Sunday, 26 June 2011

Our Back Garden :)

I have not been well and thus have found it very difficult to come here and write anything. Believe me, I have tried and I have failed on a number of occasions to do a little post. My depression and anxiety has been terrible and I am sorry to say that this time, no amount of Ecotherapy has been able to fight against it. Yes I have kept up my photo blog but it wasn't easy; I have even found it hard to read other blogs I love. Sorry if you feel I have neglected you dear reader.


The Back Garden has come along a pace with Andrew being off for a a few days and the weather holding out. I painted the back wall one fine day when the builders saw fit to paint the new townhouses behind us. I shall not be out done :)

Andrew has been rendering. Naturally he reads about it, gets the materials and is an instant success. Really I have yet to find a DIY project that has stumped him! I love a man that can turn their hand to anything ~ reminds me of my Papa. Plus all the plants are settling in and growing well :)


So indeed, revel in the glory of the back garden now. It's been a while since you came over to visit :)

The rendering was the bit that Andrew was most worried about getting right but it's perfect and I am very proud. We got the materials needed to do the work from Mamma G for our wedding anniversary. And today Andrew took his birthday money (his birthday was on the 24th)  and bought 3 lovely large black glazed pots in a sale - yay! LOVE that!

Lottie news. We're eating lots of -
new potatoes
green garlic
lettuces of lots of varieties
broad beans

Friday, 17 June 2011

Blackcurrant bonzana!

We walked to our lottie last night and on the way down the drive to our plot we noticed that the council-planted blackcurrant bushes were cleverly being covered by some opportunistic plot fellows to safe the berries from the many birds :)

This made me think about our own plants and whether we had many. All the cherries are gone AGAIN this year - so not fair and we didn't look after the strawberry plants at all and I haven't even bothered to look at them *slaps wrist*. Ronnie walked past us later in our visit with a big washing up bowl over flowing with the best looking strawberries I have ever seen (he's cheeky and didn't even offer one - I love Ronnie, so competitive).

Anyway we have a lot of blackcurrants it turned out, each of the 6 or 7 plants had beautiful clusters on them and there are more ripening away. I picked around a pound and was very happy getting my fingers all reddened :) Here's what we did with them, added sugar and ...... made a thick luxurious jam come almost sorbet  - yummmmmmy
It's amazing and no, hands off, it's all ours, hahahaha.

Whilst I was picking away I came across two of the saddest looking gooseberry bushes ever. Nematode attack number 1 has failed utterly and totally. These little buggers are from one plant alone, I bagged them up and put them in the bin; I accidentally squished one and almost vomited, it's not a nice feeling. I HATE sawfly caterpillars with a passion that requires a lie down and some soothing music.....

DIE DIE DIE!!! (sorry about that)

And today is Andrew and my 6th Wedding Anniversary - we're going out for a special dinner and everything!! I love my hubby :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Love amongst the brassicas

Well I made it, I was at my lottie on Saturday. She had waited for me and she needed me just as I needed her. I felt better for the knowledge that I was going to help her back into order, cutting the grass, weeding around our precious food and basking in the glorious bird song and vibrant shades of green. It had been raining, hard, but we went as soon as it stopped and staid until a huge new rain cloud arrived. It was nice.
My illnesses have been putting a stress on home life; I am glad to say that both Andrew and I are human and therefore susceptible to the odd argument and feelings of distance. But Saturday morning greeted us both with a stronger energy and a dual desire to be happier - it's good for your health. ;) We wanted this past weekend to be all about spending time together and riding with the ups and downs with a little more grace.

Soppy I know, but I don't care. We have been having a rough time, me with the deep low in my depression and a blasted infection and him with work stresses and trying to care for me at the same time. Both our heads have been in melt down and the weather has done us no favours. Honestly I am really sorry to hear that so many people are experiencing drought but I guess the opposite - dark days and rain all the time over last week is just as depressing.

