Thursday, 24 December 2009

Ho ho ho!

Real snow, snow that creaks when you walk on it! We have built snowmen and been sledging. Just like Christmas is meant to be. Have a good one!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Ho ho ho and happy Christmas (nearly). We bought a Christmas tree last year and decieded that we would keep it in the garden and bring it in each year. This was meant to be both eco friendly and nice. The idea was that the tree would grow to a fabulous and beautiful size and be our special tree.

One of the children that came round last year said 'Your tree is really small. Our tree is really big' and I said smugly 'Yes but our tree will keep growing and growing and next year it will be huge'. If the child comes round again this year he will be laughing at my tree again. It didn't seem to have grown. When I went to look at it in December it was tiny still and slightly brown in places, like a tree for poor elves.

Lack of growth could be due to the fact that it was pot bound and stuck in the shade at the side of the house. Undeterred I chopped off the brown bits and replanted it in a giant pot. This was very cunning because as the pot is a third of the height of the tree it has made it a more respectable size. Now the tree now goes up to my nose and we have brought it inside. It weights a ton however and may have to stay in our living room forever.

A few pets have emerged from the tree. We have had one ladybird, one woodlouse and there is a little spider living in the star at the top. We've let him stay, well it is Christmas.

I did actually go to the allotment, hurrah! It was cold, and unsurprisingly I was alone. I just mooched about. I cut some holly, bay, rosemary and ivy to drape around the house. We always used have holly at Christmas when I was a nipper so it is nice to have my own holly bush on the allotment so that I can recreate the bad bug filled decorations of the past.
I picked a few leeks and I've managed to grow some parsnips which is very exciting for me because I have never grown a parsnip before, as you can see in the picture there is a bountiful crop of giant parsnips, (you might need to look very closely but they are there). I am easily pleased.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Just realised it's been a month since I've been allotmenting (again). I am a shameful and disgraceful person. Will go this week, by putting this in writing it means I have made an official promise to myself and my poor leeks.

Friday, 20 November 2009

November Tidy Up

I have actually done some work at the allotment. Yes, it is true. I've put my onions in at last, hurrah. The beans have been pulled out and all the old sweetcorn. I pulled up a few hundred weeds so it is looking better.
The spinach was still going strong and the rainbow chard was looking good.

This is how things are looking at the moment. Not too bad. There are paths that need to be put in and I want to get rid of the grass at the back. I cut the asparagus down to the ground because it had gone yellow. I wasn't sure if this was right or not because they say don't cut it in the first year, but I'm guessing that its alright to do it now it is Autumn. Well, I hope it's alright anyway. I covered the crowns with some of the leaf mulch that we made last year, it is good stuff, shame there wasn't more of it. I need to go leaf collecting again this year.

A bit late for bonfire night pictures I know but here is a picture of our rocket. Very impressive for us.
But you still can't beat a good sparkler.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Digging In

The trees are so great. It isn't exactly Vermont around here but you still can't help looking up.
Flash hasn't been out of his house for a month so I put him in the dirt to see if he was ready to dig in for the winter.

The light is great at the moment. Artists everywhere must be getting their brushes out.

Can you spot Flash?

All offically tucked in before the leaves have fallen.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Lousy chickens

Plans to plant my onions this week have been foiled by the chicken pox. Grounded again!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Winter lettuce

My winter lettuce is tucked up in the greenhouse. The children planted them from seed that I got from the Gardeners World Live show in summer. My sweet pea is still giving it some in the garden. I haven't been picking them either. It is obviously determined to stay for as long as it can.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Finally I've Been!

I have finally been to plant my garlic. It has been three shameful weeks since I have done any work on the allotment.
As I got closer to the plot I saw this gorgeous sunflower. I was a bit envious I must admit because ours weren't much to write home about. When I got closer I had a nice surprise. It was ours! What a dingbat.

I came home with spinach, baby corn (more like medium corn), runner beans (which are still running and producing new beans, I thought they'd be all dried up now and ready to collect for seed), some baby leeks and some chives.
The weeds were pretty bad, you couldn't even see my asparagus because the weeds have grown over them. And they hate the weeds, poor things. If Monty Donn saw it he would probably have to go and lie down for a bit with the horror of it all. I got through some of it, there's more to do another day.
This is the pinacle of my shame. The radish on the left is a normal sized radish. The two on the right have grown to a cartoon size. The one in the middle has even got so sick of waiting to be picked that it has started to grow another mutant baby radish underneath it (see the white one, that is attached). Shameful radish picking.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

The change

A bee having a rest on my vebena, one of the successes grown from seed this year.
I spotted this cyclamen under the acer tree the other day. It is so tiny and delicate.
The weather has turned quite nippy now. My garlic is waiting in the porch to be planted, it is not impressed that I haven't done it yet. Flash the tortoise has stopped eating now and has not been out of his house for a couple of weeks now, I will be taking away his house in a few weeks so that he can hibernate. Summer is over!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Special apple

I haven't been to the allotment for a while. My plans to go this week were foiled by children getting stomach bugs. I have mowed the grass at home though, so at least I have ventured outside.

