Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year when the sun is at its highest point and, if folklore on our allotment site is to be believed, it is also the time to harvest your garlic, which of course should have been planted out on the shortest day of the year.

Young garlic is a real treat, far sweeter and less pungent than that which has been stored for a long period of time, therefore lending itself to recipes where there is very little cooking or it is used raw.

Probably one of the best loved and simplest recipes is for garlic butter. A crushed clove per 25 grams of soft butter is a the general proportion.

Add snipped chives and salt & pepper for delicious garlic bread, 100 grams of butter being enough for one baguette.

Or in the case of these prawns lime juice and corriander.

The garlic in this post was grown by our fellow allotment holder Steve Pearham.

Lots of further information about garlic is available from The Garlic Farm here.

So this is typically what we do when it comes to sowing seeds:

A massive bout of enthusiasm in March and April.

Nurture and pot on through May.

Plant out beginning of June.

Stand back, admire our work and feel smug.

Do no further sowing and then wonder why there are thirty lettuces to eat in one week and no more for the rest of the season.

Reading another blog last week lamenting the loss of some salad crops it occurred to me that perhaps we are not alone in this cycle of events.

So in a bid to be a bit more organised I am highlighting Mondays in my diary as ‘successional sowing day’.

Today was butterhead lettuce Dynamite from Thompson and Morgan’s Duchy Organic range and beetroot Boltardy from Suttons Seeds.

Let me know in the comments what you are planning to sow this month.

Technical stuff about successional sowing here.


Today was the Eastcote Horticultural Society Summer Show, held at the Community Centre in Southbourne Gardens it is one of three shows held throughout the growing season and an opportunity for all Society members to exhibit their plants, fruit, flowers and vegetables as well as crafts, floral art, baked goods and photography.

As you can imagine fruit and vegetable categories were a little challenged given the unseasonal weather but the floral displays were stunning.

Class 45; mixed flowers, not less than three kinds.

Class 14; sweet peas, in your own bowl arranged for all round effect. From Bob Beales.

Class 26; annuals and biennials, four stems, one kind.

Class 69; three harvested onions. From Patrick Hookway and Alan Thomas.

In the children’s category Class 131; a healthy sandwich for lunch. From Georgina and Joe Hookway. Joe and Georgina also made a pineapple upside down cake, a celebration card and a model of a tree.

And of course the joy of lovely cake made and served by Tamzin Phillips, Margaret Porter and Anne & Michael Berrisford.

The Autumn Show is on September 8th and details of the categories can be found here if you would like to enter.