Vampires Need Not Apply and a Caption Competition

As I walk home from the allotment I can name my perfume “eau de garlic”. Delightful! Well it is if you like garlic.

It’s garlic harvest time here – around or on the longest day is the norm (if you planted on or around the shortest day). How better to celebrate the summer solstice than with freshly picked garlic.

Cloves were planted late winter

Covered in snow in January

Got a dusting of wood ash in early Spring

Grew and grew

Warmed by the sun and watered with rain

Is now picked and drying at home

It isn’t the best or biggest crop I’ve ever grown. The bulbs are on the small side, but there is plenty to celebrate as the white rot appears not to have spread into this patch of ground. The relief after last year’s crop was decimated by this vile disease is palpable. So next year I need to pay a bit more attention to feeding the soil – lots of rich compost, maybe some seaweed, and of course keep it weeded, garlic doens’t like too much competition.

Talking of competitions, let’s look at The Caption Competition

I have grown a few Elephant garlic in a border in the garden. I like the flowers – huge purple with the distinctive Allium shape, a bee and butterfly magnet. Letting the Elephant garlic go to flower doesn’t seem to have any impact on the taste of the garlic, a win-win.

This is what has happened to one of the plants.

It seems to have a mind of its own. I’ve wracked my brain for a witty title or comment but have so far failed miserably. So it’s over to you. Come on, I know you can think of something! And a prize well maybe three cheers all round, or maybe 3 groans all round depending on how ‘bad’ the caption is. Or perhaps I could pop a packet of home saved seeds in the post to the winner. I could get my partner to select his favourite caption. Put your thinking caps on and leave a comment 🙂


  • Great garlic crop, but the elephant garlic does look like he is “giving the finger” to the regular chaps, so how about something like “stick that in your garlic crusher mate”!

  • “If you try to pull me out of my warm and cozy home here at the Promenade Hotel and Farm Spa and Resort, I will pierce you with my swift and steady sword.!”

    • I know that need Marie, when you need coffee nothing else will do! I love the scapes too, but wanted these ones for flowers, the words ‘gardening’ and ‘plans’ shouldn’t be uttered in the same sentence!!

  • I’ve not tried growing garlic myself but often buy the curled stems (that’s not the right word but I can’t think if what is) at the farmers market to use with flowers. I love the shapes. BTW, the seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago are showing no sign of breaking through the ground! Sigh

    • Hi lulu, I think the word you ar elooking for is scapes. They are delcious aren’t they – and lucky you getting them at your farmers market, I haven’t seen them at our small one here in Hastings.
      Those seeds are taking their time aren’t they! I had to wait for seemed like forever for my carrot seeds to make an appearance, I think it got too cold for them! Hope you have a lovely weekend ahead

      • that’s it….scapes! Thanks and it’s my carrots that aren’t showing a touch of green.

        • So we are in the same boat so to speak! The second batch germinated ok, in the end I re-sowed the 1st batch. I have to have carrots 🙂

  • That’s one naughty little plant! 😀 My garlic isn’t doing nearly as well. The flowers are doing very well, but the temps are just too cool.

    • It is isn’t it! The elephant garlic with the flower stalk should reach 5 to 6 ft high…. this one definietly has other ideas! and yes too cool, but we have seen some glimmers haven’t we 🙂

  • I had a 1960s flashback to the television show Laugh In. “No one is safe from the fickle finger of fate!” You’ve made me think I was really remiss in not planting garlic. It’s really a beautiful plant. I loved the pictorial retrospective! 🙂 Debra

    • “fickle finger of fate” – oh yes the fickle finge rof fate is taking hold of this garlic Debra! Garlic is one of my favourite crops to grow because the stuff I get locally isn’t great, not very fresh or tasty so growing our own makes a lot of sense. The trouble is that it is in the ground for 6 – 8 months, so it takes up a lot of space, and I know if I had mor eland I’d grow even more 🙂

  • Looks like your garlic is ‘giving you the finger’. Sorry, that was the only witty thing I could think of. 🙂

