Running alongside the real-life Cake Sunday has been a virtual version, the Bloggers Cut, hosted by Veg Plotting blog, to bring a wider internet gardening community together over more cake! As I took part in both, I had some hard decisions to make regarding what sort of cake I would make. I love baking cakes but had to limit myself to just one. (Actually, I made two but the coffee sponge with cappucino marscapone filling was bagged by my teenager for a stay-at-home cake.)
Various recipes using garden grown ingredients were considered: should it be my summer fruits traybake or perhaps Jono's almond topped rhubarb cake? I would have loved the recipe for the carrot and courgette cake which a local café serves but in the end opted for this lemon and polenta cake which I topped with edible flowers and petals held on with a lemon glaze.
Once over at the event, I dropped the cake off and quickly locked my bicycle. I'd missed the grand opening by the Chelsea Pensioners (thanks to faffing around collecting edible flowers) but was in time to hear some hilarious songs by the singing allotmenteer, Jo Stephenson. I'd spied this fabulously retro-frocked and wellied up creature chatting to visitors as I supped tea with some friends I'd bumped into.
Jo kept us entertained with her true life songs of stolen marrows, slugs and Alan Titchmarsh (not necessarily in the same song), standing among the potatoes and alliums of the disco ball community rock garden. Jo and her singing partner Dan have a show called 'Can You Dig It?' on next Saturday, 8th June in Bethnal Green.
Whilst everyone was gathered round, it was the perfect opportunity to present the awards for the best planting in a tree pit, with a small trophy presented to each of the three recipients. As I understand it, judging by the Curious Gardener and Veronica from Which? Gardening was firm but fair. Monocultures not allowed. Diversity of planting gaining extra points. Colin is a hard man to sway.
Earlier in the day, local resident Tim Bushe had demonstrated his topiary cutting; I already knew of the elephants that he'd created and wanted to pop back for a closer look. I absolutely love them - if I had a large scruffy privet hedge, I'd want my own herd.
Another hedge had been clipped in a vertical box design with an arched entrance to the garden and reminded me of Christopher Bradley-Hole's clipped show garden for the Telegraph at Chelsea.
That just left time for a quick tour of the neighbourhood front gardens; the project has encouraged many households to grow both edible and ornamentals and to create gardens they're proud of. There are some lovely gardens in the street - out of many, these three caught my eye and I was able to have a quick chat to one or two of the owner gardeners.
|Lovely juxtaposition of colours in this garden, especially the way the slate mulch echoes the colours of the planting.|
|Thriving plants in this garden get morning sun and are well tended by an enthusiastic owner. |
I was invited through to see the back garden which is even lovelier with extremely well stocked borders.
|This corner plot was untended a few years ago and slightly letting the show down. Now planted up with strawberries, potatoes and ornamental perennials (and disco rock balls!), it's a visual treat.|