Monday 21 December 2009

Here comes Summer!

So that was the shortest day.
Here's to longer ones. And warmer ones.
Allotment news: I have some sprouts for Christmas. Just got to get my fingers cold and go and pick them.
We are making allotment truffles for presents (raspberries, carefully frozen in summer, will be lovingly encased in a white chocolte truffle and dipped in white or dark chocolate) I will post a picture if any make it past the testers to the waiting boxes.
Hope you are all having a happy Christmastide.
Must dash  ho ho ho and all that.
- and soon we will be (hoeing that is).

Sunday 6 December 2009

Christmas lights

The next few weeks seem to be a whirl of parties here, discos there, concerts both here and there, and of course none of them are for me.
I was hoping to get to the plot this weekend but the weather has been so wet I thought I'd do more harm than good.
Yesterday I went to the garden centre to buy some prepared hyacinths for planting, and it was fully Christmassed up ( they even had a lifesized animated camel) so we came home and put up our tree. This morning football was cancelled so I just nipped up to the plot to pick some kale, parsnips, sprouts and chard (bright lights - get it?) and then took OS to the Beaver Chrismas party whilst YS and I went and put Grandma's tree up for her.  On the way home I had a brilliant idea, so we nipped into Leicester and looked at the Christmas lights there and had a lovely time. I really should have taken a camera.
It was nearly a no spend day but there was a little fair in the middle of town so the boys needed - apparently - to go on the spinning teacups. Ah well!
I feel all warm and Christmassy now.

Sunday 29 November 2009

All the fun of the fair

There is a street fair in the local town, the boys went on the train, we all went in the hall of mirrors and OS and I went on the ghost train and on the wild mouse. YS opted to blow bubbles at Daddy.
Talking of the wild mouse, he seems to be nibbling my broad beans at the allotment. I hearby declare war.

Friday 20 November 2009

The curious incident of the lost boot in the nightime

We didn't go to the allotment until after school today as the weather has been so foul. So by the time we got there it was a case of harvest as much as you can carry and get home again. Some of the parsnips were holding on for dear life it seems so it all took rather longer than I thought.

Which leads me to the question: if OS runs quickly down the path in the twilight and his boot flies off - how long does it take to locate it and retrieve it fronm a patch of nettles?
The answer was quite a long time. We had to visit Grandma for a fish and chip supper to get over the excitement. No washing up. Result!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Remember the plot

Remember, remember the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, Treason and plot...

Ah yes the plot. Well what with three bonfire parties and the village Rememberence Day parade we didn't have a lot of time this weekend.  I did think about posting more photos of digging parsnips, or me putting the rhubarb to bed under a layer of well rotted horse manure, or a shot of my pumpkin on the compost heap, all of which we did do. Be thankful that you got OS having a lovely time on Saturday just before he got soaking wet and covered in sugar (again). Normal service might be resumed soon - but frankly we are having allot of fun!

Friday 30 October 2009

Happy Hallow'een

We carved these pumpkins, OS did the skull by himself, though we did use a transfer, I think it looks rather good. YS's is a spider, mainly done by me, which is less sucessful - there is a moral there somewhere!  So what has this to do with the allotment? Absolutely nothing, the squash we grew this year were too small for carving and tasted divine so I couldn't waste them. Something to aim for next year maybe - a squash of our own to carve?
Hope you have fun and are not bothered if you don't want to be. I know it isn't everyones cup of tea. The law as issued at OS's school is visit people you know, stay with an adult and only visit houses that have a pumpkin lit outside. We are going to a party with the boys cousin and have apple bobbing, sweets in flour and doughnuts on strings to look forward to. We have made witches fingers and spider cakes this evening,and have been practicing our party pieces in readiness. Even OH has promised to dress up...

Tuesday 27 October 2009

A Winter's Tale

The old boys up at the allotment usually know a thing or two. When they are not shaking their heads at my untidy plot and odd plants that I grow (flowers and "foreign muck"), they are usually happy to give advice, seeds and the odd cabbage.
I couldn't help but notice on Sunday afternoon that lots of their plots are now totally empty, dug over, manured or limed and looking expectant. Now I know the caterpillars did a lot of damage to the brassicas but even so, my plot still seems to be full of stuff to the extent that I haven't got room to plant out my garlic and have only managed to get three rows of onions in (see exciting picture above).
So am I behind or in front of the curve?
I'm hoping to be dug over by Jan uary/February but until then it just keeps growing.

