Allotment: Harvest and Progress by June

We were away for about three weeks  between April and May, a lot of works were left far behind in the allotment.  As Marilyn moved away and two ladies , our left side neighbour don’t come as often as they used to, paths and our plot are covered with tall grass.  Weeds always grow better than vegetables! It doesn’t look good. Have been working hard to catch up – cut the grass and dig…

Summary what we have harvested so far:

Garlic:  sowed in last autumn / winter. At the early April the leaves were green and looked healthy. When we were back in May , the leaves changed to yellow.  They got fungal disease,  probably called Onion white rot because of dry weather in the spring. Almost all  bulbs are rotten, just a few are eatable. Only stir fried once flower stalks.

gralic_ 2017

Broad beans: sowed in last autumn, got black bean aphid after flowering. Luckily most of pods already formed. So it is not bad.


Strawberry: didn’t cover it with netting, eaten by birds and slugs and only had left over from them.

strawberry_2017 June

Garlic chives: for some reasons it doesn’t grow well this year, still very yellow…

Progress: Gradually moved sweet corns, tomatoes, courgette, shark fin  melon etc from the green house  to the allotment between May and June. Looking forward to another harvest.

Sweet corn and shark fin melon

tomato and courgette 

Have a lovely weekend!

Rose and My First Bottle of Rose Jam

Bought this rose four years ago. At the first two years the branches were thin, and flowers were big but faced down because the branches couldn’t support them. I gave it hard pruning in spring time last two years. This year it grew back strongly. The leaves are dark green. It is full of buds and starting to bloom this week. The flowers have strong, pleasing and sweet fragrance,  it’s enjoyable to smell it. They are so beautiful that I couldn’t help taking photos of them again and again.

Yesterday I cut some of them to encourage more flowers and used the cut flowers to make rose jam. It is my first time to do it. Not sure how it tastes. My husband hopes it doesn’t taste like soap.

Drying after cleaning

Rose Jam

Trip to China 2: Visit a Public Park

People in China live in apartments in urban areas, and  they don’t have private gardens. Cities are highly populated, and there are few green spaces. Public parks are the places for them to do exercise, meet up, and also enjoy nature , especially for elderly.  They are a microcosm of Chinese culture.  The parks open all day and many traditional Chinese activities are being performed, from  Tai Chi, Mahjong, fan dancing, card-playing, to Beijing opera.

There is a public park just in front of the apartment which our family live. We went to visit it on a Saturday morning. Since it was weekend, there were more people than usual :- some children were having weekend courses, some were just enjoying to see flowers and shrubs.

Changhong Park
a public park

children with their parents on drawing class

drawing a bridge

martial arts


another park
playing cards



Have a lovely day

Trip to China 1: Fly to Beijing

Bought the flight tickets two months ago, just after Chinese New Year. Last time we visited was one year ago, so we were very much looking forward to going and seeing families and relatives again. The flight was from London to Beijing via Paris.

It was a long journey: we took taxi and left home at 6 am UK time and got home in China about 12 pm Beijing time, in total  it was 23 hours!

Didn’t get much sleep on the plane, saw three films. The food was not as good as before, probably because the tickets were too cheap and so can’t complain. There were still many empty seats. Surprised to see this because it was just one day before Good Friday.

We took off from Paris around lunchtime and landed in Beijing in the early morning. The sky was clear we got great view of sunrise.

At the airport


Take off

Beautiful Cloud

The sun is rising

The sun is out

Here it is!

Above Beijing



Watering and Weeding

Been away for two and a half weeks, the plants in the allotment became yellow due to lack of rain, but weeds grow well.

On Friday afternoon, I watered garlic chives, garlic and strawberries. So tired, leave leek and broadbean to JQ (my husband). He did watering today and I did weeding. It was cold and windy.

Our right side neighbor, Marilyn and Tom have given up their plot because of Tom’s health problem. They had the allotment for twenties years! They both gave us lots of help when we first started. Marilyn used to have a notebook at the hand and do planning and drawing. When we asked Tom questions, he always pointed us to Marilyn. They will be missed!

Today met the new tenant. The two ladies on the left side came as well. They were chatting as they were digging and weeding as usual.

We need to work harder to catch up!

Garlic Chives and Garlic

It’s very warm this weekend, today 28℃ shown on my car dashboard! 

On Saturday morning we bought two bags of multipurpose compost and one bag of farmyard manure.  Replaced the soil in the greenhouse with them, and then put the peper plants in. 

 Went to the allotment in the afternoon. Having been very busy, we haven’t done anything yet this year , no digging and weeding. The soil  was very dry because it didn’t rain  for a long time. Council   switched on the tap on the 1st April. The plants desperate need watering.  Due to the council No hosepipe policy, we had to use buckets to water them.  My husband did all watering job, about 30 buckets of water! 

The garlic and garlic chives are growing well. We cut some garlic chives and cooked dinner with it. Delicious….