The Plot Thickens

Hi, I’m Karen Meadows. Thank you for visiting The Plot Thickens.

I’m lucky enough to be the tenant of one of fifty large allotment gardens in the middle of the small and beautiful stone town of Stamford in England’s East Midlands. The gardens were first created by Brownlow Cecil, 4th Marquess of Exeter in the mid 1800s and their layout has remained virtually unchanged. Between the plots we have some 200 old apple trees, many of them rare varieties, and in 2017 Natural England awarded the gardens heritage orchard status.

Over the centuries at least 500 people have worked these plots. Follow our quest to discover who they were, what they grew, and what shenanigans they got up to. Be prepared for numerous diversions and musings along the way about gardening life here in our quiet (and occasionally not so quiet) little corner of Stamford.

If you haven’t discovered our website yet, do head over to Waterfurlong Orchard Gardens, where you will find a wealth of information about our gardens and gardeners, past and present.

And now for the small print...

The Plot Thickens is a non-commercial blog. All recommendations are based on personal preference and my own or our other gardeners’ own experience. Payments or free goods are not accepted in return for reviews of products and services. If an exception is made this will be clearly stated.

All words and images, unless otherwise credited, are my own. If you would like to copy text or images, I’d kindly ask that The Plot Thickens gets a positive mention and a link back to this blog.

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August In The Gardens: Greenery and Gold

August 31, 2018

 

 

Rarely has there been such a month of contrast in the gardens. Whilst tiny parched apples dropped from the trees in bushels, runner beans belied their name and stopped dead in their tracks and the grass was bleached so blonde we could have been in Provence, tomatoes, peppers and (strangely) plums luxuriated in the heat. Who can remember an English summer when basil grew eighteen inches high in the veg patch, not a single crop succumbed to blight and the nights were warm enough to star-gaze without a sleeping-bag?

 

August on our plot saw the hoses out, the hammocks up and the humans pretty idle. Others were busier! Plot 14's gate got a smart new lick of British Racing Green...

 

 

 

My morning tasks dwindled down to emptying the little straw-stuffed terracotta earwig traps hovering over the dahlias and checking the prop under the Victoria plum, groaning with the weight of so much luscious fruit.

 

 

The August air was full of the spicy scent of oriental lilies. 

 

 

Gardener Helena harvested her fabulously beautiful borlotti beans, wearing her equally fabulous 'garden angels' pinny. 

 

 

 

Now, as summer draws to a close, the days cool and holidays fade into memory, we're all stirring into action again. There's such a wealth of harvesting, digging, bulb planting, herb drying and hedge-cutting to get through before the first frosts.

 

 

It feels like a good time to launch our little Waterfurlong honesty-box stall, raising funds by selling surplus produce to improve the gardens for the benefit of everyone who enjoys this corner of Stamford. Our first four days have gone brilliantly, so do call in if you happen to be nearby! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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