Friday 23 October 2009

Autumn harvest

Went to the plot yesterday for the first time for a week or so (it's half term so we've been to the beach instead) and the parsnips are still going strong - who can believe that they started off on damp kitchen paper back in March and were lovingly nurtured in toilet rolls to produce these beauties! We also harvested a swede, a leek, some borlotti beans, some french beans, some little turnips and some kale. Soup anyone?

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Summer goodbye...

The last summer harvest from the allotment at the weekend. I've started to clear the summer things away tonight. So the beans are has-beens the courgettes and corn are composted and the parsnips are poised to come on stream.
The seasons are definitely on the turn.
We are planning a bonfire to toast marshmallows on, a manure digging session and some onion and garlic planting.  What a difference a week makes.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

I'd like to thank...

I've planned for this moment for some time - I'd like to thank my parents for teaching me, my family for allowing me the time, the cats for not digging in the maybe not.
I do have an Oscar speech planned, should the occasion ever arise, but not a blogspeech. I'm touched (some say very) to be given this award by Maureen at and glad that at least a few of you read the blog.

OK I've been tagged, so if you are still with me here are 10 facts,(though not necessarily about me),(or true).

1. Redheads are bad tempered. This is usually because they are continually asked if having red hair means you have a bad temper, and in the end they snap and say, "Yes it bally well does now buzz off!". Having red hair is special. I hated as a kid, except when old ladies admired it, but love it now, I think I've grown into it. Redheads also get sunburnt whilst weeding. Memo to self, do not weed in low rise trousers. If one needs to weed in low rise trousers apply suntan cream to parts not previously considered to be 'where the sun does shine'.

2. Wasp stings hurt. This was a recent discovery of mine. I do not intend rediscovering it any time soon.

3. My tomatoes got blight - again - this year. Not that I'm bitter or anything you understand. Please do not post any further tomato photos on your blogs.
I don't eat tomatoes. Well I don't eat them raw (or naked as OS calls them) but this year I was going to try...

4. My plot is one of the untidiest on the site. I regularly blame this on my helpers but my desk is the untidiest at work, and my house isn't very close to minimalist either. I have to face facts it just might be a creative mind at work.

5. My day job is a 'bean counter' just lately at the plot I've been counting beans, one of life's little ironies.

6. I am over committed. I am also 'over seeded'. I need to "just say no!" on many levels. A job, two businesses, a family, caring for an aged parent and 8 different varieties of bean - see, over committed.

7. My Dad taught me to garden and I didn't appreciate what a gift this was until I wasn't able to thank him for it. I'm trying to teach my kids now, and feel I know a bit more about my Dad too. It is a very cathartic thing.

8. Having an allotment has improved my cooking skills no end. However, disasters do still occur, salt instead of sugar in rhubarb, even though it is a vegetable, is a bit too savoury, don't do it! Similarly if your helper does accidentally tip some brown rice instead of oats into the crumble mix, can I recommend you sieve it out rather than take the "Oh s*d it!" route. Even if your friend is a dentist.

9. Are you still here? I don't sleep much. Apparently I am like Mrs Thatcher in this regard, but not in any other (I hope), although she possibly had someone to remove caterpillars from her brassicas? Or is it only Gordon who has had a vegetable garden at 10 Downing St. Maybe I should stand for PM.

10. When not gardening I like to read, but my reading group will not do a "Joy Larkcom" or the T&M seed catalogue as book of the month. We did do ' Lady Chatterley's Lover' which involved a bit of shrubbery, but no oriental vegetables.

and that's me in a nutshell.

