Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The reason for all this frantic marmalade making (below), redcurrant jellying (right) and, as soon as I can get round to it, bramble jellying and pumpkin chutney making is that we are intending to move house.

We've accepted an offer on our house and started an inexorable process of clearing out 26 years worth of junk from the loft and goodness knows how many years worth of fruit from 2 freezers.

As we haven't yet found anywhere to move to it looks likely that most of our stuff will have to be packed up and put into storage. I'm far too frugal (mean) to let my stored fruit go to waste so I'm suddenly terribly busy in the kitchen.

...and the garden. We're carting the wonderful home-made compost up the hill to the allotment, where the quality of compost is pretty iffy at best. (You put grass cuttings and sticks in and they come out again several years later looking very similar but with an added ants nest)

We live in exciting times!
Happy gardening (if only I had time!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Animal antics

I had an argument with this fox. He wanted to tear up the plastic sheeting on the next door allotment. I told him he was a naughty fox and he was to leave it alone. He grinned and lay down to wait for me to go home.

Earlier I had been digging over where the leeks had just been lifted. I dug, then raked the soil and a robin who had been watching me couldn't contain himself any longer and flew over, landed on the rake I was still holding and picked one of those ginger wiggly centipedey things from the tines of the rake!

Somehow I feel that these creatures have got the upper hand!

Happy gardening  

Monday, May 14, 2012

fat mouse

 If you leave a load of fat balls in the shed and forget to put them into an airtight tin you get a very happy and over-fed mouse!

Happy gardening

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sitting in the sun.....

I planted broadbean seeds today, straight into the soil.  I usually sow seeds at home and then bring them to the allotment as young plants but this year our garden is in mid transformation so there's nowhere at all to put seedtrays. They should be ok, the ground wasn't too soggy and forked over quite nicely.

The surprisingly warm February sun had brought out lots of people, oh, and frogs. Our pond was busy with seasonal froggy business, but no spawn yet. The pond next door, however was completely tapioca'd over. I wonder what makes them choose a particular place? Strange beasts, frogs.

Roo and girlfriend Helen came up to check out the view, and stayed for a while to sit and enjoy the sun.

Unfortunately they sat on the bench!!


I think I should put a sign on it in case anybody else fall through it and sues me

Happy gardening

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another year, another post

Rainbow with dark clouds a few weeks ago while I was
preparing beds for spring sowing.

Beautiful ice circles placed in the dead plum tree. Made me want to make fused glass pieces to hang here as a more permanent feature.

Happy new year and happy gardening

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ten past five and it's dark. The clocks changed last night so winter's really on it's way but this morning our little bunch of allotment gardeners were basking in the warmth of another lovely Sunday. Tee shirt weather.

I collected these squashes last time we were up there. I forgot to take the camera again today so you'll just have to imagine photos of us clearing away the runner bean canes, harvesting the last of the sweetcorn and placing the badger proof cage over some brassicas. I don't think the brassicas are in any danger from badgers, whitefly are more of a problem, but it had to go somewhere, so that's where it went.

That's probably it till next weekend though. The days can be wonderful but oh dear, the nights are so long.
Happy gardening

Monday, October 3, 2011

Successes and also rans

An amazing weekend of record-breaking temperatures and lots and LOTS of clearing up after a very mixed summer.

I've decided I'll just make a list of what went well and what didn't do so well this year and number one on the list has got to be this poor old blog. I don't know what's happened really, inertia maybe. I keep forgetting to take the camera with me and I seem to be spending quality blogging time on facebook these days!

So....a strange growing season weatherwise, but good results from:
climbing french beans - Blue Lake
onions - Red Baron and Stuttgarter
garlic - from previous season
potatoes - Charlottes
broad beans - Meteor and Bunyard's Exhibition
lettuce - Lollo Rosso and Little Gem
runner beans - Scarlet Emporer
apples - the big tree (unknown) and James Grieve
raspberries - Autumn Bliss
strawberries - unknown (I got them all muddled up when I moved them)
spring onions
rocket - self seeded (all over the place)
Squash - Crown Prince and Pattie Pan
spinach beet
oops, forgot the leeks. Bit small but loads of them and they went on for ages.

Also rans:
giant pumpkin (only one)
carrots - they may be ok but they'll be very small
lettuce - Webbs
pak choi
butternut squash
courgettes - really, really rubbish this year
tomatoes - gardener's delight and moneymaker (hit by blight just before they ripened)

The windowsill yield was small but tasty, a few peppers (black and white, weird colours for peppers) three cucumbers from one plant and some very long, thin aubergines. Oh, and a couple more tomato plants, very leggy but not very productive.

Still in the ground at time of going to press:
a selection of brassicas, sprouts, purple broccoli, Greyhound cabbage, Romanescu broccoli
parsnips - Tender and True
this year's leeks (planted out today)

So...overall it looks like the successes won. Sometimes you need to write things down to see the whole picture and it's not as gloomy as I'd thought. I'm glad. The distinct periods of cold and wet and hot and dry certainly took their toll, but not on all of our produce. Some even benefited.

And it's been great being there, up on the hill in all weathers, digging, weeding, chopping the grass and picking the crops. I've enjoyed it. It gives me great contentment

Happy gardening. ( I bet I left something off my list)