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Category Archives: Gardening

Reflections 2019 w22

One went up to the allotment today, armed with a paving slab and a couple of bags of sand, and rearranged the top half of the path for the third, and last, time.

Luckily the weeding on the no dig beds is super quick and easy, meaning one can keep on top of the plot at the same time as doing all the maul jobs.

I am looking forward to finishing the last bits now, just so I can relax and plant/harvest.

But what do I wear???

The rain’s coming in with a big drop in temperature, but when it stops and the sun comes out I’m cooking. And that has been in the space of an hour.

One cannot plan for the afternoon.

One can truly say that one is grateful for the shed, and green tea.

This time next year I will have the shed organised and the greenhouse competed/organised, so seeds can be sown and seedlings transplanted while the rain is a pouring.

There is a calm that comes with sowing seeds and pricking out plants…When your not balancing the trays.


Reflections 2019 w21

This is going to be quick, I’m Knackered.

Apart from hanging around waiting for people to have appointments the only thing I have done is the allotment.

This week I have planted my red current bush and cherry bush. 6 of the rubble bags have been taken to the skip. And the top half (90%) of the path laid out…To be rearranged earlier today, because I did not like the angle of approach from the gate to the half already laid. Only two slabs short from meeting in the middle.

More bushes are there to be planted, and that is the plan, working around more appointments, for this week.

I am so glad I am nearly finished.

Reflections 2019 w 19

Some of you may have noticed that a poem came out earlier in the week, this is from a batch I have not published, for whatever reason, I thought I had until trying to show someone a poem via this site.

And it was not alone.

In all there will be a poem scheduled every week until August.

Allotment news…The green houses have been moved/dismantled, still work to be done on the raising platform and getting the old area cleared of rubble, but it is a lot closer now to completion. My gate has become the gate of ‘wow’, although all I see is a building site still. But one nearing the end.

And this week also started a ‘trial’ gratitude journaling course at the West End Centre. So far it is a book of affirmations toward gratitude and colouring in, but I may be missing something. We will see.

Reflections 2019 w18

The battle between man and beast has started. Seedlings have started to disappear under a trail of slime.

One has made a conscious decision not to use pellets up the allotment, but the method I was going to use cannot yet be done. The temperature rating/recommendation is steadily over 5deg c, and we keep nipping down to 1deg c. So the blighters have had a head start.

The pond is showing life, I counted 3 frogs there last week, and 2 more under upturned pots. Any hedgehog has gotten a home built for it by myself and my son, and it has free access onto the plot via a hedgehog arch in the fence.

It is because one wants the wildlife to eat the blighters the decision has been made to forgo the toxins. Nematodes, my trial for this year, do not poison the creatures that eat the slugs, but they do kill the slugs, from the inside out.

We are not allowed up on the plot after dusk, so we cannot go a hunting with torches and a bucket. So that leaves traps, with an attractant in them. This does seem to be counter intuitive, attracting the slugs to the plot in order to kill some of them. One would rather not attract them at all.

Fingers crossed the greenhouse platform and move will be done this week and my young seedlings will have a moat of water protecting the legs of the stand they sit upon, This has yet to be built, as it is going to be made from the greenhouse frame that is not going to be used. The buggers will have to swim to get them then.

Reflections 2019 w13

Today was a first.

My first Pirozhki. If you ever wondered what a Cornish pastie would be like in another country, this is one version. I had it cold and it was nice, but my brain was constantly thinking…God this would be gorgeous freshly cooked and out of the oven.

Beef, onion, cabbage and potatoes all wrapped in a bread shell, see Di – a lobby sandwich (an in joke for my sister), instead of a pastry case. Golden in colour, it just looked delicious, and I knew what I was having for dinner. No taster needed.

I have looked up a couple of recipes to find out how they are done, and I have found one done in a frying pan. My brain is now going along the lines of camping – can this be done on a Trangia? mmmmmm. I see experimentation in the future.

On other news the shed has been moved from one end of the plot to the other, with the help of my brother, and we will put on the felt tomorrow. 3 more mauls and the plot is just planting and paths, which can be done over the year.