I'd like to pass the award on to Drooling at and Carrie at
Feel free to join in, or not, as you please (I will still read your blog!)
Appolgies for links - if anyone can tell me how to - I will

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Lost and found

Well with all the excitement of the wasps on Monday night it wasn't until I was driving to w*rk on Tuesday that I realised I had a few problems:
1. I was in pain and still swelling up. The sting on my arm made my arm go red from my arm pit to below my elbow and ached as though I had flu. The ones on my stomach were very painful and I was beginning to look pregnant. So after a brief "What the heck has happened to you?" type conversation I nipped to the chemist. Nine stings she thought and recommended the doc (but I ignored that).
2. I had lost the key to the allotment and the shed. OS is 'gate man' on the occasions when we take the car and had left them in the padlock, not an uncommon occurance, but I forgot to ask for them in the panic and there you go - lost.
3. This loss of key seemed to momentarily tip me over the edge and there was I weeping at the thought of not being able to get to the allotment or my lovely tools.
OH checked the padlock after a frantic phone call. No - lost.
This morning I had a new perspective on things and stuck a sticky label with my phone number on the gate post to the lottie track and this morning whilst I was at w*rk OH rang and said he'd just been and collected them and had a cup of tea with a gentleman in the village.

Faith in human nature restored and antihistermines working, the world is a lovely place again.

Now I just have to take the bag of shredded paper to the allotment, I wonder if the wasps are gone...

Monday 14 September 2009


Went to the plot tonight and not there very often neighbour turned up too, which was nice. We chatted as we got on with stuff.
I was de-caterpillaring my brassicas and chatting to her when all of a sudden I heard a squeak, turned round and there she was topless and running round her plot flapping her jumper. I didn't like to comment but YS asked what was wrong. Wasps, was what was wrong, she had disturbed a nest and before we managed to tidy up and make a hasty exit I had been stung four, count them, four times.
Happily the boys didn't get stung as I put them over the fence to go the long way round. Neighbour has promised to go to the plot tommorrow and see what could be done. Paraffin and matches were mentioned but I'm keeping out of it.
I'm off to look at my arm, leg and stomach and get some sympathy from the OH.

Oh yes, neighbour was stung once, the wasp was up her jumper.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Flowers for Grandma

Finally got to the plot today to pick more beans and courgettes. The beans are still non stringy and delicious so I will freeze another batch. Then we picked caterpillars for a good 10 minutes - and still the blighters come. I've already written my Christmas list and enviromesh is up there! Several people have been blogging about leek moth disaters but I think the wind at the plot must keep them away as no one seems to have any touble so far (touch wood). The wind has blown a few rows of beans over (not mine - I tied the poles to the plot fence) so I need to think of strategies for keeping cloches on my own plot this winter. Whilst I was doing this the boys picked an autumnal boquet for grandma which is very pretty I think, grandma thought so too. Just in case you think it is all so idylic at my plot - shortly after picking the flowers we had to go home due to a fight (about spades).

Monday 7 September 2009

I'm jammin'

"Let's go to the park" I said
"It's bedtime" said OS and then realising his mistake "yeh! I'll get my trainers"
"Which park?" said YS
"The one with the blackberries of course!" I said.
Groans all round.
"You are such a pikey!" says OH (supportively)
"O contraire" says I "'tis all the rage these days to gather food from the wild and grow one's own"
"Never thought of you as a trendsetter" he replied.

Half an hour later and I was on the way home to bath and bed the boys and knock off a swift five pots of blackberry jam (seedless - does that mean it's jelly?)


Tuesday 1 September 2009

It's bean too long...

... since I last posted. We've been camping over the long weekend, we had a lovely time but it's a releif not to have 'wasps on toast' for breakfast. I nipped up to the plot tonight to see what had happened whilst we were away and came back with this little lot. Two sorts of beans, pak choi, calabrese and the obligatory courgettes/marrows. Not much of a harvest? Well I did stop at Mum's on the way back and she took a carrier bag full of beans off my hands...

Sunday 23 August 2009

Feeding the 5000

We had a family lunch for 12 of us today and the lottie provided all of the veg. We had a big garden salad with lettuce (4 different varieties), cucumber, radish, spring onion, carrot and pepper. We also used onion, garlic and potatoes in the main course all from the lottie. I've got beans and courgettes to weave into next weeks meal plan and a lovely bunch of calebrese from a plant I had given up on. Hurrah for the productive days of August!

