Thursday, 1 March 2012

Dandelions and Daffodils

Hello my pretties, long time no talk to!
We have much to catch up on and the sun has just come out, Maggie has just gotten settled on her sofa and I have my cosy blankie....

I think owning an Allotment at this time of year can feel a little like a punishment, there I said it. I fear too many people are on the band waggon of 'grow your own and isn't everything wonderful', well no, let's be frank (whoever he is) and just look at the reality of the whole's mucky, it's brown everywhere, your hands are cold and cracked, your back aches, Andrew's head is spinning with crop rotations, all the celeriac had to come out because it was awful, there are weeds growing gloriously and vigorously and everything is quite literally poo (I hate how obsessed I become about good manure at the time of year, it is quite unladylike!). Plus even coming into our 5th growing season Andrew and I still haven't got on top of those blasted paths and I have seen 1, count that my friends, 1 adult worm in the whole 2 plots!!!!

There rant over, but I really do hope you see what I mean. How can one seriously get excited about the Lottie when you turn up to see this and you could ideally be in a cafe somewhere with a great book instead....

these are not the worst photos I could have shown you...
Though to be fair these beds are now all weed free (I take a bow) and some have lime on them (think brassicas), others have lovely poo on them. How can I really get annoyed when I think about how you are all in the same boat! At least we aren't like a lot of other people on the plots who haven't done a single thing since summer last! The vast majority of the plots are a disgrace, but I pat myself, well make that, I pat Andrew on the back for making us go and get stuck in over these past months.
Action shot of Andrew adding some lime :)
Can you believe it - March already! Yay, the Spring has conquered yet another Winter :) It's time to get those last minute prunings done - blackberries, raspberries etc and prepare to sow seeds like there is no tomorrow. I often wonder why we bother planting some outside under cover - 1st pic is Broad Beans planted in situ where Mice got to them, grrr, 2nd picture is Broad Beans planted and put in the cold frame - I love the cold frame ones and actually spent about 3 mins staring at them in their green glory last Saturday. It makes the heart sing to see such a vibrant healthy colour (especially when it isn't a blasted dandelion!).

Next is the flower bed with it's little tete-a-tetes and then the last of the leeks harvested. There is still rainbow chard and the rhubarb is going bonkers, I think we'll be eating it for weeks :) Our garlic is coming up well and the trees all look healthy, there is an artichoke flower already (yuck!!) and the Jerusalem Artichokes are heaving at the soil (yum).
..and this is only the small plant :)
But really overall, I am tired the moment I look at the place and I am not joking. Everything good is really good, I can't deny it but it does only amount to a tiny percentage of the productivity of the 2 half plots and really, grass and weeds are winning at present. Even when we do start seed planting, they'll be underground for goodness sake and I won't see the rewards for ages - I know, I sound like a very grumpy, hormonal teenager. My depression  has been horrendous lately and my mood is jumping about all over today (sorry).
May this make you giggle as it did for me - one of our failed parsnips in the weeding trug
But then there's the shed, oh. dear. god. help. us. all! We can barely get in or get what we want, out. It is a disaster of epic proportions. I didn't even take a photo for fear of causing heart attacks amongst you all and the shame for me really would be unbearable.

Let's end on a happy photo of my window sill - little daffs everywhere - yellow joy right in my eye line, swaying gently in the breeze. Happy St David's Day to all those Welsh lovelies out there - I must say you have a glorious flower and a fabulous vegetable representing you (whereas we have a weed - the clover and the potato, hahaha).
showing off here with my amazing 3 headed daff!
Love to you all, and wishing you strength to get out there in the cold and grey, damp days and try to see to beauty in brown soil, mucky boots and poo xxxx


  1. Keep your chin up - your allotment looks almost perfect. You should see them up our allotments!

  2. I've been pruning roses and buddleia and the last plot visit was pruning the blackberry. Thank goodness that is over.

    You are right though some people take on a plot thinking it's all going to be rosy without any effort!

    Just think at least we are getting out now and weeds are really wild flowers that you are nurturing as you love nature in all its forms.

  3. why oh why would you want to sit in a nice warm cafe with coffee and a good book when there's so much going on at the lottie? Nice nails, by the way ;)

  4. It looks promising, and my lady has very elegant fingernails, for a gardener!

  5. Your allotment looks've got nothing to be down about missy :) I'm heading up to our site tomorrow and it's WAY more muddy than yours looks. In any case, I give it about four weeks max before your enthusiasm is back in full gear. Just keep trucking along and spring will be here before you know it!

  6. I love it that you tell it like it is -- mud and mess and miniature vegetables and green glory, too.

  7. Love the nails! :)
    I have to admit that the thought "here we go again" (accompanied by a sigh) did cross my mind this year. We're taking much longer to get going. Still not a seed sown.
    Never mind, it's no good gardening until your heart's in it, my mum used to say. When mine's ready I'll be off :)

  8. Doesn't look bad to me, just your average after-winter-garden! Your rhubarb is huge already, over here (in the northern part of Holland) it's just starting to come up...

  9. I thought left a comment here, but I didn', now I will.

    This post brightened my day, especially the daffodils and the nails:~)

    I don't really garden much:~( but to my untrained eye, I think your garden looks very good. Where I live Spring has definitely sprung. The dogwoods are blooming, as are the azaleas. We're having the first sunny days in weeks. I love it. I need my sunshine:~) I hope you are enjoying some sunny days, as well and that spring is on its way to you, if not there yet.

    Have a great rest of week, Carrie:~)

  10. I think you allotment looks very nice! My veg beds are a mess! Spring is coming, I can see the signs everywhere, but our weather is very rainy and nasty so I keep procrastinating about going outside. Keep up the great work!

  11. Your rhubarb looks good. I have never used a forcer on mine - but it looks like it's worth doing. Do you rest the rhubarb plant the following year?

  12. eeeeeek! I love you all for leaving comments, you make my day - mwuagh!

    New friends - welcome!!
    Old friends - love ya :)

    Our rhubarb forcer is used every year, just to get the plant started and getting some extra sweet, sugary stems. It's off now and the rhubarb is taking over :)


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