Monday, 24 September 2012

Paths, pruning and a pumpkin

Andrew was off for a few days (hurrah) so we got to spend some time out and about at a National Trust Estate, worked hard at the plots and also got some art up in the house - you know, all those things you really want to just get cracking on with but time (or the lack of it) gets in the way...

So the paths - I have to say that the Council still isn't doing the majority of the work they really ought to be - there are overgrown pathways at the plots still and on Saturday I took a fall :( Well Andrew and I have taken it into our own hands and the grass paths around our plot edges have been cut down to nought with shears first and then lawn mower-ed with our little old fashioned hand powered/sweat powered machine.

This strip took 2 hours alone, but on the plus side I have sore and toned arms :)

Andrew pruned back the fruit arch yesterday and found an apple up top which he ate as his reward and I cut back the blackberry (or bramble berry as I like to call it). It makes me nervous, still after all this time, to do what I call 'proper gardening'; but this was easy enough, just cutting the stems that had fruit on them this year and tracing them all the way back to the ground level. I was all eager to do the tying in of the newer stems but it's so darn fiddly and with double vision I just hadn't the patience. There were other things to be getting on with.

I am still on top of the weeding on 14b (mostly). I shall take a bow here if you don't mind - it's blasted hard work with so many untended plots surrounding us and blowing their nasty seeds onto my lovely soil.

Lastly - here is our total pumpkin harvest for the year. It wasn't the best year for us, haha. This one looks good from afar though :) They will taste lovely I know but this time last year we had an attic floor carpeted with glorious squashy -ness. Nevermind :)

 I have a photo of an amazing one on our friend's plot. I don't know what he's feeding it but it's twice the size of my head, goodness know he will lift it.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Autmn Clear Up - part 2

Oh for shame, it has taken a whole week for me to get myself in gear and show you the further fabulous adventures of the clear up, for shame indeed. Without further time wasting, here is the broccoli and kale bed makeover.

Main things - Broccoli gone, weeds gone :) Kale delicious!

This was the pea bed and some random cheeky poppies too ;) I may have had something to do with that *whistles calmly to deflect attention*. All cleared now (big good strong poles and netting saved) and looking good. Plus the mint has been planted in the huge barrel we found a few years ago washed up on the beach - grow until your heart is content Mint plant of mine :)
Really would like to point out that the mess behind the now ex-pea bed is the other part to plot 14. We have 14b, that jungle behind the wind break is 14a *rolls eyes*....

Have you pruned back your Summer Raspberries??? It's time my friends.
Cut out all those canes that had the fruit on them just leaving a few inches above ground level. Then secure those new canes that have grown this year, that rubbery twisting wire would be good but honestly we have never had any problems with good old string.
We do have a sneaky way of tying it though....
twist the string a couple of time in between the wire and the cane - it acts as a cushion so the cane isn't rubbing against the wire in the blowy winds of Winter. No need to thank me - just sharing the knowledge ;p
Finally a teaser for what is to come......
Maggie is trying to give a hint here, by placing herself exactly on this spot and letting me take her photo, she hates her photo being taken, so you know she feels strongly about this.
does that bed not look a little big to you? Seems Andrew may not know when to stop!
 Hugs, have a fab weekend xxx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Food Glorious Food!! (updated)

Grow Our Own
Eat Our Own

Here's is some of the utterly delicious food we are eating right now :) It's like food pornography, these photos, hahaha. Enjoy......


all we needed was a Noodle Tree and this would be all our produce :)
and lots of Autumn Raspberries but somehow I never manage to get a photo of them ;) yummmy! Far nicer than the summer ones in my opinion.

I have most of my next Autumn Clear Up post ready, all the Before and After photos done :) So just hold on a wee bit longer and you'll see the transformation and an idea of what changes are to come to the plots - ooohhh!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Just One of Many

All this talk in the aftermath of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has me feeling a little unremarkable, haha. I feel I shall never be known for a great act but in a way I am asbolutely fine with that as well. It would be nice to be special but then again to my Hubby I am at least :)

It got me thinking about things in life that truly are found in their millions and could be seen as unremarkable and thus these few photos came to mind. I took them at the allotment and though they are everywhere, literaly weeds, they are stunning in their own right. Just like we all are, whether we have a medal or letters after our names, money and fame, or not...

I accidently put this up on my photography blog but it was meant for here.