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Firming in

I emptied the big compost bin onto the main bed for winter brassicas. This is OS helping me to "firm" the soil prior to planting. Well I guess that's one way to do it...

On the harvest front I'm still eating courgettes and beans most days, the next wave of lettuce is not quite ready and there is a cucumber on my plant I seem to have rescued from whatever it had. It still looks distinctly under the weather but has grown two more cucumbers so I'm not complaining. You know what they say - don't judge a plant by it's leaves - or something like that.

Friday 14 August 2009

Allotment essentials

I've got my gardening mojo back. After the disappointment of the tomatoes I was a bit less enthused than normal but now we are back to twice weekly allotment visits. Last night in the bath (sorry for putting that image into your mind) I was pondering what my allotment essentials are.
I came up with this top 5 list:
1. A stainless steel border fork, just the right weight for me and I can do most jobs with it - it is far and away my most used tool.
2. Grow your own vegetables by Joy Larkcom. My essential no nonsense reference book. I stopped buying books not long after this one because I didn't need any more.
3. My trusty knife. Working overtime on the courgettes today.
4. Muscle if required. OH is very patient with me. I am a slightly obsessive gardener, apparently it's not normal to read 6 month old gardening magazines in bed.
5. My gardening companions (see above) I wouldn't be without them - although I'd definitely be more productive! Photo taken as we gathered bits for bithday lunch for OS who requested "allotment rice". I'm off to get the party started, but in the meantme do you have any gardening essentials?

Friday 7 August 2009

Squashed tomatoes, no stew

Today is the lotties birthday.
I haven't visited yet today but I may still get round to it (as cricket practice is off due to a waterlogged pitch). I was thinking of doing a retrospective post, what have I learned over the last year - you know the sort of thing. I just had a quick garden inspection outside before posting and discovered that the tomatoes have blight. I'm really disappointed as I got blight at Mum's last year and thought the change of location might be enough, not sure I'll bother with tomatoes next year. There is nothing better than a fresh picked tomato - but since I don't seem to be getting any of those... and then just to cheer me up even more the cucumber has cucumber mosaic virus. The gardening year starts full of hope and expectation and then my dreams come crashing down in a pile of caterpillars, molluscs, fungus and viral disease.
Ah well, on with the autumn planting.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Nothing but blue skies

Here's a shot of me not weeding on Sunday. Look at the beautiful blue sky! It certainly made a change from the weather on Saturday when we were forced to go and visit the fish at the garden centre (one of our favourite wet day things to do) and there just happened to be a half price seed sale.

Disaster! I now have even more planting to do which will mean less time for weeding. So I now have melon flavoured turnip(?) and two sorts of radish to look forward to as until the PSB gets too big I may as well under plant, and another two varieties of french bean (but I think I'll save those for next year). The boys found some things to spend pocket money on so it was a case of "rain, rain, go away, you've cost me too much money today". Now my Mum tells me that Wilkinsons have got a sale too...

I've decided weeding is overrated. Just look at the sweetpeas, and I've not weeded them.

Sunday 2 August 2009

Look what the sun brought out...

...a rare sighting of the lesser spotted hubby, drafted in to chop through the cauliflower and cabbage stems. Of course he just dug them up. Now why didn't I think of that?

YS is digging - again against a backdrop of sweetpeas. The "full frontal" of the boys had some graphic shots of weed in the background, hence this more "artistic" pic. Although now I look again, there are rather a lot of weeds here too. Are my posts following a pattern here?

Friday 31 July 2009

We dig dig dig...

We love potatoes, they are the earth's buried treasure, there is nothing quite so satisfying as turning over a forkfull of soil to find, who knows what? The boys have taken the job of digging them up as their own and mutiny when I suggest we limit ourselves to just one row at a time. This ungency has it's advantages though as space is still at a premium. Today I planted pak choi, beetroot, onions (too late?) and four, yes count them, four brussel spout plants. Only another 56 brassic plants to find room for then - and that's not counting the lacey ones which I fear will go straight to the compost, without passing go.

Rather a lot of weeds in the background again - honestly I do try.

