Skies, spiders and squash ~ A wander around the allotment in Spetember

A few snaps, a few glimpse, a few dare we say it spiders……

Like it or not September is spider season. I happen to like it. Not the bit when you think you have a bit of web or a spider in your hair, but I like seeing the webs and spiders in the early morning sunlight. The spiders busily weave their webs, seemingly in the exact places I need to walk or get to. You know what that means don’t you? No its not a running screaming girlie, it’s a mad looking woman, garden trowel in hand, frantically waving her arms in the air, apparently at nothing at all.

Waving my arms in front of me as I walk down the garden in the morning, the spiders have been busy overnight weaving away between plants and trees, using the washing line as a convenient stopping off point. And on the allotment they are there, anchored to the greenhouse and spanning across to canes or supports.

The snaps aren’t my greatest, but you get the idea. The snaps also shows you my carrot and salad seedling boxes up on the allotment – boxes gathered and press-ganged into use, cobbled together and converted – fish boxes, tubs and trugs, old window boxes. A case of re-use and re-use. I have grand designs for a purpose built bed made of old railway sleepers – maybe three metres long and a metre wide, filled with sand and compost, raised so the carrot fly can’t come and play (they don’t reach heights above 30cm or a foot in old English). But that’s for next year.

And then as we wander, remember we are waving our arms in front of us, by now we have a pair of secateurs and a collecting bucket or bag, we reach a trellis, propped up with canes and gaffer tape, soon to be replaced with smart chestnut stakes. I’ve found that sea air corrodes and sea winds bend and bcukle anything that isn’t wood or firmly fixed into the ground. The climbing beans are still producing flowers and tempting fresh beans. The only thing I didn’t plan for was how to pick beans when they are at a height of 2 metres (or about 7 foot). What do I do? I can   s  t  r  e  t  c  h   …. or I can jump up and down and grab and snatch out at the beans….. the odds of me pulling the whole thing are raised with that particular game though!  So I need a stool or something sturdy to clamber onto so I can pick the lush little beans with ease and a modicum of decorum.

The shelling beans are fine at that height, I will just pull the whole vine down when the majority have turned yellowy-brown and are starting to dry; these French filet type beans, well that’s another matter at least today I didn’t have to do too much jumping up and down !

Time to look down at what is going on at ground level. Time to pick these Little Gem Squash.  I love how the leaves are upright on this variety,  the leaves are turning towards the morning sun in this shot.

Looking at the Gem Squash today as I picked them, I thought of dark green cannon balls, for no reason other than carrying a bag home with 14 of them it felt like I was carrying cannon balls !

There are fourteen mini cannon balls in the photo, a good haul, the number will slowly decrease as lunch or starters are made, this afternoon the total is down to thirteen.

I’ll leave you for now as I have promenading to do. I’m promenading down to the Hastings Seafood and Wine festival. Yes a local festival to celebrate all that is fishy and of the grape, we are fortunate where we live – there is food in the sea and there are vineyards nearby. And good ones too. English wine, for many years had a bad reputation, often justifiably. Times have changed my friends. English wine is seriously good, I’ll tell you how good on Monday, after I’ve sampled and supped my way through the local offerings !

Here’s a peak from last year, happy days !


  • The festival sounds like a wonderful way to open a weekend! I will indeed be interested in hearing about the English wines. I have no knowledge of them by reputation good or bad! I can remember when California wines weren’t particularly prized, especially from Central California, and now they are among the best in the world. It just takes time to develop optimum conditions, and it would be excellent to see English wines offer something entirely new and different. See? I really am curious…do tell! And I just can’t believe your garden is still producing. Fantastic, even if you do need a ladder to get to the beans! 🙂 Enjoy your time! Debra

  • Ah, what a sweet, sweet garden tour! Adore the arms madly swinging about! What a joyful post to begin our weekend, enjoy the festival!

  • I love your spider web! I enjoy wandering through your allotment with you
    Thank you for a wonderful start to today ( I had over 6 inches of rain so I need to go see if all the new kittens and fawns are okay
    Have a Wonderful Weekend
    Take Care..

  • I laughed when I read about your beans, because I have the same problem! My Christmas Lima Beans have far exceeded their expected 6 foot height and there are a few way up top that are waiting to be picked. I’m going to have to bring a ladder to the garden I guess.

