Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Bit of tinkering in the allotment – pallet fence

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This is part of my herb garden on my plot. Each year I like to grow masses of sweet peas around the back of the bench. Usually they clamber up bamboo canes which start to bend under the weight. This year I thought I’d try something different.

I had a pallet, some old tree posts and some bits of wood lurking around so decided to see what I could come up with… Not bad for a girl who didn’t do wood work at school. See all the stuff you can try out when you can tinker in an allotment!

Cannot wait for the sweet peas, long summer evenings and a cheeky G&T…

Happy gardening xxx

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Day 2 – A day in the sun

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What a beautiful day! The sun was shinning and it even felt warm a staggering 14C!

The best thing about an allotment is cobbling something together from bits and pieces you find lying around. I think allotment holders are the ultimate recyclers. Any skip they walk past is peered into with great excitement. Simple bricks and pieces of wood are a source of endless projects.

I found some old planks of wood and some craggy house bricks whilst pottering around this afternoon, so I flung together a little shelf to put some little plants on.

I actually thought it was pretty cute so thought I’d share it with you. Happy gardening! Xxx

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Day off work, so time to hit my plot

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Day 1 of my holidays, so I decided to sort out around my new potting shed.

I had to rebuild my dry stone wall, it got a bit mangled whilst the shed was being put up. This is where I plant my herbs and edible flowers. So I took the opportunity to dig in some rotted leaf mulch and added some nice new compost.

I’m pretty pleased with it, so far. Replanted my sage, which I have to say didn’t look very happy. Actually I will be amazed if it comes back. Winter has been pretty cruel to her and she looked rather sad, if not dead. However my Valerian and Angelica seemed to have relished winter and are back with added vigorous growth, which surprised me.

I found some beautiful black hollyhocks and couldn’t resist sticking them in too. So green fingers crossed for some sunshine and warm rain. I hope my plants like their new homes.

Happy gardening to you!

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Look what’s finally arrived

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I’ve had the most brilliant of afternoons, finally after weeks and weeks of waiting my potting shed arrived!

It’s beautiful, I cannot begin to tell you how chuffed I am with it. That new shed smell Mmmmm pine!

The huge windows capture loads of light and it even came with a built in potting bench! I’ve been itching to get going in there. So my plan, even though I get up at 4am every single week day for work, I’m getting up super early Saturday morning so I get grab a coffee and sit in there and watch the sun come up over the mountain where I live.

I actually have that excited feeling in my tummy that you used to get when you were little and Christmas was coming!

So tonight I shall be like a 6 year old on Christmas Eve all over again! Thank you Dad it’s the best present ever! Xxx

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Crystal Apple Cucumbers

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My Crystal Apple Cucumbers are looking ever so cute. I’m looking forward to introducing them to their new home at the weekend. It’s time they left the comfort of my conservatory and let them run riot in my poly tunnel!

They will still need loads of protection at night, my trusty sawn off water cooler bottles come in so handy. During the day it gets to about 80F in poly tunnel but the nights get cold very quickly.

Crystal Apple Cucumbers are supposed to be pretty tough guys and can be grown outside, but I’m not taking any chances with these little fellas. So I’m growing them under the safety of the tunnel! The Bumble Bees fly thru it in the spring and summer as I leave both doors open, so the cucumbers will still get pollinated. But maybe I will play match maker a bit too and give all the flowers a tickle with a small soft paint brush, just incase!

They like plenty of moisture, so don’t be mean with your watering, they like a nice potash feed every couple of weeks too. The nice thing about outdoor cucumbers is you don’t have to remove the male flowers like you would with an indoor variety.

Just so you know, the male flower grows closer to the the stem and the female has a tiny long thin mini cucumber just behind the petals. The indoor cucumbers will taste a bit in the bitter side if you leave the male flowers on, so nip them bad boys out! Xx

What I have been up to so far in April.

The UK has suffered the icy grips of an extremely cold and long winter, but finally the sun is starting to shine. The weather experts said the winter was the longest and coldest for 50 years, so when the sun finally poked her head out the whole country breathed a sigh of relief. Especially the gardeners.

I’m sure you are like me, and every window ledge and spare spot in the house is brimming with tiny plant pots of leggy tomato plants and sweet peas. Now is a good time to start thinking of putting them in a green house with fleece on hand incase of a chilly night.

The longer you leave your plants on window sills the leggier they will get and instead of putting all their valuable energy into making strong roots they are scrambling towards the light. I am guilty of not wanting to let go, I’m terrified of leaving them in the poly tunnel incase a sudden frost descends without warning and kills my tiny baby seedlings.

So my plan is tomorrow they are going to their new home in the poly tunnel. I have some huge water cooler bottles with the bottoms sawn off these will act as mini greenhouses, which I will lovingly place over them at night. The fleece will be on standby incase the evil frosts reappear.

Even though 2013 has been a slow start I have been incredibly busy. Despite the weather the poly tunnel is bulging at the seams with pots of everything. Here is what I’ve sown, so far…

Herbs:
Parsley, fennel, basil, thyme, chives, oregano, fenugreek, bergamot, pennyroyal, anise, Evening primrose, coriander, stevia, bistort, wild garlic, electric daisies and mugwort

Vegetables:
Early sprouting broccoli, peas, radish rat tail, red cabbage, chop surely greens, wintergreen, Japanese Beefsteak plant, Kohl Rabi, lemon crystal cucumber, various lettuce, purple spring onion, rainbow radish, Swiss chard, purple carrots, Runner beans, broad beans, red Brussels, onions, golden cabbage, spaghetti squash, autumn carrots, purple turnip, courgettes, asparagus pea, marrows, pumpkins and loads of different tomatoes!

Flowers:
Lupin Russell mix, night scented stock, Rubeckia, Stock (giant and heaven scent), sun flowers, poppy peony, pot marigold, sweet peas, nasturtium, poach egg plants and love in a mist.

And this is only round one! Most of the above is poking through the compost except a few stubborn ones who are either being rather silly or need a little more time than normal. Green fingers are crossed! Xxx

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Welcome to the world little seedling

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Here are my marigolds peeping up from their seed trays. I’m a happy gardener!