Archives for July 2008

Another crazy week!

Joe Swift | 11:38 UK time, Monday, 21 July 2008

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I've been filming my one-hour special, which in a way is an extension to last year's, exploring the way people garden with extremely limited (or sometimes no) outside space at all. It's taken me around London, as well as Sheffield and Paris, from wonderful tapestries of green walls and roofs, to green architecture aimed at increasing biodiversity, reducing water run-off and cooling buildings.

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A week at Hampton

Joe Swift | 14:46 UK time, Monday, 14 July 2008

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My entire week was spent at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. It's the largest flower show in the world and takes a while to walk from one end to the other, so my legs are a little tired now. I started at 7am on Sunday morning and left on Friday afternoon feeling a little show-gardened out! The weather was erratic to say the least, with Wednesday most definitely the wettest day, but there were some lovely sunny spells too.

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Hot off the allotment...

Joe Swift | 14:58 UK time, Tuesday, 1 July 2008

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Wow! Things are finally hotting up, which is a good thing as everything has picked up and is putting on strong growth.
We (the family) went up on Sunday afternoon and then filmed on Monday. We actually came back with a good sized box with peas, potatoes, salads, herbs and a big cabbage (although Keith gave me the cabbage!). Stan gave the sweet potatoes a good water and then mulched them over to keep in as much moisture as possible. Heavy rain is forecast in the next day or so, which they'll love. I pulled up the rocket that had bolted and flowered and sowed some more.
My mentality is slowly changing. At first I wanted to fill the space as much as possible. Now I'm being more selective and cutthroat and am pulling up any plants that don't perform or have bolted as I want the space to work more productively for me. Where I pull up any plants I dig it over and weed well. My soil is really getting good now and in the raised triangles I can get quite a fine tilth for direct sowing. I still lined the seed drill with a little sieved compost just to get them off to a good start. I also sowed some more coriander, mizuna, cima di rapa (a turnip top used in pasta dishes), and planted some strawberry 'marshmallow' where my swift potatoes were, which are plants that have been kept in suspended animation and will hopefully fruit in 60 days. I helped Ken out as he's not been well and planted the extra strawberries in his patch. My sweetcorn is looking the business and the beans are loving the huge pit I dug for them and putting on strong growth. Connie's sunflower is huge- way bigger than her. The large tarpaulin I used to cover the weedy areas is working, but is also creating a home for breeding slugs. Help. Oh well- it's all par for the course. Happy allotmenteering! Joe

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