Monday, November 23, 2009

Who said that size doesn't matter?

53cm / 21 inches of organically grown Tender & True parsnip!
It weighed in at 1.8kg / 4lb!
and tasted horrible, even when roasted with honey.

Monday, November 09, 2009

In case you thought we’d dropped off the edge of the earth, I'm happy to reassure you all that we’re still here and have had a very busy and productive summer:

In no particular order: My Alisa Craig onions sown from seed were a resounding success, as where the raspberries planted in April .

BD & I are still picking the Autumn Bliss, although I’ve yet to get him to eat a single one!

We took a weeks holiday on the Isle of Wight and visited Osborne House; Queen Victoria’s summer palace.

My ‘Chelsea Cabbage’ survived the caterpillar attack and was shared with my sister Carol.

The Mayan Gold spuds did pretty well and we’ve now sussed out how to cook them. They don’t need par-boiling before you roast them and also make excellent ‘wedgies’ although are rather on the small side for baking.
The carrots were a disaster and this is the entire crop from three packets of seeds!The Brussels sprouts are doing well and taste wonderful (only if you like sprouts of course)

We had fun shelling peas
but saving the best until last...................

I now have my own shed :-)

Just need to felt the roof to stop the rain coming in, paint the exterior and sort out the inside.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A productive day out of the office.

Today I treated myself to a day on the allotment by myself, instead of going to work. I wasn’t skiving and definitely didn’t take it easy! I actually worked SO HARD today that I wore out my boots.
This was my day....

By 9am I had hung out the wet washing, mown the lawn and shaded the greenhouse.
By 10am the plot perimeter was strimmed and looking very neat. By 11am I’d filled 3 water butts, watered the plants and planted out the big broccoli & remaining sprouts 2 courgette, 12 sweetcorn, (6 ‘Incredible’ the rest an unknown £1 bargain from a roadside stall.)

By then it was getting seriously hot so I refuelled with a cold beverage and quick sit down under the parasol.

After lunch I soldiered on and planted 12 climbing French beans, sowed dwarf ones & mange tout peas (A bit late, but never mind) Next to be planted were 9 Gardeners Delight & 3 Beefsteak tomatoes, 2 pumpkins, 7 small broccoli & 2 small Brussels sprouts (Bedford)

Keeping to my New Years resolution I’ve finally emptied the 6 sacks of 2 year old oak leaf mould from my sister Wendy. They have been slowly turning into wonderfully crumbly compost, as the sacks degraded in the sun and split at the slightest touch!

While mulching, I discovered these hungry munchers:

This cabbage wasn’t grown by me, but I lovingly transported to my plot from the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show where I bought it for £1 in the 4pm sell off on the final Saturday. I thought I’d squashed all the eggs I’d spotted last week, but had obviously missed a few.

My trip to Chelsea, (my first and not my last!) was hugely enjoyable and was topped off with a full 48 hours of ‘child-free’ indulgence, a trip around IKEA, shopping in Croydon and two nights away on my own. My in-laws kindly let me stay in their house, even though they were out of the country on holiday at the time.

My other purchases from Chelsea were:

An Allium shubertii and a lettuce Lollo rosso, both of which are in the back garden.

A pink Hawes metal watering can- a free gift with 3 months subscription to Amateur Gardener magazine. (1/2 the price of buying a can in the garden centre – I’d done my research just have to remember to cancel the direct debit in 3 months!!)
And finally 2 shallow tub trugs which BD has had fun playing with in the garden. I came home inspired, happy, tired, with aching arms and an empty purse!!

Here my favourite pictures from the many I took that day.

No, it's not real but made from Plasticine and won a RHS plasticine gold meadal.

The very expensive bronze snail was big enough to sit on!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Its been too long....

since I last posted, but I have not been idle I promise.

Spring is such a busy time in the garden and the pressure was really on to get the plot dug and weeded, the potatoes and raspberries into the ground and seeds sown in the greenhouse.

Baby digger started at nursery this month and I have returned to work part time, so my time at home has been reduced by 2 & half days each week.

