As most of my digging is done I decided to get the structures for growing climbing beans ready. I’m keeping all these structures at the back of the plot, they are all rather tall so it will not obstruct the view. I will grow pumpkins and squashes further to the front of the plot. There will be areas of potatoes and root crop – all is already earmarked.


I started working on this plot yesterday, did quite a lot and knew that the hard graft will have to continue. I was secretly hoping that I’d be able to finish digging this patch today.

I had to construct one more bean wigwam, that finished the line very neatly.

After doing this, some hard digging was due. I already had a strip of land ready for planting leeks – there was used to be a line of raspberries (altogether in the wrong place but I inherited it like that). They were getting past their best so I didn’t mind getting rid of them. I put loads of horse manure there, the soil was a bit starved and the leeks will do well in there.

Everything else is done on this patch, it will be parsnips and perhaps carrots, if I have some space left. I have got some land earmarked for carrots already but you can’t have too many…

I was glad I started nice and early today – soon after 9am – it was 12.20 when I finished and I allowed myself only a short coffee break.

To be continued tomorrow, there is more land to be got ready – after all, I have got three and half plots…..

It keeps me sane


My self isolating continues on the allotment, doing jobs that I knew should be done but  unfortunately I always had something more urgent to do. Today was the day to tackle the next task – moving a composter bin. This one has been in place since I acquired this plot, never been emptied so I had high hopes for some rich soil there. I wasn’t disappointed, about half was rich and crumbly soil, that got distributed around a few fruit trees as a mulch.

Mulch from composter bin

The rest of the stuff wasn’t sufficiently decayed so that got moved into the bin after I placed it in the new position. I have had three bins at the end of one plot, beside a water butt and a compost and there was a convenient space, just for one more bin. It is there now and the uncomposted matter is the base layer, a starter in the old bin in the new place.


new place for the bin

An empty place well filled.

In the old , now empty, part of the plot I erected some bean sticks. The thinking was  – the soil there was quite rich, it wouldn’t do for either carrots or parsnips so beans will be happy there.


bean structures

Tomorrow’s activities are therefore sorted – finish digging this part and make it ready for sowing – it’ll be fine for parsnips. Carrots will be on the part dug over yesterday and I have got one area to do later, that’ll do for beetroot.

Almost sorted out.



As I have finished all my digging it was time to start getting ready for growing my beans.

Last year’s harvest was great – we had not only freshly picked French and runner beans but also many other beans that I kept on the plants until they ripened and dried and then shelled and stored in jars for the winter. I still have some, they are delicious in soups or casseroles, even just cooked and served with tomato sauce like baked beans.



It was very nice to be able to start the new year as I mean to continue.

After yesterday’s deluge we have a lovely crisp sunny day, ideal for a short visit to the allotment.

I have to be patient; got all my seeds sorted out and ready for sowing.001

When I got to the allotment I had to remind myself that everything was ready..

…and decided that it was. Now it is just a question of time. If this year is as good as the last one was for growing things I’ll be happy.

Happy gardening!


The digging was finished yesterday afternoon. It was only the last strip of land where the bonfire was and I was able to dig the ashes in.

As I had some of Paul’s sticks left it would have been a shame not to use them. So I did.

As some of my squashes climbed quite well I’ve got a plan for my new variety to grow here. This will be a squash called Pennsylvania dutch crookneck. I found the seeds in a new (for me) seed company, Plant world seeds.

It was a beautiful frosty afternoon and I was quite glad that I didn’t have to do anything there today, it was just a short visit to take photos.

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…is a very busy time. I think people who don’t garden think that I can just harvest my veg and leave everything shut for the winter.

Not so.


Thanks to my friend Paul I have a great supply of seasoned willow poles – I just had to build another structure! I have ordered some new climbing beans for next year – both are from Sementi Franchi. One is Fagiolo rampicante bobis a grano nero and the other is Fagiolo rampicante albenghino.  They will grow here because I shall harvest them when the pods are quite dry and keep the shelled beans in jars for the winter, same as I did this year. They make an excellent addition to soups and stews.

You couldn’t have an autumn clear-out without a bonfire. I started burning mine yesterday but that fizzled out too quickly. It was much better today and by the time I went home it was almost all gone. I had to rebuild it to allow more air inside the pile of the branches etc but it certainly worked.


The weather is supposed to be fine tomorrow so I shall just sort out what’s left and finish digging this plot.

Then it’ll be all done (but I’m sure I’ll find some more jobs on the plot)


This is the time to start thinking of future veg crop. In this case it is beans.

I don’t grow the traditional runner beans but any kind of climbing beans. After the few years on the allotment I’ve got my favourites. Most of my seeds are from one company – Thompson&Morgan. Occasionally I have some seeds from D.T.Brown but recently I started to save some of my own.

When we went to Paris a few years ago I found a little deli where they sold all kind of dried herbs, spices and some large white beans. I decided to buy just 100g with the view to try and grow them. They were amazing, grew like the bean in Jack and the beanstalk and when the pods were ripe I shelled them, dried and then stored them in airtight jars. Delicious in soups or stews. They’re called Spagna Bianco shelling bean, again from D.T.Brown.

Other beans from them are Goldfield, Golden Gate or Cobra.

All the other varieties are from T&M, like Blauhilde(round long dark purple pods), Goldfield (bright yellow flat stringless pods) and Selma Zebra, from their Heritage collection, the pods are purple speckled and striped.

Today was another nice day for a bit of work on the allotment. Even though we had some frost in the night I was able to work – the soil just needed to be turned over, ready to build the bean structure. Using my new azada I made a wide trench where I burried a lot of leaf mold and some compost from the bins. Then I pulled the soil over and constructed the poles into something sturdy.

On another little square of land is another construction, much smaller this time and also an obelisk. There will be a few more structures in different areas of the allotment, as and when the soil is workable and also when I dig out the remaining parsnips and leeks.