We picked our special apple yesterday. It is special because it is our only apple. It managed to survive the summer of other peoples children trying to fell it with plastic golf clubs. To reward its resilience we cut it into pieces and ate it. Another bountiful feast where everyone gets a slice each.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

What a tart

I made some of my plums into this plum tart from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook. The foggy looking bit in the middle is the steam coming off the plums. Thanks Sarah! It was really nice with some vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


My neighbour has just popped round with a few plums! Check it out. This is a lotta lotta plums. I'm going to have to find some plum related recipes now I guess.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Change is afoot.

It has suddenly gone a little bit colder. People are putting on their central heating, but not us yet. I looked out of the window and a load of yellow leaves fluttered down from the sky. I'm quite looking forward to Autumn now.

Friday, 18 September 2009

What's this?

I didn't get any pears from my pear tree this year. We've only had it for 2 years though. It doesn't look very well though. Some of the leaves look like this.
And underneath there is this really gross alien thing. Does anyone know what it is and any recommended tips for getting rid of it?

Onion Wreath

We had a nice sunny week last week, this is the suburban sunset we got. Not bad really considering we are on a scummy street and not amongst the lakes and mountains.
Never mind the leaves changing colour. Flash is the one to watch to tell you all you need to know about the seasons. He is slowing down now, and is unwilling to come out so often anymore. Yesterday he spent the day just peeping out of his house and didn't venture into the garden at all.

Do you like my onion and chilli wreath? It is in the porch. I suspect that any of Tim Burton's characters would be proud to have this hanging up in their house. Some people might think that this looks a bit strange. Certainly some of the house proud mothers that I talk to would be horrified to have this monstrosity shedding onion skin for all to see.
However, one of the neighbours noticed it and brought me round a big bag of home grown plums because she thought that I would like them. Hurrah. She said there's more to come and apples too, so the wreath has done me proud. Everyone should hang up a couple of vegetables in their window, just to see what happens.
I've pulled out the tomatoes and got the last of them ripening up on the window sill. Thinking of making some chutney...

Friday, 11 September 2009

Rodents from the skies

Yesterday I went to the allotment to do some necessary weeding. It was a gloriously sunny day and I was happily walking down the lane without a care in the world. As a walked under an overhanging tree it started shaking and bending down towards me. I know that when trees grab at you it is not a good thing. It is classic horror film material and to be avoided at all costs. As it got nearer a squirrel went scrambling across the branch hanging on for dear life and luckily avoided landing on my head. This made me less relaxed for the rest of the walk.
I spent the rest of the time looking upwards though incase of further attack.

And realised that we don't always see what is right under our noses. So why not look upwards for a change? See things from a different perspective.
But watch out for man holes.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Manchester Blogging

You can nominate your favourite Manchester based blog now at Kate Feld from the Manchizzle site is dealing with the nominations, her blog is a great place to see whats going on around Manchester and see what other people are blogging about around the area. If you haven't been there it is at they even gave me a mention a while ago. There are lots of local blogs to nominate there, give it a look.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Stinky onion and cabbage smells to you

Hello I'm fed up because I've waited in for the delivery man all morning. He is supposed to be coming from 8.00am till 1pm, now its ten past one and he's still not here so I'm not a happy bunny. It's been nice all morning and now it looks like its going to rain. Here is a picture of one of our cabbages, unlike the delivery man he is a beauty.
There are our onions. The weather has been so rainy I keep putting them out to dry out and then they get rained on. I've given up now and put them in the porch. If that delivery man is any later I'm going to rub his face in these onions, that will learn him. Where are you, you swine???

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

We have had a good lot of chillis this year (unlike the peppers which have failed miserabley again). I tasted the end of one and I think smoke did actually come out of my ears. It was fine when it was cooked in a chilli though (didn't use the seeds though, not that brave). We should be able to have plenty to store too.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Berry nice

Why are the best blackberries always at the top of the hedge or right in the middle so that you have to tear your arms to shreds to get to them? Anyway a few pints of blood later we managed to pick our first lot of berries.
The children managed to eat their own weight in blackberries but there were plenty left to take home.
We crumbled some of them with rhubarb, raspberries and cranberries from the plot.

Meanwhile in the greenhouse I have managed to grow my first cucumbers. A grand total of 3 all together. This is still very exciting for me because I have never grown any before. They taste a lot different, almost like melon. Our greenhouse doesn't get an awful lot of sun because of the trees behind the house so I consider these a big success.
Here are our wonderful tomatoes, again so far grand total of 2 tomatoes that are ripe. A few green ones in there still though. Oh yes and I have just passed my part time literature degree too, so I am a very happy camper hurrah!

Monday, 17 August 2009


Whilst we were in Devon we went to the Broomhill Scupture Garden. They had some great things in there.
I thought that she would like nice in the corner of my garden, I couldn't afford the price tag unfortunately.
This installation called 'Welcome to the third Millenium' was by Mike Roles. It was really brilliant whilst being a little unsettling at the same time.
This is the view from Baggy Point towards the beach at Croyde Bay.
When we got home there was rather a large pile of beans waiting for us.

Croyde Bay.
This is the garden of the cottage that we were staying in. The village was called Muddiford. You could get used to looking out on views like this.