When I took on plot 26A last year my dreams of growing masses more were (with hindsight) widely unrealistic. Althought I managed to clear a lot, the sight of the bind weed poking through and growing at 2cm a day made me finally decide to give up the extra plot and concentrate on my original one.

In consolation I’ve put in a request to the council for permission to erect a shed on my plot- bigger than the one I’ve just given up! I paid a (willing!) fellow plot holder to weed & dig over three beds for me, which made the spud planting much easier. (1 bed Mayan Gold, 1 bed Sarpo Mira and a few Charlottes)

The raspberries (12x Autumn Bliss and 12x Tulameen) are in, as are the shallots, Broad Bean seedlings & seeds. The garlic planted last year finally seems to be growing and there are flowers on the blueberries and currant bushes!

Last Wednesday afternoon I took Baby Digger to Merriments Garden to see the tulips and generally run around! We had tea alfresco in the sunshine and I only bought 2 plants for the garden. (Dicentra spectabilis and a pink Astilbe)

The next thing will be to get the carrots & parsnips sown, prick out the tomatoes and pot on and harden off the Brussel spouts & broccoli and plan where to put my new shed……

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've been tagged by Greenmantle to "go into your photo archive, pick the 4th folder in the archive, select the 4th picture in the folder, and write about it. A person then needs to tag 4 other people to do the same".

This is my sister Carol, holding me in the doorway of my dad's greenhouse. It's a scanned image of the original that I used to make posters when she had a 'milestone' birthday!

Here she is in a similar pose recently- this time holding Baby Digger, but not fashing her knickers!

To keep the momentum going I tag:

Sue from the Balcony Garden, Louise from This is my Patch, Primrozie and Lilymarlene from At Last I've got my plot!

Monday, February 02, 2009


We didn't venture far today, just into the garden and of course- over to the allotment!

It continued to snow all afternoon and as HWDD had stayed at home to work, we busied ourselves rolling snowmen.

I'd moved the beans & onions sowings indoors yesterday but the camellia doesn't have the luxury of warmth
Special wishes go to our friends Darrrol & Raylene in Macclesfield, South Australia. I hope that these pictures cool you down! See you in the summer- for some British rain!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First sowing of 2009...

In the greenhouse:
15x Broad Bean Bunyards Exhibition
15x Broad Bean Aguadulce
1 tray Onion Ailsa Craig.

On Friday Baby Digger and I visited my sister Wendy in Tunbridge Wells and called in to her plot after going to the park swings. She's only had it a year but has put a lot of time & effort into getting it productive. We dined on my home grown leek & potato soup (can't take credit for the bacon in it though!) and Wendy's home baked bread.

In the past week I've had a bonfire to try and get rid of the dead grass & buddleia I've hacked down, and put some of my 'inherited' cloches over the soil to start warming it.

HWDD made a rude comment relating to what he thought the cloches looked like, but I won't repeat it here!

Last Sunday was clear & sunny, so we had a family walk in Hastings Counrty Park. The photo is of the 'Fire Hills'. When I first moved to Hastings I joined the Volunteer Rangers in the park and that's how I came to meet HWDD.

Today its cold and wet (again) so we're staying in after having a swim this morning at the local pool. (equally cold & wet!)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Best Wishes for 2009!

I'm not one for big New Year Resolutions as such, but this year I will "try my best" to be tidier on the plot. No more tossing the nasty weeds into sacks and letting them sit for months as slug & snail shelters!

Now that I have more space on my second plot, I plan to build a second compost heap to put all the ‘nasties’ into so they don’t contaminate the good compost. By keeping the plot generally tidier, the slugs & snails will go else where to breed & munch!

Baby Digger had a very exciting first Christmas being spoilt by Grandparents and cousins!

He officially took his first un-aided steps on Christmas Day and has been practicing with his little wooden truck ever since. (Not bad for 9 & 1/2 months old!)

New Years Day we explored Ham Fen with our Ranger friend & his family and were very impressed by the lodge the European beavers had made and what easy work they make of felling a tree.