Thursday 30 July 2009

That's shallot

The local town made the news this evening. Apparently we have had 170mm of rain today, although it all seemed to be in one shower around lunchtime. We went up to the allotment first thing and did our harvesting so while the rain fell we had a surprising amount of fun plaiting our onions, shallots, garlic and my hair, although not together. These are the shallots that I am saving for next year.

The plants I had put in the paddling pool so I didn't have to water them whilst I was away in the week have had to be rescued. Their pots were entirely under water, the plants were all trying to snorkel. The wormery also had to be rescued as the worms were having to swim, hopefully they will recover - I feel very responsible for them.

One of the least sucessful things this year (apart from carrots) have been my brassica seedlings which grew well and then suffered from terminal neglect. They have become lace curtain like this week and the boys spent a happy 10 minutes relocating caterpillars around the garden. I will try to salvage something when things dry out a little.

Sunday 26 July 2009


Mornings are usually a chaos of people needing to get somewhere quickly and small boys climbing into my bed at unearthly hours. This morning was different. Last night I took the small boys out to the opening ceremony of the special olympics. It was a late night for them. So this morning I woke up and went to the allotment, all the harvesting had been done yesterday so I weeded the strawberry bed, planted some lettuce, weeded the beans and still manged to get home in time for breakfast. Which was a lovely relaxed start to the day. Which makes a change.

I even had time to contemplate the dahlias, I'm quite proud of them, from a packet of mixed seed from Wilkos I have splashes of colour all over the allotment. Which is also good for lifting your spirits in the morning.

Monday 20 July 2009

Can I have another piece of chocolate cake?

With apologies to Crowded House. We really enjoyed the chocolate courgette cake definitely one for the recipe file. This photo doesn't do it justice. Today we mainly weeded. Again.

Saturday 18 July 2009

The next generation

Here they are, the "peeps". We have been in charge this week as the neighbours are on their various holidays. So we get to look after the peeps, Peter the confused, and the Ladies who lunch. Boy the peeps are serious eating machines! Feeding twice a day, cleaning out every evening - and they don't even lay eggs. But they are undeniably cute, as most creatures are at three weeks old. I'm sure by the time the summer is over they will be being ushered from the kitchen with the broom like the rest..

Thursday 16 July 2009

Currying favour

Living near Leicester with its high Asian population, we love a good curry in these parts. The kids get fed curry at nursery and at school and my work canteen always has it as an option, but we had curry for dinner tonight. Hurrah for you, you might cry, but the point was it was made with love with stuff I grew.
Garlic, from the allotment.
Onions (I'm using up those that bolted) from the allotment.
Corriander from the pot in the garden.
Cauliflower, from the allotment.
Courgette (one of those bad boys) from the allotment.
Carrots - yes well as I've mentioned before they have always been my nemisis.
Rice - looks like a crop for the future based on this weeks weather!
We'll gloss over the cheats curry paste.
You get the picture.
I had four clean plates and it was so satisfying. Lots of chat, "This is the courgette I planted", "Did I dig this onion up?" and even "Isn't Mum clever Daddy?".
(They all agreed I was).
I'd give you the recipe but it was grab what's ready in the garden, cook until the broad beans are podded and in the freezer. Fix the rice and nan and serve.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

July is bountiful

The harvest just keeps coming. I got a carrier bag full of broad beans as well as this as I've pulled up the winter planted ones now. I need the space. Brassicas are go!

Tuesday 14 July 2009

When courgettes go bad...

Whilst we were doing this

Those bad boy courgettes were doing this

and this

now where is that chocolate courgette cake recipe?

Monday 6 July 2009

Peas release me...

We have been harvesting again. The peas have been great this year and I still haven't managed to get any near a saucepan. Here is OS demonstrating his technique.

Sunday 5 July 2009

Coo! What's that?

Pigeons, don't you just hate them? Tonight I was planting kale where the onions used to be and all I could hear in the tree was a pigeon cooing. I swear he was calling his mates and saying, " Dinner's at my place lads - be ready about 9.30".
Poor kale I will go and read it the last rites tommorrow evening.

Yes I know I could net but all the nets are in use and the plot is in danger of being mistaken for some kind of spider web.

