Tuesday 26 February 2013

Excellent progress on the plots

First off I want to tell you it was snowing when we went to the lottie on Saturday - we are so hardcore!! Okay so it was hardly anything but at least it shows our commitment and it could have got bad; we didn't know, we didn't care.

I managed to finish the wedding of the flower bed - hurrah. There was one utterly gross bit there in front of the very faded sign and the pointy bit... There was 5, yes count them, 5 hand trowels full of maggots. Boke! They were wiggly and fat and I couldn't find what they were eating but it was a moment of pure 'I am woman, hear me roar!' - I didn't even squeal (though I felt like it inside). Now I really need to sort out the grassy paths and make a new sign, then I'll be much happier

Raspberries moved

Andrew has wanted to do this for a while now as the summer raspberries were really awful to harvest over on 24a with the trees blocking access down one side. Plus they were throwing out new shoots into the paths over there and needed a lot more room. I am so impressed that he did all this by himself and the berries will be easier to pick and protect - I swear, netting is going up and "birds! listen up; they're mine this year!"

Strawberries Weeded

I took on the task of weeding the Strawberry bed. It doesn't look that awful but it was and the pure clay that is in there was a nightmare on the trowel; my new cotton gloves were caked in it, I really need plastic ones or something more manly, but my hands are tiny. We used to have asparagus in here, but we're thinking that we may put some new crowns into the vacated summer raspberry bed. When it was an asparagus bed loads of compost, sand and grit was worked into this soil and it was delightful - the blasted rain and subsequent flooding of the field every winter seems to have removed all that goodness and the soil is simply only good for making pots or bricks - arrghh. I ended up getting very peeved and chucked loads of clumps into the far hedgerow.

We didn't (either of us) see a single worm during all this digging - isn't that just awful? Not one. But the new growth particularly in the flower bed has brought us many a smile. The narcissus tete-a-tete's continue to bloom double headed and those spots of yellow are joy itself. And the red rose has gorgeous new shoots coming and looks so healthy - beware aphids, I already have my eyes on the lookout for any signs of you - keep out!

Lastly I must share this sad sight. One of our gnomes has died in a most gruesome manner, falling off a high post (he ought not to have been there in the first place, just saying, cough, cough) and like Humpty Dumpty, he was just beyond help. As a dedication to his memory he shall be used as crocks in the bottom of the next pot we plant up. Farewell little friend......

 Hugs and love

Thursday 21 February 2013

An Allotment Check-up

We had an allotment 'date' last Friday, as Andrew had taken a much needed day off :) I painted inside the shed and then got very panicky, feeling cooped up alone while he was over on the other half plot working away. So after a wee trip out for a warm drink and and sit down together I felt better, much better and we went back and got to work again together.

Andrew planted 3 blackthorn trees = our very own sloe berries for the traditional lottie sloe gin :) They will also act as a much needed screen up at the top of 14b, by the compost bins. I did take a photo but it's awful and do you really want to see 3 brown twigs in a row in brown soil??

He also cut back and tied in the blackberry, which was something I started a few months back but my double vision was sort of a hazard, hahaha. It looked like I'd  had a fight with a crazy litter of cats; so many big cuts and blood on my gloves. Still, as least I tried. Here's Andrew glorious work though....
the blackberry all tied in for the season ahead
I am so looking forward to more jam but also I found this blackberry frozen yogurt recipe on Pinterest.

I continued with the incredible task of weeding the main flower bed. It is just infested with weeds, yes some would be our own but I swear most are from the 3 plots that surround us - they have been abandoned for about a year now and do nothing but grow weeds and then spread them all over the darn place - usually right slap bang into our plots! Oh if only all vegetables and fruit were so prolific.
I'm very near to being finished (though as you'll know yourself, I probably think I'm finished when I need to start all over again) and it looks good. We have a lot of tulips and daffodils coming through and the first little Narcissus 'Tete-a-tete' was in flower. Look! doesn't it fill you heart with joy?
Happiness is yellow :)
I also loved this daisy, I can't help myself...
I love daisies, I can't help myself :)
Prepare for a little rant now, just my personal view point.....
I am annoyed today, very annoyed. A letter arrived from the Council and they have decided to up our rent by a whooping 14%! I wouldn't mind so much if the Council was actually good at helping us and providing us with the basic necessities but they don't...

* The fields have no proper drainage and many plots are flooded, even as I weeded, going half a hand fork in depth the soil, I was encountering pools of water! Our whole allotment has been double dug and has raised beds, plus we have spent so much money on grit and topsoil and getting great manure to improve everything, best we can. It really feels pointless.

