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???


  1. Oh dear you have reminded me that I need to tackle out blackberry and tayberry ouch!

  2. What's that yellow flower? It's beautiful!!!

  3. Sue - ouchy times, make sure to go armed with good gloves and antispectic (just in case)

    Keith - it's an itty bitty daffodil, a narcissus tete-a-tete

  4. I carefully pruned my blackberry last week. As for weeding it's never ending isn't it.
    Lucky you with the daffodil as mine are still on the way.
    I don't blame you for having a right old rant! I would guess that most of us will be paying more for our allotments this year. It must be galling in your case what with the lack of basic necessities.
    Take care, Flighty xx

  5. I understand our rant, the council should lower the rent because they are not doing as promised. You should go to a council meeting as a group, might help?

    Here in the Ardennes we still have some snow and frost so there are not a lot of signs of spring yet....sigh.

  6. It IS starting to feel springy in East London, but today it's snowing again! And no signs of daff flowers- big or little- here yet! Hope the council improve things on your site soon, or at least reconsider the rent hike!

  7. Carrie,

    I visited The Thompson and Morgan site. Well done!

    The brown thing in the second picture of this post looks like hedgehog:~)

    I'm amazed you even tried to do those blackberry vines LOL You need gloves up to your elbows for that task.

    As always, the pictures are stunning. I love the daisy. It looks like its raising his head to take in some sunshine:~)

  8. Flighty - It's only really that one little daff that has come through bravery, all the others are still getting ready :) Maybe there shall be more this weekend! It's lucky I find weeding so therapeutic, haha.

    Laila - we can't even keep an allotment committee together. It was disbanded a year ago. So embarrassing. The site is far too big (4 fields) and there are just too many opinions :(

    You still have snow! We're -2 today but now snow as we're too close to the sea :) It's so pretty but a bit off a pain. xxxxx

  9. e17jlh - more snow for you guys! What a year it's been, I hope things improve soon for you. Those Daffs will come, they're just waiting for the right moment to spring forth and make you smile :) And thanks for understanding my rant xx

  10. Sara! You always say the nicest things, thank you so much xx

    The hedgehog is an ornamental grass that got way out of control and had to be hacked back, it was going to take over the world!

    Thank you for the nice photo comments too *blush* xxxx

  11. I did my blackberries a couple of weeks ago too, I so wish they didn't have thorns that go straight through thick gardening gloves.

    Your roads are so bad aren't they, I hope your plot doesn't get waterlogged like that too?

  12. The business of the poorly-run allotments has a familiar ring to it! Did you see my blogpost about this sort of thing the other day?

  13. Initially I thought 'well yes actually I do want to see 3 brown twigs in a row in brown soil' but then I realised what you meant and agree with you. I can visualise that thank you. As usual you are doing so well and it all looks lovely. Super job. xx

  14. notjustgreenfingers - you are so right, those thorns are beastly and gloves were barely there :( Such bad scratches!
    Sadly there are quite a few plots that are disaster areas were water is concerned :( Ours seems to be starting to dry out.

    Mark - I shall be over to your blog in a minute xx

  15. Haha Debbie - I would never hold back on a photo worth having a peak at, but seriously?! haha

    Thank you for the praise and much needed encouragement xxx

  16. Hi Carrie, I hope you don't mind but I have nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award. More details are over on my blog. Take care. Chel

  17. Can you call an allotmenteers' meeting and agree to withold the rent rise until the work is done? If you all got together you might be able to make them listen.
    I don't comment much, but I am still keeping an eye on you. Lynda xxxx

  18. Lynda - Oh how wonderful and civilised that would be. :) However, no, no I could not call together a meeting - remember I have acute anxiety disorder and organising well over 200 plot holders to come a meeting would be a wee bit too much.

    I am so happy you left a comment, never feel you have to, but it's nice to stay in touch. Hugs x

  19. Love your blog. I saw my first daffodil today too! It was playing hide and seek under our beech tree. We planted a cherry tree and started to make a wildlife area in the back garden. Can't wait for Spring!

  20. Rachel K - hello and welcome, how lovely of you to comment! Can I play hide and seek next time? - it's been too long. It's is utterly fab to see the yellow daffs! I have some more to share this week :) xx


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