Oh and while I'm on the subject - squirrels - leave the raspberries alone!

I feel better for getting that off my chest.

Monday 22 June 2009

harvest home

At last a proper harvest, it must be summer!
Onions(2 varieties), Pak choi, Strawberries, Broad Beans, Peas, Sweetpeas, Potatoes, Radishes and a lonely garlic. Now we just have to eat it all.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Hay making

I nipped up to the plot last night once the littlies were in bed - sometimes I just need to get things done. Weeding was on the adgenda. This ladies and gentlemen is my potato patch...
Todays top tip, make sure you dig hungarian rye grass in thoroughly if you use it as a green manure! Weeding with shears, whatever next.

Sunday 14 June 2009

Sweet Peas

Well I do grow the flowers, but we have just harvested the first lot of peas for this year. I sent OS on a treasure hunt amongst the weedy pea vines. I would have photographed the harvest but we didn't manage to get them home. I suggested to the boys that they might like to try one freshly picked and that was the end of the peas! It was a revalation to them, at first YS refused to try them "don't they need cooking?" and then there were fights, "Mum he's not sharing!".
So I'll count that a sucess then.

Minimal posting this week as YS has been poorly. Now on the mend (see mention of fighting above)hurrah!

Saturday 6 June 2009

Gardening conundrum number 2 of many

Why is it that the tomatoes I'm nurturing in tomato corner are in flower and look like this

All very fine, full of flowers, etc.
But the ones I have abandoned, not potted on, forgot to water, in neglect corner look like this

See tomatoes! Why is that?

Friday 5 June 2009


Beans, beans they give good heart,
The more you eat the more you ...enjoy them! Here's to a good season. YS is podding the first proper crop for me.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Didn't we have a lovely time...

This is the kind of thing we like to do in an hour at the allotment, YS digs holes - isn't there a soil test that goes something like this? I've no idea how long the hole took to empty though as it kept getting refilled. Whilst he was busy, I planted a 2 sisters bed (the beans will go elsewhere) and checked out the broad beans. The 2 sisters bed looks as if it is surrounded by weeds, tragically it is. We also had a harvest! 2 cauliflowers grown by me from plugs, 12 radish grown by os a few of the larger broad beans grown by me and the ever present rhubarb from the previous plotholder although nurtured by me since. Of course I forgot to photograph my harvest box and now it has all been eaten so you'll just have to trust me.

The road to...

Or rather the road from. From the allotment that is. It struck me the other day when I met a tourist on the path, what a pretty part of the world we live in. First tourist I've ever heard of in these parts though!

Thursday 21 May 2009

Feast and famine

Weeds everywhere! Plants where I didn't put them - the parsnip is from 2 years ago and the potato from last year. Disaster in the asparagus patch, where one plant has not appeared at all and one got broken during todays weeding session, there were only three to start with. Snails back in the compost bin. Will anything planted by me on purpose ever produce a harvest this year? Not so far but os's radishes made a tasty snack as we ate the thinnings, the rhubarb is still going strong and I have pods on the broad beans and green strawberries and an almost courgette flower. I love this time of year!

Monday 18 May 2009

Water Water Everywhere

You might think with all the rain we've been having watering wouldn't be top of our list. The shelf thingy in the background is excellent at stopping chicken nibbling so we use it a lot, but layers 2 and 3 stay very dry no matter how much rain we get, so ys helps me to water each day. Layer 4 is not used as the chickens like to shelter here from the rain and stand on anything they don't fancy eating. The chickens like to nip round to see what we are up to so ys has invented a chicken drink station and that needs watering too.

Saturday 16 May 2009

It's a small world

It's strange this blogging business we all do the same stuff at the same time. Like Carrie at growourown, I have discovered the perpetrator of the crime - maybe the ladies were innocent after all? Look where he is heading...The lettuce are doomed,doomed I say!
And like Maureen at allotment heaven we have also been creating free bouquets, this one was created by ys for Grandma's birthday, the present giving mylarke is pretty easy when you are 3, Grandmas are satisfied with pretty much anything at all. Pretty though isn't it?
So the challenge for this week will have to be, do something original. That lets me off weeding for a week then...