*They do not look after the roads. Look at them! never mind that the paths between plots are so slippery (see above) that I am scared to walk around, now there is no way I could go to the Allotment Gardens alone if I wanted to - the roads aren't even safe for me. 
Road between field A and B.
*There is no basic security in place, not a good fence or even the improved hedges (to also act as wind breaks) that were meant to be put in. People can just walk in nilly willy if they want to and it's going to get worse if rumours are true. There is a new community building being built just above the allotment grounds and I have been told by many that access to it from the village is through the centre of the allotment gardens. I hope this isn't true.

*We do not get the Council green waste we were promised over and over; there are no skip days any more to safely dispose of our rubbish and proper management of the plots in terms of so many abandoned ones, is ridiculous whilst there is still a huge waiting list. I am sickened, utterly downhearted.

But I must end on a happy note
Look at the rhurbab and the honeysuckle, plus the broad bean seeds have been planted and the garlic looks amazing (but I can't find the photo!)

What are you up too?? Is it starting to feel springy where you are???

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Woooo Hooo I'm a guest blogger

I have to share the news cause life has been super tough this year so far and this has made me quite pleased indeed. I was contacted my Thompson and Morgan seeds and asked if I would write a blog post for them on Ecotherapy. Now it must be said, I get contacted by people a lot wanting me to big up their products or shops but I decline with thanks. This time though the lady I was speaking with, Rebecca, was a delight and she actually got me and asked my to write about my passion; to share the idea that gardening could help your low mood, anxiety levels and stress. So I said " YES, PLEASE"

Click the link and see :)

oh and if you truly love me, I would exchange free hugs and kisses for a comment left other there *shy smile*.

Thank you and have a fab day - it's sunny here - hurrah.
Love ...

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Looking longingly at Friday

Oh this weather is a killer! We didn't manage to get to the lottie at all last weekend and this weekend looks crappy too - but we have hope for Friday :) Always with the hope, it's a gardener's mantra. Painting to be done, beds to get sorted and seeds to be sown =  happy times and spring is coming.

So, sadly I have little to show you but I shall get you up to date with the shed make over and the work Andrew has done outside in the mud.

Second coat in some places but it's really starting to take shape and I have been buying some accessories for it and making some too :) I will come together in time and it shall be glorious!
Andrew dug up our huge rhubarb and spilt it in two, planting them over at the top of 14b. We are going to make that whole area a fabulous non-fussy place with plants that don't need moving and a purposely wilder feel with our new round bed up there. We are so glad the ground up there has been covered with carpet since we got it - so easy to dig and hardly any weeds able to take hold (though now I've said that we shall return to find the place a mess of dandelions, right?? I've just jinxed myself).

He has also tidied up that mess of a flower bed and put mysterious posts into the ground just to the left, hummmm.....
Where that large rhubarb was (in the coffin bed) we now have our third Blueberry bush - hoorah!!! That 3rd bush has been sitting along there since we left Mamma G's to move into our new house and now, finally it has a permanent home. Plus we are going to cover this bed with a cage of netting to try and keep those pesky berry stealing birds out - I shall have my own Blueberries this year! Huzzah!!

I have started a Pinterest page for allotment produce and ingredients. Ohhh I have desires to go mad and make as much as humanly possible this year.

I shall take photos of my accessories when we do get back there, as I know you can't contain your excitement  - I can feel it through the net, haha. My fingers are itching to get painting again, white, bright, happy white!!!

Friday 1 February 2013

It's not January anymore

Yes!! Today saw the start of the year (January is a bad word in my mind - I try to ignore it with all my might) February is here my friends and I can barely stand the joy. It's only a wee month and then bam! it's March etc...

For this auspicious occasion I went out into the garden, simply desperate to find springy-ness and hope for the year to perk me up. Here is what I saw....
So happy the Beech hedge is filling out and the box hedge is smelling fabulous and looking so healthy :)

 Yes! Big, fat, juicy tulip bulbs are popping through all over the place :)

 AIliums and lots of tete-a-tete bulbs have poked through and are looking super :)

 See? more!!! ;) Plus the Jasmine is happy and grew so much last year - I have happy tingly feelings :)

 Still the snowdrops keep coming; so delicate and so very white they glow :)

And the winter flowering cherry has been in bud for ever, I love it but never more so with the blue sky behind it -  blue sky is the bestest thing ever :)

I am smiling a lot today as you may have noticed and the weather looks okay for tomorrow too = Allotment Time!! Happy Days :)

Love and hugs and Happy February to you :)