Thursday, 26 August 2010

A trip to Southport Flower Show and an allotment BBQ

I went to Southport Flower Show with my Mum on Thursday.  We went on a coach trip arranged via work, and arrived about 10.30am.  It was pretty busy and surprisingly it stayed dry and sunny all day, right up until the end when it started to drizzle.

My favourite parts of the show were the large marquees housing the floral and plant displays.  Almost as soon as we arrived we spotted someone famous - Sir David Bellamy!  He was stood looking at one of the (numerous) cacti displays, and I took a photo of him.

We looked at loads of cacti, succulent, bonsai and carniverous plant displays.

I bought 2 packets of cacti seeds from the British Cacti and Succulent Society's stall for only 50p a packet.

We looked at some perfectly formed and stunning floral displays of sweets peas, dahlias and gladiolis.

But the amateur exhibitors tent was my favourite.  We saw some huge vegetables, including some massive leeks and onions.

And some perfect potatoes.

But I reckon I could have been in with a shot at winning a prize with some of the veg I've grown this year.

We also looked at some designer gardens, which my Mum really liked, I think it gave her some inspiration for her own garden.

There was lots of stalls selling jewellery and gifts, and I was really mad that I didn't buy a dandelion seedhead paperweight.  I went back to the stall for it later in the afternoon and it had gone.  But I can order one via their website (Saramade), so all's not lost.  The lady had lots of flowers all perfectly preserved in clear acetate globes.  I would love to try and make something similar myself.

We sat down and had some lunch in the sun and listened to a steel band.  The food options were poor, and we ended up getting a leek and potato soup in a cup.  We should have taken a packed lunch.

We saw some guys performing on the 'wheel of death' - which scared my Mum as she thought they were going to fall off!

Once we'd seen everything in the show, we decided to go for a walk along Southport sea front.  The tide was out so we didn't really see the sea, as it was about a mile away, but we walked along the beach then had a sit down.

Then we went back to the show, and I bought a lemon verbena plant from a herb stall, I've been looking for seeds for a while, but they're really hard to get hold of.  I wanted to grow the plant as I've read that the leaves produce a lovely lemony tea.  The man on the stall advised taking some cuttings and propagating some more plants, which sounds like a good idea. I also bought my Mum a ladybird poppy plant which she really liked.

We finished things off with a Carte D'or pistachio ice cream, which was surprisingly very nice.  It tasted like almond thins biscuits.

On Saturday we had a BBQ at the allotment.  A few of our friends were keen to try the sweetcorn fresh off the plant, so we let them know the corn was ready and everyone gathered for a barbie.  Our American friend Stef suggested cooking the cobs in their husks over a fire, so we tried this.  It worked well, but the cobs didn't seem as tender as they do when they're boiled.  The carnivores had sausages too, and we finished things off with some scones, jam and clotted cream.  It was a nice afternoon, it started off sunny, but ended up a bit cloudy.

We nipped to the flea market again on Sunday morning, I didn't get much this week just a book on pond maintenance.

Down at the allotment on Sunday I decided to replant my Dad's memorial garden.  The livingstone daisies were past their best, so I pulled them out along with the yellow and white daisies.  I replaced them with some winter bedding plants - cyclamen and violas.  The memorial garden looks a lot tidier now.  I left my Dad a yellow tomato which I'd grown using some of the seeds he'd saved.  I must remember to save some seeds from this year's plant!

I fed all the plants on the plot with seaweed feed. I haven't fed the non-fruiting crops with any other feed except seaweed, which isn't good, so as soon as I see an organic general liquid feed, I'll buy it.  I think B&Q might do one.

The peas seemed to die off quickly, so I need to pick them faster next year.  Even though I had quite a few pea plants the crop wasn't that huge, but I believe that's the deal with peas.

We're struggling to keep up with all the beans - I might leave some on the plant to dry out but I know this will tell the plants to stop producing beans.  Dried beans are always good for a winter chilli or casserole.

The pumpkins continue to grow and are becoming more orange!

A few of the swede seedlings have popped up.

The chillies and peppers have started to crop.

There are lots of sloes on the blackthorn tree.

And loads of apples on Jenny's apple tree.

The greenhouse cucumber plants are still pumping out cucumbers.

The two baby butternuts are coming on very nicely.

Here's the harvest I took home.

A quick update re the shop - we've achieved the £15k target, so we just need to find some premises and get cracking with setting things up.

My friends Mark and Keith asked me if I'm interested in getting involved with community food growing project, which sounds like a great idea to me.

All of the radio equipment has now gone - they came to take the aerial down and the guy bought the rest of the equipment that was left.  My Mum was very upset when I called round, I think it was because another part of my Dad has gone from her life.

On Sunday night I had a quick whip around the back garden and deheaded some flowers and swept up.

The plants in the back border haven't done that well - I think it's because the soil was very dry and compacted when I planted the plants, I should have dug the soil over earlier in the season before it went hard.

I still haven't heard if I've been accepted onto the Ecology course.  I've booked in to do the entrance exam for the part time Computing course, but I'm not entirely convinced this is the best option for me.

On Wednesday night my Mum came to the allotment with us and we picked some veg to give to her cousin Ray.

And my Mum picked some blackberries too.

I picked the watermelon in the greenhouse at home as its stem had died off.  It's not as big as I hoped, but it's bigger than the one I grew last year!

I've booked the whole of next week off work so I'm looking forward to that.

No comments:

Post a Comment