APRIL 2017

Everything in the garden is doing well. Thanks to my brother-in-law Chris I have the nicest tulips in the front and back garden – a mix of colours and types. A lot of them are in pots and the challenge next year will be to find somewhere in the ground to plant. We’ll see….

THE FINAL ARTICLE

I had to do a few improvements to my latest cage but after today’s work I’m happy.

Because it stands very close to the path I decided to put a couple of boards between the net and the edge of the path – as I will trim the grass on the path I won’t be able to damage the net. I know it doesn’t look very pretty but it does the job.

The next was a little path leading to the door of the cage – just three slabs and it looks ok. In case I have to get inside on a wet day….

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And the last thing was sprinkling of a mix of annual flowers on both sides of the path. There isn’t enough room to grow any veg but it’ll be nice to have a mix of flowers to attract the bees.

MODEST BEGINNINGS

When I first started working on the allotment I had just one half of a plot. I thought that it would be enough. Little did I know that I will have so much land in the end.

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This was the first bit of land – without any structures on it and rather overgrown!

The chairman just mentioned that the person who had the other half of my plot doesn’t want to work it any more and would I like it. I didn’t need any time to think about it because I realised that just a half is nowhere near enough for my plans.007

Every plot needs a shed – mine was made for me by one of the other allotmenters – out of pallets – talk about recycling!

First if was one more half then a bit more and end is that now I have two full plots and three separate halves. I have the luxury now of growing flowers!

I have finished puling the weeds, cutting the path edges, building the structures for growing beans and climbing courgettes and now all I have to do is wait. I even had time to put a huge flowerpot over one rhubarb crown to force it so we can look forward to some very tasty pink rhubarb later on…..

Not easy….

SLOWLY, SLOWLY..

…and all of a sudden I have got another bit of land. I must say, I’ve given up a part of a plot, close to my raspberry patch – I’ll cover it with some tarpaulin and old carpet to suppress the weeds. This ‘new’ bit is actually the other half of my own plot where I have my fruit cage, net tunnel and a big net cage. It just made sense to add that…..well, it made sense to me, anyway. The guy who gardened on it left and I started as I mean to continue.

There is only a small patch left to dig and I’m done.

All my other plots are ready, I just have to pull out some weeds that dared to appear! The last thing will be to tidy the raspberry plot – before the canes get growing I can trim the edges and weed the rows.

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The weather should be good again tomorrow and I think I might be able to finish it all. One more task – must put a bag of my saved horse manure into each composter bin, to help the breakdown of the material in there.

As I have quite a bit of land I shall grow some annual flowers – it’ll add extra colour and also attract bees to the plants.

 

SUNFLOWERS

The time for measuring is here – the annual talest sunflower competition is upon us and this year I’m quite confident that I’ll do well.

The tallest one is 9ft and 11 inches. It stands beside the greenhouse so it is protected and also needs to grow tall to reach the light. I think that’s the secret!

ROSES

Just to show that I have other plants in the garden other than veg on the allotment, here are my roses.

 

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A fair number of them are either grown from cuttings or were ‘freebies’ with a gardening magazine and only a few were bought. I think that David Austin roses are of a superb quality and well worth the cost. An added benefit for me is the fact that I can drive and buy them there. A nice day out, quite an easy drive.

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BUSY DAY…

…on the farm!

Last year was the first time I grew yacon and it was very successful. The tubers were big and very tasty and each plant also had the small growing buds. These I planted in pots and kept them dry in the greenhouse over the winter. I was hoping at least one would survive – they all did!

As our allotments are hidden between houses we’re rather sheltered there and I decided to plant the yacon, as they all sprouted and were growing quite well.

The plants grew very well last year and I hope they’ll do the same this year. I kept one and planted that in a large pot in the back garde with the hope that it might flower – it could. We’ll see.

Next job was to sow some florence fennel. I always maintained that I didn’t like it – I was quite wrong. I only had about four plants last year and found them very good, there are quite a few recipes and I like them all. Therefore I’ve got two rows of fennel and hope they will all germinate.

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There aren’t just vegetables on my plot – I’m trying to look after the bees too and I know that they like the flowers of honesty.

AUTUMN COLOUR

Everything outside looks grey and dreary but if we look closely there is some colour in the garden. Yes, I had to search a bit, the flowers look a bit bedraggled but all the same, they are there.

SUNFLOWERS

My sunflowers aren’t the tallest but they have great faces – I can see character there!

SOMETHING ELSE

My gardening is divided – flowers and perennial plants in the back and front gardens and vegetables and soft fruit on the allotment (there are a few flowers around my shed).

The back garden almost looks after itself but even though it looks quite effortless there is a fair bit to do. I’m a hoarder and given half a chance I’d grow all possible and impossible things from cuttings!

This is just a sample of the different flowers that are out just now. The roses are brilliant this year but my photography doesn’t do them justice.

Why do I choose the windiest eveningĀ  to take pictures?