Tuesday Plotlines

Well what a lovely day, wall to wall blues skies here.  After the thunder storm that hit us yesterday, flooding many of the local roads in the area, I wondered what I might find at the plot this morning, but with the exception of a bucketful of  fallen apples that needed to be picked up there was no obvious damage.  The plants if anything looked especially perky as they always do after a good soak. With no need to can water from tank to plot I could get on with other things and even though that only meant catching up on the weeding it’s nice to break the routine and do something different.

Southbourne Gardens

Runner Bean Wisley Magic

Of our seedlings, beetroot, carrots, coriander and turnips are all up, with just the parsnips and the French beans a no show.  We’ll thin them out at the weekend and plant another last lot of these crops, along with some lettuce and spinach that we didn’t get around to doing last time.

Carrot Seedlings

Tomato Yellow Plum

We on a waiting game now for the tomatoes and the sweet corn to ripen.  I’m checking them almost daily.

The  small yellow plum tomatoes that are ripe have now made it home, they’re incredibly sweet and I’m enjoying them in a salad with capers.  I’ve posted a picture of this on Instagram if you’d like to see that.

Southbourne Gardens


We think we’ve had some children playing on the site.  Nothing too serious, a few things where they shouldn’t be and Valerie found two eaten apple cores. As you can imagine there was plenty of conversation about this over morning coffee. I remember that so well as a child, trying to eat apples before they were ripe and then suffering from tummy ache for the next few hours. Of course tiny, sour apples are the sort of thing you only do once if you’re remotely sensible so perhaps it’ll deter them from coming back.

Red Pepper Atris


The blackberries that are pictured here are from Bob’s plot and he’s picking punnets of them already.  Is this the same with everyone else or are we particularly early?  Although I love them I’m not keen to see the signs of early Autumn so soon.  Here’s hoping we hang on to Summer for another few weeks.


Yesterday morning at the crack of dawn I dashed up the M6 motorway to Knustsford and the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.  I’d been invited by Sue Beesley very late the night before.  You may remember that Sue won the Gardener’s World Gardener of the year back in 2006 and subsequently  set up Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Nursery in Cheshire with her husband Dave.

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show RHS Tatton Park Flower Show My task along with Tracy, pictured here, and the rest of the team was to talk to visitors about the garden and nursery and its part in Cheshire’s Gardens Of Distinction, a collective of twenty gardens in the county that are open to the public, nine of which have created a carnival themed display at Tatton for which they’ve won the Best Show Feature award.

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

Sue’s area is based  around the hardy perennials that make up much of the gardens at Bluebell Cottage and is really beautiful. There’s lots of gorgeous, vivid colour from both flowers and foliage, with plenty of space allowed for each plant  to breathe, there are also different types of grasses laced through the border which give a softness, texture and movement to the planting. Especially pretty with yesterday’s light breeze.

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show RHS Tatton Park Flower Show RHS Tatton Park Flower Show The star of the show however I think has to be the Echinacea ‘Milk Shake’ so striking that it seemed to stop people in it’s tracks. I think we had more questions about this than just about every thing else combined. It’s a beauty and I’m sure we’ll be seeing lots of it in gardens next Summer.


The BBC have produced two programmes about the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park that are currently available to watch here and here .

Another gorgeous week here in London and the start of the school holidays.  It doesn’t matter how old I get this still feels like the start of Summer proper, the days feel quieter, longer and more relaxed.  So here I am thinking about days out with a picnic in tow.

Hitchin Lavender

A couple of weeks ago on invitation from Annie at Manneskjur I met up with a group of blogging friends at Hitchin Lavender in Ickleford for a long lunch and a bit of nature.  We were a little early in the season to see the fields fully in bloom but  were still greeted by sights one  might normally associate with Provence. Right about now it should perfect.