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I love wandering around our allotments, mainly feeling sad that ours doesn’t quite cut the mustard!  I find it so interesting to see the different ways in which people grow things, how some plots are wild and sprawling, while others are neat with wooden boards and smart sheds.

So here’s a look around our allotments in Partington…

I love the brick path that has been set into the ground…

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I thought it was about time for some wildlife pics after all this talk of food and eating and recipes! 

Aren’t they so sweet?  I discovered these teeny tiny caterpillars on my nasturtiums this evening – I don’t mind them chomping on the leaves as there are so many and I do so love butterflies in my garden.

I love how they all huddle together…

I especially like this picture, not only because of this rogue caterpillar who was brave enough to leave the huddle and explore the leaf, but also because you can just see three tiny yellow eggs clinging to the underside of the leaf – on the right in the picture.

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I have always grown cucumbers, ever since I first had a garden of my own even though it was just a little yard.  I lovingly tended the cucumber seedlings on our bedroom windowsill, but that lot didn’t survive our two weeks away in France…unsurprisingly.

Again, last year I lovingly tended another batch of seedlings, this time with a perfect growing space – our funny little glass lean-to at the back of our house.  It’s perfect for starting seedlings off as it’s like a greenhouse.  I thought I would finally grow cucumbers and enjoy the fruits of my labour…that lot grew huge, long tendrils that reached the roof, curling up the string that I’d provided for them…but I’m not great at nurturing, and I didn’t water them enough.  All the cucumbers that started to develop just dried out.

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So this year I have tried again.  This year I decided I would plant them outside, and if they survived and bore fruit great, if they didn’t, oh well.  I like plants that just get on with growing, I’m not really great with needy plants.

This is a photo of my cucumber and nasturtium bed.  I have planted three cucumber plants into one of N’s beautifully built troughs.  Along with them are two Banana Split nasturtium plants, and some odd calendula’s and white daisies that have popped up from somewhere. 

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And hidden beneath this mass of leaves and jolly orange flowers is this…

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It looks like a well toned manly green thigh.  Maybe a rugby players thigh….Anyway, I hope it tastes good.  I will be so disappointed if it doesn’t.

Any suggestions on how to eat it – other than just taking a big bite of it :O)

So the Mexican party last night was lovely, lots of sombreros and homemade ponchos, Maria brought maracas, and we ate a lot of chilli, baked potatoes, tortilla chips and wraps.  Ours friends Katie and Kate, who’s party it was, have just finished doing their back yard and it looked stunning – they’ve painted the walls a cream colour and trellis in a mossy green, they’ve put some decking down and built raised beds that are full of interesting plants.  It was just a really lovely place to sit out with friends.

Here are some pretty flowers and herbs from my garden that I made into a posy for our friends as a gift.  This little bunch was so fragrant – with lavender, sweetpeas, marjoram and mint – I would definitely recommend using popping a couple of sprigs of herbs into a bunch of flowers.

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Today has been another warm day in Cheshire, so N and I headed straight down to the allotment to trim the long grass, water and put in a few more plants I’ve been growing from seedlings.

The strawberries we inherited on the allotment are plumping up nicely, we are just waiting for then to start blushing and turning red…and hope the rabbits don’t get to them first!

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The purple sprouting broccoli (the green plant towards the back of the pic) has shot up since we last went down, and Maria’s brussel sprout plants (the purple plant in the foreground) are looking equally healthy.  Even the three smaller plants that aren’t enclosed by my snazzy wire fence are doing well and haven’t (yet! touchwood!) been decimated by the rabbits.

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I also discovered a number of small cabbage white caterpillars on one of the broccoli plants, so I have carefully pinched the leaves off, brought the caterpillars home and have lovingly encouraged them onto some of my nasturtium plants.  Mad you may say, why didn’t I “dispose” of them you ask, well I like butterflies and I’m happy to sacrifice some of my nasturtiums for them.

Some of the sweetcorn (like this one) are doing well, others look a bit piddly, but rumour has it we’ve got rain this week, so hopefully that might pick the smaller ones up a little.

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N cleared a patch of ground where pumpkins had previously been grown, and I planted four Uchi Kuri pumpkin plants that I have tended from seed.  In between them I also dug in a couple of nasturtiums because I just love the way they trail and ramble over everything and their jolly flowers.

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So overall the allotment is looking pretty good, taking into consideration that this year we just haven’t had the time to clear and tidy it properly.  Rather things are just growing between the tall grasses and weeds, but growing they are.  Next year we will work on making it look pretty and neat.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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