Monday, 19 March 2012


I've done some serious digging. Dug in the crimson clover and Phacelia. I have a beautiful potato trench dug out ready and waiting now. My new neighbours were doing a lot of staring yesterday - I don't approve of starers while I'm digging, it puts me off. I think that they were just trying to get tips on what to do, but as I explained to them - they're better off asking someone who knows what they're doing. They seem nice enough, but their beautiful weed free/stone free/leaf free/plant free beds are putting mine to shame - stupid keen newbies.

Had nice chat with a couple of young boys through the fence. That went something like this:

Are these allotments? Do they have greenhouses on them? How much do they cost? What's the chance of growing cannabis on it?

Ha! As if the allotment lady would let them get away with growing cannabis. They didn't seem put off when I told them they'd got no chance. They had a cunning plan up their sleeves - to plant nettles around them for a brilliant disguise. We get told off for not cutting our edges so I don't think plot of nettles would be approved of, but still. They were puffing away on a giant spliff at the time, so probably weren't thinking straight. Bless 'em.

I've re-potted on my tomatoes and chilli's. There are signs of broad beans arriving and my sweet peas are doing well.

Planted some more seeds today:
Sweetcorn - Lark
Cornflower - mixed
Sunflower - giant single
Runner Bean - Scarlet Emperor (then I dropped them on the floor and planted them again)
Pea - Kelvedon Wonder
Kale - Dwarf Green Curled
Brussel Sprouts - Fillbasket
Broccoli - Early Purple
Cabbage - Greyhound
Cauliflower - All the year round
Lettuce - Little Gem
Beetroot - Boltardy
Tortoise Lady Mixed (that's not for humans, it's for the pet tortoise - he's just woken up)

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Here are some pictures from a visit to Kew Gardens. This is the palm house, a beautiful Victorian building that takes your breath away at any time, but especially when the sun is setting behind it.

You can walk up an iron staircase and walk along the top of the palm house and look down on their amazing collection of palms and tropical plants.

Kew gardens is a nice place to watch the sun go down.

February 2012

It's been a while so here's a nice picture of the sky for you.

I've planted some seeds! The window ledge is looking like it's meant to again.

The greenhouse has come back to life too. I've planted up my onion sets before planting out - I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but mine didn't do too well last year so I'll give it a go this way and see what happens.

Planted up the chillies and the greenhouse crops.

I've used our chilli's from last year so hopefully they'll do well again. There's something nice about the new gardening season, it's a fresh start - new beginnings. Leaving a trail of mud through the house, dirty finger nails and forgetting to put the roast on.

Here is a boring list of what I've planted for my benefit:

Onion - Stuttgarter (from the pound shop) - plant out March

Onion - Red Baron

Tomato - Moneymaker

Tomato - Gardeners Delight - the small ones work best for me

Pepper - Sweet - California Wonder

Pepper - Hot Cayenne

Chilli Pepper (whatever it was that I planted last year - that red one that was quite mild)

Aubergine - Black Beauty (shhhh - hated by the rest of the family)

Cucumber Marketmore - If I get a cucumber I'll eat my own hat - they never work for me - our greenhouse is too sheltered - stupid council - stupid trees.

Sweet Pea - Madame Butterfly - present from my brother - ahhhh.

Sweet Pea - High Scent

Broad Bean - Masterpiece Green Longpod (planted in the greenhouse - I know you can plant them direct, but I'm doing both - so sue me)

Cosmos - Cosmic red

Clematis - no idea what kind it was just in a brown envelope so I bunged it in.

Leek - Lyon 2 and Mussleborough (is it called that - can't remember the packet is in the greenhouse) - planted them direct last year and they were rubbish so I'm starting them off at home first.

And Melon Pepito - ha! This was the boy's idea not mine. As if! In the words of Frank Gallagher 'We live in Manchester FFS.' Anyway, we'll give it a go and hope for a hot summer.

I've bought loads of basic seeds from Aldi (lettuce etc), not sure if this is a good idea, but they were 49p each so we'll give them a go. I spread my manure on Thursday so all is going to plan.

Things I need to remember to do:

Sort out paths, dig in manure, remove dead scarecrow corpse, get broad beans in and some lettuce/salad bits under cloches. Trim back hedge, dig up and move the awful blackberry and replace with fruit that doesn't rip your skin off when you walk past, put in a new compost bin or move the tumbler there, fix the bench... erm, think that's it.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Red apples

Our little apple tree has done us proud this year. Snow White couldn't resist these beauties could she? The kids have been going out and picking their own apples off the tree. It's nice to watch. Our green apples aren't doing so well, but there's still quite a good crop, they are just quite small so I think they'll go into pies or for crumbles.

