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.