes are all shooting green leaves and have been earthed up.

Brassicas are growing well under the netting, the mangetout peas and sweetpeas are just starting to wrap their delicate tendrils around the supports to find their way upwards. The root crops (beetroot, carrots, parsnips) are all starting to germinate alongside some spring onions and endives. The garlic is typically speckled with rust, but growing nonetheless with scapes forming on the hardneck garlic. Shallots and overwintered onions seem to be doing well, though we have already taken out some flowering shoots.

The chickpeas were planted out pretty early this year (early April), but they’ve survived okay and now have a row of lettuce between their two rows. All that’s left to plant are cucumbers, squashes and leeks. Rhubarb has been keeping us (actually just me) fed, and the asparagus has kindly obliged us with a handful of spears. The leeks have all been harvested apart from two in the bottom corner which have been left to flower for next years seed. The herb bed is growing well, providing chives, marjoram, lemon balm and mint, and there are lots of flowers dotted around too.

Phew! I think that brings us up to date.

The garden and the countryside around are blooming well. Here’s a few more illustrations from my journal.

I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the lighter evenings. I’ll be back around mid summer with some more photos and an update on the plots progress, but if you’re on Instagram (or I can persuade you to join, there’s a lovely community of gardeners on there) you can follow me @zoes_garden where I share photos more often.

Take care, happy gardening!

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