Today I visited the Edinburgh and District Allotments and Garden Associations Show. I found out about the show too late to enter (not that anything I’ve grown would have won any prizes, mind, but I do have hopes next year for the “any knitted item” category). I really enjoyed myself — it was great to see everyone’s veggies and chat to fellow gardeners — and, despite the weather over the past couple of months, there were some marvelous vegetables on show.
The onions gave me serious onion envy, and I confess to a brief, wistful moment when I looked at the tomatoes. For, I am very sad to report that all of my tomato plants fell prey to blight. This was a distressing sight when I returned home from the Hebrides, but I also felt bad for my allotment buddy, who was kindly taking care of things, and in my absence witnessed the onset of the evil spore. (I was able to salvage a crop of green tomatoes for chutney, so all was not lost).
I took note of some evidently successful and interesting vegetable varieties. I definitely want to try milan purple tops (you can see some inbetween the swedes and the carrots – beautiful).
There were some gorgeous blooms on display, too. Dahlias in abundance.
I was very impressed with the stained glass panel that won the “art or sculpture” category. Here is a detail. . .
. . . but my favourite entry was this arrangement, “the dark heart of savoy” — it was awarded second prize in its category.
I love the rich colours, and the incorporation of all kinds of produce into the display — there are brambles, beetroot, and broccoli in there! I enjoyed chatting to the chap who entered it — he was very pleased with his prize.
After the show, I spent a glorious golden afternoon on the allotment. I started cutting back the unruly hawthorn hedge that is currently stealing sunlight light from my beans. The hedge must be tamed, and the veggies must have light. The hedge resisted, but me and my pruning saw won in the end. That said, despite the goggles and industrial protective gear I was wearing (which would lead any observer to assume that I’d just got out of the puzzle factory) I managed to cut myself several times (the blood actually spurted! hawthorn is evil!) There is more of this to be done, but I think I might leave battling the remainder of the hedge till Tom returns from his immunological extravaganza in Berlin. . .
Having been thoroughly inspired at the show, it was nice to come home with my own modest basket of veggies, and begin making plans for next year.