The first job was to tidy up the front border - deadheading the calendulas & thinning those which are overwhelming the lavender plants. I was just eyeing up the ripening seed heads on the self seeded poppy plants when John Badger from the bottom came up to say hello.
"Can I pinch some of the seeds heads off those poppies?", he asked.
"Of course - I want to save some for my friend in Cumbria too - do you think that they are ready to pick?" As we rattled one of the pods, it scattered seed like a pepper pot, so we concluded that they are - and of course there is no need for me to sow more for next year now.
Deciding that snapping the heads off to take home would leave a trail of poppy seeds all over the car, I left them for the time being, to be collected next time round.
We exchanged news - he gave me an update on his chickens (five out of six of his ex-battery hens laying each day) & his pond at the bottom (froglets galore), & admired newcomers Carl & Wendy by the gates magnificent floral front of plot, concluding that if they didn't win 'best front of plot', then we were Dutchmen.
Returning allotmenteer Christine came by as I was digging up my second early POTATOES (osprey) & was so impressed with a particularly big one that she told me to enter into the show as 'heaviest potato' & took a photo of me & it to put on her blog.
She was back & forth busy 'dressing her shed as a beach hut for the best dressed shed competition - wonderful photos on her blog. If they run the competition next year, I might have a go, depending on any rare sparks in the creativity department.
I dug up all the onions - they've finished any growing now - and rather disappointing they are too.
Not that big (some of the red onions were no larger than they were when they went in as sets in the autumn - what have they been doing for the last 6 months?) & quite a few split - maybe I should go for spring sown sets next year instead. Or some of both, perhaps. And some shallots too.
I sowed green manure in this bed in rows, hoping that the grazing rye would do better than it did last year - i.e. at least sprout.
Neighbour Jody arrived as I was on picking duties - his onions are brilliant. "Ah," he winked, "secret weapon - they are from Reg-next-plot's seedlings," which goes some way to explaining it.
I had a last scout round the plot to assess what might be there or thereabouts to enter for the show next week then picked more bloody courgettes & came home to make courgette soup - which turned out to be surprisingly good.