A warm sunny autumn day at the allotment

adams-pearman-applesToday is the Autumn equinox and another warm and sunny day.  Long may it continue. Each week another of the apple varieties ripens and today ‘Charles Ross‘, good for cooking and eating, was ready for picking. We had a bonfire to get rid of the old raspberry roots and canes, took out the sweet peas and did quite a bit of weeding.

The autumn raspberries are still cropping very well but there are few fruits on the bramble, the frost must have caught the flowers early in the season.

Jobs for next week
Prepare the new strawberry bed
Raise the netting on the winter brassicas

Start on the new raised beds


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Sowing for next year

The reason groups like North Berwick in Bloom  do so well in Beautiful  Scotland is they plan ahead and have regular  work sessions to keep all the various tasks  under control. On the Monday after success at the Aberdeen award ceremony the previous Wednesday we were out raking off cut grass from a large wildflower meadow on an old raised beach and doing  a trial sowing of yellow rattle to weaken  the more vigorous grasses. Our colleagues in East Lothian Council have reduced  mowing  of what was short turf  to one autumn  cut. As a result  and with no planting around 30 species of wild plants  have appeared.  ian-coos-green

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Fife show

This very good show has been held courtesy of Dobbie’s Dunfermline for several years but this time the organisers had to find a new venue at rather short notice and after the schedule had been printed and distributed as  Dobbies said they needed the space for Christmas sales items! Burntisland church hall was pressed into service and held  a very good display of flowers and produce over the last two days. Many thought it was the best show of the autumn as so many things have been late. More photos on shows page.img_9970

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A misty muggy morning on the allotment

A misty muggy morning with the sun coming out as we were clearing up to leave.

Today we were still working on clearing the posts from the old raspberry bed, the last one was finally dug out. They were all very well hammered in!

The comfrey had its last cut and the leaves were added to the compost heap, another cut for the grass and then a round of picking. The apples, variety ‘Discovery‘, always the first to ripen were all ready for picking. The autumn raspberries are still cropping well and we picked the first of the sweetcorn.

first-pize-for-shallotsThanks to Tom’s skills in growing and entering them, the Allotment won prizes at the Dalkeith Show for shallots and blanched leeks, gaining a first for the shallots and two seconds for the leeks.

Jobs for next week
Check on strawberry runners

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North Berwick in Bloom does it in style!

Wednesday 14th was a very special day as 2016 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Beautiful Scotland campaign to Keep Scotland Beautiful.  An evening of celebration when North Berwick in Bloom’s success was much in evidence.

The North Berwick in Bloom group were described as being at the very top of their game, judges noted an exceptionally wide variety of plants especially in the Lodge with its series of gardens within a garden and labelling similar to that seen in a botanical garden. North Berwick had previously won the coastal category eight times and this year added a ninth along with a gold medal in a section with 10 entrants. This category also carries the Dave Kerr trophy which commemorates a former North Berwick in Bloom volunteer and East Lothian Council gardener. More success was to come at the climax to the evening when the town was awarded the rose bowl for the highest score in the whole competition – the third time North Berwick in Bloom has won the top award. rosebowl-winner_northberwickinbloom_ltor-elma-danks-anne-turgoose-rosie-oberlander-and-stan-da-prato
The two teams of judges who visited East Lothian back in August were unanimous in praising East Lothian Council for the way it has managed to maintain standards at a time of severe spending restrictions and this led to the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society award for local authority horticulture. The judges noted many well maintained green spaces, good and very imaginative bedding displays and particularly effective herbaceous planting, which seems to be a challenge for most councils. Council staff are in regular contact with local bloom groups and often work jointly on projects. Crucially East Lothian Council still has a nursery which provides plants – standard fuchsias , cannas, bananas etc-that many bigger councils do not have.  The bloom success is seen as economically helpful by traders as well as improving the quality of life of local people.

This must surely be an example to other local authorities and communities. Well done.

North Berwick in Bloom volunteers and East Lothian Council colleagues with the Rosebowl, awarded for the highest score in Beautiful Scotland 2016 and the Dave Kerr Coastal trophy.  Photo Ian Gooodall.

North Berwick in Bloom volunteers and East Lothian Council colleagues with the Rosebowl, awarded for the highest score in Beautiful Scotland 2016 and the Dave Kerr Coastal trophy. Photo Ian Gooodall.


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Keep Scotland Beautiful Award Ceremony

Community groups, local authorities and businesses from across Scotland gathered on Wednesday 14 September at the Aberdeen Beach Ballroom to celebrate the 50th annual Beautiful Scotland Awards, organised by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

A ceremony which celebrated 50 years of Beautiful Scotland and one where East Lothian towns scooped key awards.

  • NorthBerwick in Bloom scooped the prestigious top award, the Rosebowl for the third time, (more information separately posting)  in recognition of its work in almost every corner of the town. The group also received a Gold Award and was named as the Coastal Town Category overall winner. North Berwick in Bloom’s initiatives have been highly commended. From taking steps to be more environmentally friendly to actively involving the wider community and supporting the business community. As a result there is widespread recognition locally of the benefits that the group brings to the local area and the economy.

Other East Lothian award winners were:

  • Blooming Haddington – Gold Award
  • Dunbar in Bloom – Silver Gilt Award

East Lothian Council also received the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Trophy recognising its ongoing work to improve the quality of the environment for visitors and residents alike.

At the ceremony there were twelve category winners, with additional Discretionary Awards and the overall Rosebowl Award, at the ceremony. All entries were assessed against the three core pillars of the Beautiful Scotland campaign – Horticultural Achievement; Environmental Responsibility and Community Participation.  The full list of Beautiful Scotland awards winners is available on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website

The event, which brought almost 300 delegates from across Scotland together in Aberdeen to receive their awards, from George Anderson Honorary President of The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:
“I would like to congratulate all of the Beautiful Scotland 2016 award winners. Quality local environments are vital to vibrant communities and good for business – helping to nurture respect for local places and improve wellbeing.  “All our Beautiful Scotland entrants have committed a lot of their own time and energy to make sure that Scotland’s outdoor spaces are kept clean, green and beautiful. The Beautiful Scotland awards ceremony provides the opportunity to showcase the role that they have played in making a difference. It is vital that we reward their efforts and celebrate their achievements.”
David Knott, President of The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society said:
“The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society is delighted to support the award to the local authority that demonstrates the highest quality of horticultural standards in public open spaces. I have seen for myself the quality of the horticultural displays across East Lothian, they create a wonderful feel good factor and have such positive benefits on the health and well-being of local people and visitors alike. This award is well deserved and recognises all the time, effort and skills that council staff, working in partnership with teams of volunteers, put in to create these wonderful displays.”
Beautiful Scotland is managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful, a member of the RHS Bloom Federation. Entrants are judged by a team of expert volunteer judges on their year-round achievements. Awards are presented to a range of local authorities and communities who have achieved the highest scores in their categories, with Discretionary Awards given to those who demonstrate excellence in their commitment to the campaign. Some of the winners will go on to represent Scotland in UK RHS Britain in Bloom in 2016.

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it’s not just flowers and vegetables


……….as this snap of today’s show in in Dunbar demonstrates. Local shows always have a fine selection of craftwork  and baking. I was asked to help dispose  of these plates of  home made tablet and readily obliged.






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