Latest from V.P.A.

Gosh, we’re halfway through 2020 and at least some of the lockdown has been eased. We still all need to very careful and I must admit that, personally, I’m pleased we have to wear masks in shops. Anything that can give a tiny bit of protection must be good. I’m just glad I’m not a politician, having to make decisions to try and protect us from something that we know so little about. Sorry, I know this is nothing to do with the VPA and gardening, but there is not a lot to update you with regarding the VPA during the lockdown.
To update you with one VPA activity. Given the lockdown, you know we had to cancel the Summer Show scheduled in July. However, our Xmas Social at Upton Village Hall in December is still in the diary and instead of the usual quiz and games we plan to hold a skittles evening with a meal, but we will have to be guided with what happens with Covid over the coming months.
So, here are a few more Didcot Ramblings.
At least we have started to get a bit of rain over the past couple of weeks. I’m convinced my arms are two inches longer from carrying the watering cans to water the allotment – we’re not allowed hosepipes which is perfectly understandable. Still, the allotment is doing well and I’ve had pickings of French beans, runner beans, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and I had my first tomatoes a couple of days ago. The beetroot have done really well so I’ve been pickling some for the winter months.
I have a small section of one of my plots where I grow flowers. Each year I grow gladioli and last year because of the wet weather I wasn’t able to dig up the corms. However, this year they have done really well, in fact the best they have every been. So, I’m going to take a chance and leave them in over winter this year and see what happens. I sowed a row of California poppies and they are amazing, they’ve really enjoyed the hot sunny weather.
I had a fig tree in a very large pot in my garden which wasn’t very happy but unfortunately I didn’t have room to plant it in the ground. As I didn’t want to compost it I decided to plant it on the allotment. I had a space next to the greenhouse and adjacent to the greengage tree. It’s been there for about two years and is surviving well.
The hens seem happier now it’s not so hot. I had to do a running repair on their run roof – a slight leak – so one of the lads on the allotment very kindly got up on a ladder and filled the roof joint with mastic. It’s worked a treat and the inner run is nice and dry again.
DID YOU KNOW? Lavender, (Lavandula), comes from the Latin Lavare, ‘to wash’, because its oils were often used in cleaning clothes. To make one and a half pounds of Lavender Oil, you’ll need to harvest almost a quarter of a ton of flowers.