Thursday 14 May 2009

Growing, growing, gone

We sent most of the plants outside "on their holidays" to harden off today, the tomatoes have grown considerably since I last showed you. The cute pictures of YS planting the sweetcorn are irretrievably lost in the great camera disaster, but the results he's got are good. Just after these pictures the chickens (who I am no longer refering to as ladies) pecked off two sweetcorn, uprooted another and pulled a couple of leaves from the tomatoes. Perhaps they heard we had chicken in black bean sauce for dinner? Now where is that air rifle? (only joking - for the moment at least...).

Monday 11 May 2009

Shed break ins

Apparently 4 sheds have been broken into up at the plot over the weekend. Yesterday evening I was up there until 9.15 so I'm not sure when it was done but I'm in shock. You read about these things but I didn't think it would happen in our rural paradise. Reality check for me and a slight uncomfortable feeling about being out on my own in the near dark which I so love. Damn them!

Saturday 2 May 2009

Away to the woods

We went for a lovely walk in the woods this afternoon, the bluebells were magnificent. A photo would have been good wouldn't it?
Ah well you can't have everything...
On the plot the weeds are still growing well. Weed control will be the main task tommorrow.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Lovely weather for frogs...

I nipped down to cut the grass on the paths on Sunday evening and saw this little fella hiding in a clump just before he got familiar with the shears.
Hopefully he is enjoying the weather and having his supper - I found 47 snails when I finished digging out the compost bin. I need something to tip the balance back in my favour!

Sunday 19 April 2009

Gardening conundrum number 1 (of many)

Why is it that the things I want to grow (like carrots) don't, but the things I don't want to grow (like Jerusalem artichoke)do?

I spent over an hour weeding last years Jerusalem artichoke bed and found a carrier bag full I'd missed. Luckily the plot neighbours wanted to give them a try - so I am the spreader of goodwill. I'm sure I will still have lots of artichokes this year too - I can't seem to get rid of the blighters (but I didn't tell them that).

Sunday 12 April 2009

Preaching to the converted

"Can I try a bit of your rhubarb Mummy?" said OS today as I was tucking into a bowlful for pudding.
"No" says I, "you don't like it, it would be a waste".
"Can I try a bit?" says YS. "No, I'm afraid not, I don't want it wasted it's just too good to waste".
"Well if you are sure you won't waste it you could have a little bit..."
Two screwed up faces and silence and then a smile from OS.
"Actually it's really nice!"
YS screwed up his face some more, "Can I try some tommorrow - I might like it then?"

OK you can't win them all...

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Knowing your onions

I seem to have gone overboard with the allium family this year (amongst other things...) but they all seem to be growing well. I'm already starting to think along the lines of second crops as I'm rapidly running out of room but I guess the onions will be here until at least midsummer, when they will become roasted onion tart with salad eaten under the tree close to where they are currently growing. The food miles will be 1.7 and that will include taking them home to cook. Of course others will be cooked on site when we crank up the BBQ they wont even register on the food mileometer. I've made myself hungry now...

Sunday 5 April 2009

Pole dancing

I expect to get some new visitors to the blog this week!

We(I)put up the bean poles in anticipation - not that I've planted any beans yet you understand. I persuaded OH to come and help me. OS is still digging out the compost YS is still digging up the asparagus (I could lose my sense of humour over this)and OH followed their lead and did his own thing (tidying my shed). So I did them on my own. It was a bit fiddly and involved some new moves that I don't normally associate with gardening, but still... They are not bad, even though I do say so myself. I can almost taste the beans already.

In case you were wondering, the green stuff in the background is work in progress, otherwise known as weeds. Ah well, a girl can't do it all on her own.

Saturday 4 April 2009


We picked a kilo of rhubarb today, I had some for pudding it was delicious. I will disguise some for the boys as the think they don't like it. They will. Rhubarb and custard cake anyone?

Thursday 2 April 2009

The exponential growth of seeds

How is it that you start off with just a few innocuous seed packets, and end up needing to move house? The tomatoes are a case in point. One packet sown in two pots transplanted today into twenty pots...

I'm counting the weeks until we are safe from frost.