A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Shingle replacement and school children on Holywell beach

Contractors have been doing the annual task of shingle replacement due to longshore drift 

Children on the beach doing geography lesson on the shingle losses due to longshore drift

Longshore drift, the erosion of shingle due to wind and tides (see above)

Wind surfing on Holywell beach


I gather its harder than it looks

This looked to be the hardest part

I cant see what all the fuss is about

Sunday, 8 October 2017


         Macro lens reveals a ugly but wonderful creation of nature the wings are so delicate

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Accord first early potatoes

Harvested the first of them today exactly 10 weeks after planting out the tubers. The taste will be all important. They should grow more if left in the ground a little longer, sadly all my three varieties of potatoes are in need of a really good drop of rain which is in short supply at the moment. My plot soil is free draining loam over a chalk base, and that applies to most of Eastbourne and the south downs.

My good friend Jennifer Hunter kindly sent me a mixture of nigella seeds last year and the mixed colours are a picture of delight growing across one allotment bed in amongst the pineapple mint the roots of which will need attending to soon.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The painted lady butterfly with the Canon 100mm f2.8 image stabilised L lens

I recently purchased a macro lens with image stabilising of up to 3 or 4 stops built in.

I wanted to be able to select a small aperture with a slow speed to enable hand held photos, I am not a fan of tripods for these type of pictures.

This enabled me to hand hold these two photos of a painted lady butterfly supping nectar on our pyracantha bush at f16  1/40th of a second ISO 200.

The second picture may be the one for purists but I like the first for the sheer detail in such a wonderful creature.

All the way from Africa

The lens with the hood attached useless for macro work far to close to the subject scaring the beastie and blocking the light

Monday, 30 May 2016

This well rotted cow manure is wonderful stuff

Plot update 30th May `16

We recently took delivery from a local farmer a quantity of well rotted cow manure, hard to believe that 18 months earlier it had been a nasty smelly pile of cow poo. Now my plants are getting the benefit of the wonderful earthy natural fertilizer. I am trying to find a word that best describes the smell ............

I did a trial of some spinach with and without the manure and my photos speak for themselves. I had a really large picking today much  earlier than expected.

Martyn Garrett from A Gardeners Weather Diary here had his bamboo bean poles supported with a cross brace which I tried on mine as my plot is very exposed and a strong wind had collapsed the poles in the past, its good but not as strong as a simple pole placed at one end at an angle, I will probably use both methods, belt and braces so to speak.

My runner beans have flowers and are nearly at the top of the poles, will I get an early crop?

I also am trying baby sweetcorn Minipop for the first time I planted those out with the magic cow manure liberally applied when digging over.

and had my final small pick of asparagus

wonderful stuff
Better growth with manure, note my dirty finger nails no gloves for me when planting out

much slower growth rate with no cow manure added

My normal effective simple brace
cross brace ok but would be better about half way up the poles not as effective as one brace
Minipop sweetcorn

flowers on enorma runner beans
Even I can take a one handed out of focus picture

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Third week in May on the plot

I took a chance this year and planted my runner beans out early hoping to get an earlier crop, time will tell, all plants are in except the baby sweet corn which go in later this week.

accord 1st early, belle de fonteney 2nd early and pink fir apple main crop potatoes
Strawberry patch will need covering as soon as fruits form
My over wintered broad beans will soon be ready to pick
Enorma runner bean and Blue Lake green bean on the left are the pot marigold plants
Part of the perpetual spinach patch 
I had to pinch the tips out as the blackfly had started to invade the broad beans
Frame and netting ready for the alderman peas