Slap in the middle of the busiest time of the growing year, I've been ill. Several weeks of illness and convalescence, followed by serious back pain as a result of weeks of inactivity. And then add to that the extreme busy-ness of the end of term, a French exchange visit, and the run-up to this week's joint Scottish/Italian Suzuki music workshop, and the poor allotment has had short shrift.
Things still grew, of course - among them weeds.
Newly planted pumpkins went through an iffy phase, before at last settling down to do some flowering.
I'd had a hankering after autumn flowering dahlias, to create more of a 'potager' effect. My gardening handyman put in the stakes during May and helped plant the tubers.
A few weeks of neglect, and the weeds had taken over.
Underneath all that junk, however, there are dahlias:
And everything else has survived. Spinach, lettuces, beetroot, green peas, onions, shallots, garlic, raspberries, potatoes, French beans - they've all been growing quite happily without us.
The strawberries are in their second year, so we can pick a crop. Only a few were ripe this week, among them this whoppper:
We brought it home and prepared it carefully.
It tasted...of not very much. We hope it's been a case of all brawn and no taste, and that the smaller fruits will be more fragrant.
Still, the first vegetable pickings were worthwhile. A first unearthing of Charlotte salad potatoes. And we've been eating spinach all week.