I know I’ve overdone it today as all my nerves are tingling, even with extra pain meds it still feels like an army of ants are under my skin. But one can rest a little next week. The course work has been done, the shed will have been done, and the sewing projects will be started, the fox first I think, now that I have my two tones of fleece. I have several tones that would not work, one was an unseen replacement that is of such a bright orange it gave me the idea of doing a Nemo fish puppet.

My sons Happy memory stuffed toy, based on the opposite of the worry monsters, of his design will follow these projects. It is going to be interesting at least, and will include my first attempt of including a zipper and a liner pocket into sewing machine project. He believes I will be able to do it, so much so he has a non opening zipper for an eye as well. The optimism of a seven year old, and the challenge of turning his 3d object drawn in 2d into a 3d stuffed animal.

At least all patterns start with modelling clay.


Reflections 2019 w12

Well another day of making my disc bulges suffer, but another part of the allotment altered. This now makes 2/3’s of it done. At the weekend the shed will have a new home, floor and roofing felt. This will then allow me to get its current site level for the greenhouse to move location.

I am moving away from two greenhouses and going for one sidewards and a large cold frame, that is in itself 3/4 of the floorspace of the green house it will replace. This will, on bricks, be plenty tall enough for the pepper plants, to give some sort of scale. The roof can however be easily removed to allot plants to grow upwards as though they were on a plot, theoretically it should be a little more versatile than the greenhouse, and the benefit of having one greenhouse is having it side on for the winter sun, expanding the season.

So, 3 more maul jobs to go, and then a visit to the chiropractor.

I was asked by the psychologist last week if one enjoys the allotment, and the confusion was evident when I said no. It’s just one maul job less than last time, there is no sense of achievement because it has not been completed, and one does not know how long my body will keep taking the punishment, the Tramadol has increased on some days.

But that is what you get for wanting to completely alter the plot, the only things that have not moved are two apple trees, a crappy plum has gone and a pear has been transplanted, they were 10yrs old and a half day maul, armed only with a shovel, foul language and my weight. The pear is showing signs of life thankfully.

A huge amount of work at the beginning of my first year to make life easier in the long term, and standardising lengths of cages, fleece and netting.

Does my plot look like anyone else? No, it looks like I copied and pasted a design on a computer and then translated that onto the ground. That was the concept, to know exactly how many plants can be planted in each one for differing sizes. Therefore planting catch crops can also be calculated.

I sow in modules/ paper pots to give the plants extra time away from the slugs, and knowing the number has made this a doddle for the planning.

As for the slugs, it was my sons weekend to visit this week, and we completed the hedgehog house for the allotment, should one drop by and decide to have a banquet, a B&B if you will.


AGGHH it’s late…

This is going to be a quickie, I have run out of time that the meds will allow anything in the line of english.

I have been focused on the allotment again, but the schedule has changed. The shed is too warm in its current location and the asparagus had started to get mould on the roots. The potatoes are not fairing better, and need to be in the ground now, or very close to it, to prevent them from becoming jacket potatoes.

The fence by the potatoes has yet to be finished, and the compost bins at home needed to be emptied and then have the compost transported to the plot to coat the asparagus and the potatoes. But this delay causes a change here, which alters something else. It’s like crossing a river by stepping stones whilst putting the stones in place randomly.

But I have been able to do one bin, taken the compost to the plot and planted the asparagus crowns. I just have to hope that Tuesday will be dry so that I can Finnish the fence and plant the potatoes.

By then one should also have the seeds arriving to start filling the greenhouse with the seed trays.

Oh, and when I have not been at the plot, I worked out a plot placement diagram, seed chart and a 5 year rotation of the main crops. Why 5 and not 3? Because I read a study that came to the conclusion clubroot on brassicas flared up at 2-3yrs. Boy does that make it awkward when some brassicas are in for 1-2 years. The purple sprouting broccoli and Brussels sprouts have had their own rota.

Now I just have to print out a years worth and plan what follows when a plant comes out, as I intend to grow year round.

Crikey, 312 words, not so quick after all.