FRAGRANT FINDINGS

SUNDAY 31st JANUARY 2021

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Prompt ~FRAGRANT FINDINGS

FRAGRANT FINDINGS

by John Yeo

  The morning dawned to an annual seasonal change. A warming sun bathed the garden with a fertile, floral, light. Colourful blooms in the pastel range lit up the garden borders creating a wonderful sight that heralded the return of sweet fertile Spring.

  Almost overnight, the scene had subtly altered. Green branches were covered with swollen buds. Petals were tightly bound, ready to burst outward to reveal a seasonal floral splendour. Then within a few hours a strong heady floral fragrance drifted outwards from the centre of the blooms. So powerful, even the songbirds were overpowered in the sheer glorious delight of feasting on the multitude of insects that were drawn by this heady ephemeral fragrance. The insects visit the flowers to get sweet nectar. Pollen sticks to the insect’s body. The insect then flies off to another flower where some of the pollen may be transferred to the stigma. This transfer of pollen from one flower to another is called cross-pollination.

 Fragrant findings by insects leads to a chain of circumstances with many outcomes.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

WILD WIND WITH STORMY RAIN

MONDAY 26th OCTOBER 2020 ~BLOG POST 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

PROMPT ~ Merely monsters

WILD WIND WITH STORMY RAIN 

(Merely Monsters)

by John Yeo

   The  sky briefly turned pink after we’d experienced a short heavy shower of rain with high winds this afternoon. We had some storm damage last week and I lost a smallish tree from one of the borders. 

 I was busily staking up and giving some support to a couple of our shrubs today when I got caught in the rain. More high winds and heavy rain is forecast in the next couple of days. The problem is, this excessive rain, coupled with the high winds, weakens the root systems and there’s a danger of trees and shrubs getting blown over and uprooted. I have enjoyed taking care of our Camellia shrub which gets bigger and better every year. The winds have forced this 16 years old shrub to bend precariously and I’ve staked it with a double stake support. I also have a Forsythia that needed a supportive stake. This Forsythia shrub brings back some good memories to Margaret and I, as it was nurtured from a cutting we obtained from the garden of a very special lady who once lived in Bishops Stortford. I think as these  plants and trees reward us every year it’s worth spending time taking care of them.

   I also snapped a quick shot of a large pot of pink Nerines that are in full flower at the moment. 

This collage shows our beautiful Camellia and Forsythia shrubs in flower in early Spring.

© Written by John Yeo

PERFECT ASPARAGUS

TUESDAY 16th JUNE 2020 ~ BLOG POST

PERFECT ASPARAGUS

By John Yeo

  Today I will focus on our Asparagus beds on the allotment The photograph above was snapped earlier today after I had spent a couple of hours weeding and manuring the beds with compost. 

 The compost I’ve used is a mixture of well-rotted horse manure and some of our waste kitchen vegetable matter. There’s also a good portion of grass cuttings and some shredded paper. A good combination of nutrition for these greedy feeders. Over the past 25 years of growing Asparagus on allotments, I find this is a potent mixture indeed. In my opinion it’s wise to feed the plants twice a year. I choose to feed them in the early Spring and again when I’ve finished cutting the spears. 

   The nutritional benefits of eating Asparagus are many and this makes the effort of persevering with growing these attractive plants, worthwhile. Asparagus is a low calorie vegetable that is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals especially folate and vitamins A C and K. 

 The cutting season for me lasts about eight weeks, from the moment the spears first appear in the middle of April until the 15 June. This cut-off date is extremely important as the spears have time to develop into the attractive Asparagus fern. The ferns soak up the sunshine during the remainder of the Summer, which swells the roots to encourage a good crop of Asparagus spears the following year. 

 The most important threat to Asparagus is an infestation of the dreaded Asparagus beetle that lays its eggs on the emerging spears. They eat the spears as they lay their eggs, they also excrete a substance that is unsightly on the spears and the plants. The larvae eat the centres of the red Asparagus seeds and strip the leaves of the fern.

  Over the years I find frequent cutting during the harvest season keeps this pest from laying eggs in the early part of the season. However the danger of infestation for me lies in the period directly after I’ve stopped harvesting, when the spears first appear before they transform into the impressive ferns. On the neighbouring allotment gardens there are many small patches of Asparagus plants growing and as the Asparagus beetle is a flying pest there’s a good chance of infestation from these sources. The only organic cure for the Asparagus beetle appears to be physically  plucking the beetles and their eggs off the plants by hand and immersing them in soapy water.

  At the end of the season the ferns turn yellow. This is the time to burn them, as opposed to composting them, to prevent any further infestation of the Asparagus beetle.

 When first planting Asparagus crowns its best not to cut and harvest the spears for the first two years. Once they’re established Asparagus plants will continue to crop for over 20 years, if they are well looked after.

  ‘In mythology, Asparagus has been renowned since ancient times both as an aphrodisiac and medicinally, for its healing properties. … With its active compound asparagin stimulating the kidneys, bladder and liver, Asparagus is a powerful detoxifier.’

(Myth information from a Google snippet)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.