I also wanted to take the time to thank you all for reading this blog. 3 days ago I crossed the 50,000th visitor mark and I am truly humbled, thank you for having an interest, thank you for reading about Ecotherapy. Again I am struck by how this is merely one of many blogs out there on gardening but YOU have choosen to bless me by visiting - I'm nothing special, yet you make me feel 10ft have my thanks and my love...

hugs xx

Monday, 10 September 2012

Suicide Awareness Day and Nature

Today it rains, it's grey and dreary and it brings me to a bad place. I reflect too much upon the dark side of Nature and see sadness and struggle everywhere. Life is a desperate search for the light, for space and time to grow, pushing past others, using them to help you get where you want to be. Life is fighting off disease and death, but it is a foregone conclusion that everything that lives will die. So why try, why fight, why have hopes and dreams when control does not exist, everything is chaos?

Watch an insect for a short period and you will see it moving in such haphazard directions looking for food, running from predators, hiding from sight. There is no difference between you and it, you too are here for only a blink of Mother Nature's eye, trying to survive, to be happy. But I know I have beaten down at most turns, blocks have been set up in my path - it's all like a child playing with that insect, there is something bigger with the power, laughing at your actions.
But after a day of sleep and an improvement in my mood these thoughts can change round and life becomes incredible. In the incomprehensible vastness of space and time here we are, capable of thought, feeling and experiencing this, our little slice of being.

Do you think a plant or an animal cares for the future with aspirations and worries? I think they live in the moment never questioning it and just getting on with it. Yes our brains may give us the problems of over analysis and fear or the 'what if' but can't we just focus on the moment too? Living everyday we do lose a piece of ourselves, but most assuredly we gain so much more - who can put a price on love or indeed emotion of any kind? It's all a rich beautiful tapistry and should be in awe that we can feel anything at all...

So today it still rains so as the grass will be greener, the vegetables can grow, I can put the lights on and cuddle up to Andrew and Maggie, I can appreicate the crisp dry Autumnal days to come all the more and I can just get on with it, realising how bloody lucky I am :) ...

Today is/was Suicide Awareness Day, it's had an odd effect on me, making me think of those attempts, those bad times that sneak up on me regularly and take the feet from under me. But as is the purpose of these days, it had made me think and thank you for taking time to listen - it has helped so much.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Autumn clear up, part1

This is a vignette of my Saturday spent at the allotment. I decided to bite the bullet and really get stuck into 14b, a place of fear where weeds ruled and one felt so overwhelmed that even walking past it I would pretend in my heart that it had nothing to do with me and tut at it as I do with other 'abandoned' plots, yikes!

Andrew was rebuilding his horse manure stocks (a man's poo heap is his castle!), he got roughly 13 wheelbarrow loads of the stuff for free, though we did give over a big bag of veggies. So I was alone most of the time, thank goodness for my MP3 player and some darn good music. In fact please do take a moment to enjoy this.....

Tree Hugger - by Antsy Pants

So here is the scary before picture, there is a wonderful life affirming after photo but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow ;). For now here is the 'mid way' photo to compare :)

I was overjoyed to meet this little fella....
seeking shelter from the sun with Maggie, under the wheelbarrow = cute!
Maggie wasn't much fussed, hahaha. In fact Maggie didn't seem that interested in the other friend I made, I think she is either really ditsy and genuinely doesn't notice or just gets jealous when I give affection to 'someone' else, hehehe. I swear when I started out on this allotment journey I would have been sick in my mouth if I was even asked to hold and appreciate a snail but I have grown....
I think maybe I have 'grown' too much as on that Saturday morning we were out for our weekly morning coffee wake up and a lady killed a wasp against the cafe window; I was a little shocked and upset. Silly me I know, but I hate it that people kill insects for no reason other than they don't like them. Hell there are some people I don't like, I don't think it would go down well if I just killed them nonchalantly with a rolled up celeb gossip magazine.

Don't get me wrong, when it comes to me verses snails and slugs etc for my veggies I take no prisoners but that just means I fling them all into someone else's plot - don't judge me!!! I throw them into abandoned plots, honest I do or over by the hedgerows. I am really too soft.

Oh but I have 1 more thing to share, hehehehehehe
It was only a matter of time, glad it wasn't me though! The frame is still good so Andrew will make a new seat bit, in time, as if he hasn't enough to do!