  • Morning Claire! Wow .. harvesting garlic so early! Lucky you! And so sad about the white rot, sob, I feel your pain! Caption? “there’s one in every crowd” or “it came from up there” or “beam me up, Scotty” or “cheque, please” ?? 🙂

    • It’s the normal time fo rme, it starts to die back around now, and then I nee dto dry it out thoroughlly for winer use. YUM! The white rot ruined quite a bot of last year’s crop, so the relief was great here!
      Loving “Beam Me Up Scotty” and ” it came from up there ” 🙂

      • oh, I see . .over here, the time is usually mid-July to pick the garlic. So happy that you have a good crop this year! Oh, my fingers are so crossed that I win! I’d absolutely love to have some of those bouquet pea seeds that stem (no pun intended!) from the 16th century.

    • 🙂 That’s probably the truest comment – being a somewhat neglectful gardener these garlic were left to their own devices and didn’t get any treats like rich compost 🙂

    • Harevsting is simply the best bit – no matter how good planting out feels with all those dreams and hopes! I try and do the dull jobs and leave the picking and harvesting to last – my way of treating myself at th end of a hard session in the garden!

  • I immediately thought of a forked tail so here goes… “Wait ’til you see my cloven foot, err, root”

    Not the garlic is actually anything but wonderful!

  • Hi Claire. Without wishing away time, I can’t wait to harvest garlic, but I only put it in a couple of days ago so its a long wait! Enjoy the fresh garlic. Cheers Sarah : o )

    • Happy to have a link to your post I see you made pistou, delicious added to soups! I like to leave a few to flower as I love the flowers so much, and the bees adore them too 🙂

  • Ah yes, a reminder to harvest our garlic. It’s been so wet, we haven’t wanted to do it, but some bulbs are starting to rot so I think we had better just get on with it. Great to see how you look after your garlic in the same way we do, except ours do get some seaweed too. Garlic is our most important crop so I can imagine how devastated you must have been. Scapes are all we’ve had so far, apart from a couple of bulbs which were starting to rot. So love the season’s fresh crop.

    • To be honest the crop isn’t a great one, the bulbs are tiny in comparison to previous years, my one consolation (if I can call it that) is that other people’s garlic is the same. What a strange weather year we are having! And thanks for popping in 🙂

    • Shimon you go straight to the top of the class for spotting my mistake! I’ve corrected it now. So it should read “harvest on the longest day” (Northern hemisphere). Thank you

  • Great pictures – great garlic!! I have some growing, how do I know when it’s ready to pull? Should I dry it or can it be eaten fresh?

    • Hi Lois, and thank you ! It’s ready to pull when the leaves start dying back and turning brown. I tend to dry mine but you can try some fresh – it really is fantastic tasting. And thanks for popping in 🙂

  • Hi Claire, I don’t have an allotment as you know but I’m thinking of just planting a few throughout my flower bed. Do they grow well next to other herbs? D I have to get special cloves as well or can I pop the ones that sprout from my fridge?

    • Hi there Noodle, absolutely fine growing in beds with herbs and flowers, just avoid planting them with beans – they don’t get on, but they do well with roses and the like (a great companion plant). You can choose whether to let them flower or cut a few of the scapes off and eat them 😉
      It’s up to you – yes you can plant the ones sprouting in your fridge 🙂 the usual time for planting is late autumn. Many people are successful growing them from bulbs that are shop bought, often imported from China, some are inoculated, and / or aren’t that great – but the bonus is that they are leftovers so don’t cost you anything extra. Or buy something grown closer to home and of good quality. Simply split the bulb into separate cloves and pop them in the ground.
      The other option is to buy some from somewhere like the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight (all things garlicy), I’ve bought from them in the past and they’ve been good, but not cheap, besides there are plenty of other good companies selling garlic to plant. Looking forward to reading about what you grow now 🙂

      • Ok, I’m definitely going to try planting them some this Autumn. I’m just going to have to try and be better at gardening – my fear is that if I let my garden get overgrown, I won’t be able to distinguish if that’s the garlic growing or weeds, LOL! 🙂

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