Anyway that's it, just a short post and here my lovelies - the lottie sends her love to you too in thanks for being so kind and supportive xxx

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Andrew's solo lottie sojourn with a camera

Well as you know I haven't been the best (thank you everyone for your lovely comments - I have the most bestest followers ever!) so Andrew took the camera at my request when he went to check up on the lottie on night. Here is the joy he brought was great to feel up to date with pictures, not only a brief summary.

Firstly Andrew visited our 14b plot  :)
looks productive and quite tidy!

beautiful sweet williams

climbing brolitti beans and runner beans
broad beans grown well

Then over to 24a :)
the salad bar and a sneaky blueberry pot

the 2 sister approach to sweetcorn and squash growning


the main crop spuds

 autumn raspberries and the friut tree sromping away :)


Then he crossed over to the other side of the field were a small gathering of men were cooking their amazing catch of mackrel, plucked from the sea at Whitehead. Well done boys! With a master butcher on hand they were gutted with precision and smoked  - Andrew had a little and said it was good, this little pup would no doubt agree :)

To me this is exactly what allotment commaraderie is all about - forging friendships, hanging out together and eating good fresh food you have grown and as in this occasion caught yourself. What a great little party.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Contemplative Gardener

On Monday I wrote a piece for my other blog on photography about how I needed to stop being so bloody hard on myself, to realise that I have limits that need respecting and to stop pushing myself to the limit and beyond. In that post I wrote this sentence, it was even highlighted like this -
'I write because I can not speak the words I wish to; I garden to be close to nature and feel Her nourish me; I take photographs as a form of mediation.'
It's been bothering me ever since and I shall tell you why.

I haven't been to the allotment for quite a few days now, I haven't even wanted to go and I most certainly have not repeated that glorious lone walk there and back which I was so proud of. No, I have been ill with an infection for which I am now on my 2nd course of antibiotics and though the infection is bad, the side effects are worse. I was having migraines and nausea with the first lot which was bad enough, this batch is giving me headaches, nausea, blurry vision and dizziness - hoorah, what fun!!

Thing is, when I am physically sick it seems legitimate to be at home, to be maudlin and lethargic, to not do much. But I don't allow myself the same grace when it comes to the fact that I have a permanent mental illness and permanent double vision - oh no, that's completely different. So the past week as I have sat here feeling 'really' ill, the pressure to be at the allotment and work hard (too hard as usual) hasn't been as strong and you know what? The world hasn't stopped revolving, plants continue to grow without me worrying; the lottie will be there when I am ready to go back to her.

I need to give myself a break and not just for now; a fundamental change is needed in how I think about life, about myself. '...I garden to be close to nature and feel Her nourish me...' How can she help me as she so desperately wants to if I refuse to listen? How can see hold me in her arms if I am frantically trying to do so many things? How can she nourish me if all I do is worry and panic until I am sick in the stomach?

I am reminded of a little saying that was prominent in my upbringing but never struck the right chord until today and maybe it will strike a chord with you too -
'Don't worry, don't hurry, don't forget to stop and smell the flowers'

all from my lottie - what gifts she provides.
Namaste xx

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

He who dares wins

They have marched into the fray, 'gone over the top' of the watering can, all teeth furiously bared and battle has indeed commenced!! 'Arrrgghhh' is the guttural war cry that is too microscopic to hear but I know it's happening. Leather jackets, sawfly beware we have sent in the troops; no longer shall we bare witness to your terrible attack on justice, on the right for our plants to grow and thrive and be consequently eaten by us, not you, you good-for-nothing scoundrels!!!

Oh I know you can feel the fury of righteousness in your bellies, your pulse is quickening too isn't it??? Though, like me, many of you are pacifists you know, deep down, that sometimes violence is the only answer!!

I'm talking NEMATODES!! Well, it would appear I am yelling about them with some gusto and an scary anger that obviously is repressed (I should maybe seek help for that.....)

We went into operation 'Kill the Cads' on Tuesday 24th at approximately 19:46 hrs. A quarter of the pack did 5 beds and early indications show that the enemy is still thriving - darn and blast it all. Though I did find ONE dead leather jacket in amongst the broad beans, so maybe it was but the first of many fatalities.  Time will tell....

I just thought you'd like to know :)
say NO to leather jackets