  • Yes! I had the same issues with my pole beans two years ago. Fortunately, their climbing frame was simply pruned branches formed into a tepee, tied together with old yarn (the birds sometimes borrow the bright strands, when building their nests in the Spring), so I was able to just loosen the ties and tilt the branches a bit to reach. As for the spiders…several years ago I rode bicycle to and from my work, which meant at 6AM, I was often the first one down my road. Morning after morning, I broke through a spider web that spanned the road. I could almost hear that poor spider sigh…Thanks, Claire!

    • “I could almost hear that poor spider sigh” I can imagine that Cindy !
      I’m so pleased my plot is tucked away out of view from most people otherwise they’d get a surpirse !!

  • The mini-cannon balls are so cute. Do you just cut them in half, seed and bake them or do you do something more elaborate? 🙂

    Spiders … they persist on making a web between my chain fence and the passenger side mirror on my car. So every time I have to drive away it gets destroyed. You think they’d learn.

    • even simple rthan that. I prick them with a skewer and pop them in boiling water for about 25 minutes, take them out, slice the top off them, scoop the seeds out and then add some butter and black pepper and get to work with a teaspoon – a meal in a bowl !!
      You woul dthink they learn – maybe they ar elife’s eternal optomists !

  • Right, so September is not the month for me to come and visit – I am somewhat of an arachnophobic so will leave that to you – ooh I am sure there is something crawling on me – *runs screaming from the room*
    Have a lovely weekend Claire.
    🙂 Mandy

  • I have so many spiders in Maine but not just in September…all the time. It seems that they know exactly where I plan to walk and I’m always clearing their webs. It is very easy for me to visualize you with your arms flinging about. LOL.

  • Quite the spider’s eye view–webs give me the willies. Wish we could see you waving your arms– I always seem to be the first one to pass though them.

    • It seems you either love them or could happily exist without them Alice,
      I’m so pleased no-one can see me, trust me it’s bad enough just getting up and walking about, without me waving me arms around as well 🙂

  • I like spiders in the garden. I especially like the ones that hide in the flowers.

    Is that Little Gem a summer squash? Looks that way but I’m not sure.

    Maybe for your next post you can get a friend to make a video of you jumping up and down to pick beans? Purely for the educational value.

    • The Little Gem is also known as Little Gem Rolet (a South African variety) and is a sort of summer squash – eaten fresh or young is best, but it does store for a while, maybe 2 months max – but it gets more and more stringy, I like the stringiness, but I know a lot of people don’t.
      The cooking instructions are – “I prick them with a skewer and pop them in boiling water for about 25 minutes, take them out, slice the top off them, scoop the seeds out and then add some butter and black pepper and get to work with a teaspoon – a meal in a bowl ”

      And hoi! Educational value !! 🙂

  • What a great post! I now have a vivid pucture in my head of you flapping arms in all directions and then jumping up and down to reach those beans. It made me a chuckle:-) Also another sign that gardeners really don’t need to go to the gym.
    Hope the seafood and wine festival was good. Hopefully they managed to resolve the seating issues of last year so that people could sit on the beach and pop back now and again for fresh supplies.

    • Trouble is you, of all people, can really imagine me doing that !!
      and yes, a fine time was had by all. The set up was changed again, the recycling was still crap, the food was fab and the wine and fizz even better 🙂 Now for a quiet week ……. apart from going to Brighton etc, etc.

      • I really can imagine you doing it…I’m chuckling to myself (again) just thinking about it!
        Read your post about the seafood and wine (and cake:-)) festival. Glad to read it lived up to expectations.
        Is it possible to have the words quiet and Brighton in the same sentence? 🙂

  • We have spiders everywhere, too. They are good for the garden, but as you said, you need to walk warily! Your garden looks like it is still producing very well. A seafood and wine festival sounds like so much fun. I’ll go and visit your pics from last year.

    • Hi Betsy, the spiders are goo dfor the garden, I just wish they wouldn’t try and attach themselves to me and my hair 🙂 Hope you have a super week ahead !

  • Yikes so September is Spider season! Oh heck, I just took my boys to Lamma Island and we have given this island a nickname “Spider Island” as they are at least a bizillion of these man eating spiders- fist sized. As you can tell I am not particularly found of spiders my heart rate never dropped below 100 beats/min during our hike not because of the summit, just dodging spiders. Your squash and all of your harvest looks gorgeous.

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