Even though I've been a bit neglectful of the allotment lately there's still a plenty to bring home. I donated some marrows to the allotment shop and hopefully we'll get some more courgettes instead. There are lots and lots of tomatoes down at the allotment all just starting to ripen.

We went and dug up the rest of the spuds, because blight is sweeping the allotment. Ours are looking good though. When we dug them up we found an egg. Again! It wouldn't be so strange if it hadn't happened last year too. Last time a fox had stolen some eggs that were bound for the allotment BBQ potato salad and buried them all over the site. Surely the fox hasn't done it again? Where has it got the eggs from this time AND why is it always burying it in with my potatoes? Why not with the beans for a change?

I did wonder if my family were messing with my head and planting eggs just to freak me out. I wouldn't put it past them, but claim to be innocent. Strange things are afoot....

The chilli's in the greenhouse are doing well.

My greenhouse tomatoes won't ripen though. They don't get enough sun. It's more of a tortoise house than a greenhouse, but come on! Get red! What's the matter with you? You're a tomato, you want to be red. You should be ashamed of yourself - green skin - feel embarrassed. Red! Red! Red!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Tatton Flower Show 2011

We went on the last day of the Tatton Flower Show and we got great weather. I was quite restrained because we were going away the same evening so I knew I wouldn't have chance to do lots of planting. I bought some huge wooden plant labels that I'm going to write and varnish for the allotment and a few plants.

The gardens that I liked best are the ones were the ones with a more natural feel to them.

There were plenty of silly things there that luckily I couldn't carry home on the bus. I did bring back a metal kingfisher though...hmmm.

I was so organised this year that I went round and took photo's of all the plants that I liked. That way I've got the name and what it looks like and I can look up the seeds later. Like this Tomato Soup Echinacea. That's on my list for next year.

The veg stands were amazing as always.
I think you can take ideas away from all the gardens and adapt them to your own. There seemed to be a lot of plants being built up this year. The drifts of colour were effective too on this one. I'm going to have a go at making lettuce patterns on the allotment next year. See? I was inspired.

Friday, 22 July 2011


We've made a bird scarer. I don't think it's going to scare off many birds, but it does look good. Amazing what a few plastic bags from the Bargain Booze shop can turn into. No? Oh well.

We made a scarecrow. Isn't it lifelike?

Here he is in all his glory. The Cat in the Allotment. He didn't win a prize, but he's a winner to us.

Look at my beautiful little baby pumpkins. If I don't grow a pumpkin this year then I won't be happy. You're supposed to feed them with beer aren't you? Well, I'm not doing that. Sorry pumpkin, I don't want you that much.

I went to help out at the open day. We did well and raised £600.00 which isn't bad considering how wet it was. The gazebos all blew away in the wind. My favourite moment was when someone opened a plastic bag for me to put some eggs in. The eggs fell straight through and smashed on the floor because the plastic bag had no bottom. I'm easily amused.

In other news - my blueberries are going blue.

Monday, 11 July 2011


I won't make stupid jokes about my lovely pear..... it would be childish. Last year we had a grand total of one pear, this year we've got loads! No weird pear tree disease that we had last year either. Hopeful signs, unlike my apples. They've got little peckerty peck marks all over them from the greedy pigeons.

Oh dear oh dear.... Shhhh don't tell my sweetcorn but it is a source of great embarrassment. I'm ashamed of it. There, I've said it. It's pathetic. I tell it I'm proud of it and I hide my secret shame behind a fake smile.

I have inter planted my courgettes with sunflowers - not because my sweetcorn is so dreadful and I'm going to get rid of it, but because will be so aesthetically pleasing when they grow. Oh yes, that's why I've done it.

All my lugging of wood chippings in wheel barrows has paid off and my paths are looking good. The wood chip pile was smoking this morning - yes on fire!!!! I put it out. I'm like a super hero path maker. Putting out fires and building paths and before I'd even had my lunch. All in a days work.

I like it when the perennial sunflowers come out. It cheers me up.

The poppies are nice too.

I've got baby pumpkins! I'm so proud. I'm glowing. Aren't they beautiful, my little babies. Don't tell the sweetcorn it will only get jealous....