Six on Saturday 19th June

Good morning! Last week I promised an allotment-based Six on Saturday, and today I intend to deliver on that promise. My allotment is very, nay intensely, weedy. As a result, all of the photos are close-ups, or blurry background numbers. Or both.

My dear father has an allotment next to mine. He has recently retired, presumably with the sole purpose of having the time to make sure his allotment is better tended than mine. He kindly offered his own plot, specifically his strawberries, as camera fodder for today’s post. I refused and continued to try to find flattering angles of my own.

As usual, The Propagator will be the place to head to take in the sights and sounds of Six on Saturday posts from around the globe.

1. Hops

Hops

Here are the hops, twining their way heaven-ward. The wire at the top sits at about the 8 foot mark, with these only being dwarf hops, rather than the 20 foot commercial varieties. I’m pretty pleased with how they’re looking this year; they’ve had some compost spread over the roots earlier in the year which has certainly helped.

2. Phacelia tanacetifolia

phacelia

Sel, over at The Nostalgic Gardener, featured her Phacelia a couple of weeks ago. It’s usually grown as a green manure, but both she and I have let it flower as it looks nice and the bees love it. I have a few self seeded poppies scattered around in there too. In fact I have self seeded poppies scattered about everywhere!

3. Papaver ‘Beauty of Livermere’

six on saturday poppies

Talking of poppies, here’s some I planted. This was originally off the bargain bench at B&Q some years ago. After outgrowing it’s spot in the garden, I separated out the roots and spread it across the width of the allotment. The bees go mad for it and it looks pretty spectacular. It’s really just to distract prying eyes from all the weeds.

4. Broccoli ‘Marathon’

Six on Saturday broccoli

Aha, an actual vegetable! I took a few small heads of broccoli home with me. I find it best to cut a some early, as they mostly come at the same time, and 15 heads of broccoli is a little too much in one sitting. After you cut the heads, they send out side shoots well into the autumn.

5. Black-fly

Six on Saturday blackly broad beans

There are some Broad Beans in there somewhere. Actually, they’re doing pretty well on the whole. A couple of altruistic plants seem to be taking the onslaught of the black fly assault. Brave individuals, sacrificing themselves for the common good.

6. Buzzard

Access to the allotment is along the side of a football field. There’s often a sizeable gang of Jackdaws loitering around when the fields aren’t in use, but they were keeping well out of the way of this Buzzard, who was enjoying soaking up some rays. I tried to get a little closer, but he was fairly wary and flew up onto one of the floodlights. Seeing as he wasn’t too impressed by my company, I thought I’d leave him to it.

That ends my Six on Saturday allotment update. Looking back over what I’ve written, there’s not actually that much produce featured. Rest assured, I’ve got plenty growing and on the whole growing very well. We won’t starve this year!

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 19th June”

  1. What are you doing with the hops? Just an ornamental plant or will you use it to brew afterwards? I went to visit a private garden of an abbey that brews beer last week and he offered to give me some young plants but I didn’t know what to do with them besides they climb a lot and I have no room for the moment. But the plant is interesting …

  2. Fair play to have an allotment and a garden to tend to, a lot of work. Have you made beer from the hops? Love the phacelia and orange poppy combo and of course the big red poppies are a treasure!

    1. What can I say; I’m a glutton for punishment!

      In the past we’ve made beer, but last year everything went to pot. This year will be different of course…

  3. I’ve never seen anybody growing hops in the vegetable plot. What do you do with them? Beer?

  4. I envy you having your father gardening next to you. That would be a dream scenario to have gardened into my adulthood alongside my father. The thought has brought on a tear, but then you are living the life, so good on both of you. May this arrangement continue for the two of you for a long time.

  5. The Phacelia is looking lovely! Mine’s at a similar stage, threatening to engulf my garlic, but I really can’t bring myself to pull it out. And those red poppies are spectacular. As for the hops, beautiful! My childhood home in England was next to a hop farm in Kent and I remember the wonderful smell of drying hops in the oast. We used to gather hops that fell along the wayside and decorate the house with them.

    1. Unfortunately mines probably going to be pulled up tomorrow – I need the space! I’ll try to leave a little bit for the bees and insects.

      The smell of hops is great. A pub I used to frequent had a load of them pinned up around the walls for a while – I think it was partly to mask the smell of the poorly ventilated room!

  6. Black fly on all the flowers here – well almost but so far they have not found the climbing beans. It can only be a matter of time! The broccoli is very impressive, you must tend them well.

    1. Yes, it’s been a great year for black fly and aphids!

      I’m very fortunate in that something about the soil on the allotment suits brassicas – I do fairly well with most of them. I try and keep adding compost and a bit of lime to keep it in good nick, but I’m not sure I can really take much of the credit!

  7. Oh, I love purple tansy, and grow it every year. It should reseed, but never does for me. The bumblebees prefer it over anything.

  8. Jim Stephens

    I have Phacelia seed ready to go in as green manure when spaces start to appear. I’m going to have to let some of it flower it seems. I don’t have blackfly on my broad beans yet, but I don’t have many beans either; it looks to me as if the bees have been robbing the nectar through the side of the flower and not pollinating them.

    1. Cheeky bees! Maybe you’ll have to withhold the Phacelia flowers in retaliation.

      I’ve just cleared the majority of the Phacelia this morning. It’s done a surprisingly good job of keeping the weeds out.

  9. As others have said, some really lovely photos, despite what you say about the weeds. Especially the poppies and broccoli. Lovely stuff. I am sorry about the broad beans, but hey, if a couple have decided to sacrifice for the greater good — lucky you!

    1. Broccoli is surprisingly photogenic! It’s a good grower for me and it’s one of the few things that the whole family all like.

  10. I’ve grown Phacelia tanacetifolia this year for the flowers although they’ve yet to take off. Yours look a show, as do your poppies. Bloomin’ black fly. They’ve just found my mum’s broad beans!

    1. The Phacelia has been in since last year, although I think if yours was sown this spring it should flower this year. The black fly are a nuisance, although they never seem to go for all of the broad beans – just a select few!

  11. Those red poppies are completely distracting. I scrolled your post up and down several times, just to check how luminous they were and note the name! I love phacelia in flower, covered in bees. In fact, I’ve featured it for SOS too. Good spot with the buzzard!

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