Sunday, May 27, 2018

05 Oct

The Leek Show!

This week was dominated by the build up to the Annual Leek and Vegetable show. This was my chance to redeem myself after what I still feel was a fairly poor showing at the Slaley Show. During the week preceding the show, all the competing leeks are ‘punched’. This involves a surreptitious visit from a committee member who punches barely discernible holes in the leaves of the leeks to ensure fair play. With some assistance from the Chair of the Leek club, Brian, I dug up my leeks on Friday night. They looked pretty crummy to me with very patchy leaves, but apparently looks are immaterial, it is size that matters. The leeks are judged on volume, calculated by the length from the button to the first leaf division, (which must not be greater than 6 inches), multiplied by the circumference. The ‘v’ – I don’t know the technical term – must be intact with no splits. It is a precise art and a tense experience. Anyway, I had managed to produce a decent pair – they have to be entered in pairs, so set off on Saturday morning with high hopes. I also had also managed to producec a floral arrangement. This was my  back up  to keep my spirits up should I be way out of the prizes with my leeks. Having dropped the leeks off first thing we were allowed beck into the hall at 3.30 to see the results of the judging – to my utter dismay, one of my leeks was judged to be ‘not sound’ – there was a tiny split which had escaped my attention in the build up and that minute detail scuppered my chances. I know I am not cut out for this precision gardening, but am sure my competitive streak will out and I will be back again next year. Thank goodness for the flowers – I was thrilled to see the red card next to my exhibit showing that with a good standard of competition I won the class – I was even photographed by visiting press, so am hoping to see my moment of glory on the pages of the Hexham Courant next Friday!

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After all that excitement it was a relief to have a relaxing couple of hours in the garden on Sunday. I had a delivery on Friday of Wallflowers, Violas and Ornamental Kale, so spent a contended hour potting on the plants and setting them out on the staging in the poly-tunnel. I hope that there will be enough warmth and light in the days to bring them on before I plant them out in a week or so.

I was excited to see that some runner beans that I planted late have finally produced and for supper yesterday, we had beans, carrots, some little broccoli sprouts and a melange of baby courgettes, tomatoes and leeks. I have left one broccoli plant in the tunnel that survived the caterpillars and it is producing a steady stream of little shoots, to be eaten much like purple sprouting.

I have just been disturbed from my keyboard by the postman delivering a selection of bulbs – Allium Purple Sensation, Tulip fringed pink and white, Tulip Queen of the Night and Dwarf Daffodil collection – all beautifully packaged by Gardening Direct, so that is my cue to finish up and get out in the garden – till next week, happy gardening1


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