Saturday, 27 February 2010

An allotment visit update

I made a brief visit to the lottie yesterday, mainly to take more kitchen scraps and bits to add to my compost bin up there. It was lovely to see millions (OK a little white lie, but honest a lot) of big fat worms doing their thing and making me some lovely compost.

There was nothing much going on up there, but I noticed the rhubarb peeping out of the ground, very exciting ! I love rhubarb and we have about 4 different varieties, but I can't remember which ones as I didn't write them down and the tags are long gone.

Then there was this gorgeous Hellebore that a neighbouring plot holder (who was giving up their plot to move away) gave me last year. She also gave me a white one which is just in bud. I am so lucky as these are very large plants, so lots of flowers.

The garlic is doing very well, we are still using last years which is plaited and hanging in the garage.

I have potatoes chitting on the windowsills. I'm not growing as many as last year as I am making room for the asparagus which is more expensive than potatoes in the shops, so I would rather grow things that will save on my shopping bill.

Also on the windowsill I have my broad beans and some sweet peas that I sowed yesterday, so nothing to show of those yet. But the seeds I saved from the beautiful Cerinthe plants that I grew last year, were planted about a week ago and they are doing well and are up, each day another one peeps out I have ten so far and another just coming through. I can't wait for them to look as lovely as last year, they are so beautiful.

'Cerinthe' seeds above and the plants from last year below.

The onions that I grew from seeds indoors are now growing well and in the mini-greenhouse outside. I cover them in fleece every night as I don't want to lose them after all the attention they got as they were growing. I also put the poppy plants out there as well, they are sturdy little plants now. I just hope I am lucky enough to get the elusive plum colour one.

That's about it really! I'm being nursemaid for the next 6 weeks to the hubby who has had an operation on his foot and wont be fully mobile for at least 6 weeks. For the first 2 weeks he has to keep the foot elevated as much as possible, so I'm at his beck and call (that saying looks odd written down !!)

Have a good week-end everyone and It's almost MARCH Yipeeeeeee !!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The postman delivered some goodies this morning

A few weeks ago out of the blue I had an e-mail from Stephen Shirley who owns and runs Victoriana Nursery Gardens. Stephen had been reading my blog off and on for a while and liked it, ( I feel very honoured ) and so he decided to ask me to do a trail of their plants and seeds. How could I resist ! as Stephen offered the plants or seeds of my choice for free.

I had already bought most of the seeds I needed so I asked if I could have some Asparagus plants. I had already dug my trench and manured it and added sand late last autumn ready to buy some, so having them free to trial for Victoria Nursery Gardens was a real bonus. I look forward to planting them and seeing them grow.

I also chose three packets of seeds : -

Tomato seeds - 'Abraham Lincoln'
Parsnip seeds - 'Hollow Crown'
Squash seeds - 'Turks Turban' a fellow plot-holder grows these and I admire them every year.

As I am doing a trial of these goodies I will be posting about them as they grow and produce their fruits, and you will be able to see how they do.

Victoria Nursery Gardens is a family business owned and run by Stephen & his wife Serena, and they have very high standards, so it's a pleasure to be doing a trial for them.

Thank you both very much for the opportunity.

CROCHET update, see my other blog for my crochet, it's growing and I'm chuffed to bit's that I have learned to crochet at last.

Friday, 12 February 2010

A new title for my other blog

I have decided to incorporate my craft work with the recipes that I have on my other blog, so that the craft posts don't take over from what this blog is about which of course is the allotment and garden. I may post something on here occasionally ( craft wise) if I think it may be missed on the other blog, but other than that I will just make a mention that I have posted something 'Crafty' there.

It will soon be sowing and growing season on the allotment and in the garden ! personally I can't wait, especially since I have had to resort to buying some veg from the shops. It's still freezing here in Hampshire, and to make matters worse for us, our central heating has been dodgy for about 8 weeks now. The whole system is full of sludge as it's very old, so the radiators work intermittently, mostly they are cold all day. It is going to cost quite a lot of money to have it power flushed, which we are going to have to have done, but the work can't be fitted in until next Wednesday, the plumber is busy. So I am wearing two cardigans, thick boot socks , and at times a scarf and that's indoors !! we do have a gas fire in the living room, which I hate, but it's been a God send as that room is warm and cosy, but we venture out of there at our peril. I didn't realise just how cold the kitchen was until I reached for my 'runny' honey out of a kitchen cupboard yesterday and it was SOLID.

Have a lovely week-end everyone x

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

I made that visit to the Lottie at last

Today I finally made the visit to the plot. ( sorry I've just got sidetracked ) - I am looking out of my study window as I type and it's snowing AGAIN, not very hard, but never the less snowing ! anyway back to the lottie visit.
It was looking quite dismal and bare as I knew it would. Armed with my camera I took a few photo's of what's going on up there, just so I have a record of events. this is how it looked, sad and lonely.

Poor old Rosie the scarecrow badly needs a make over, new clothes and hat and more straw for her hair, she is looking very sad.

I was cheered by the fact that although I have lost the brussel sprouts and a couple of the 'Rudolph' purple sprouting broccoli ( my favourite veg ) a couple of the plants are starting to pick up and produce some lovely purple sprouting stems. The garlic is doing well and the kale seems to endure anything the weather throws at it. There is still some perpetual spinach going strong, not sure how edible it is though.

'Rudolph' purple sprouting broccoli.

I lifted the fleece which is covering some cabbages I planted last autumn and as you can see they have survived, but need to grow a lot more yet. it's strange that the ones that were left over from the planting and just in shallow compost and left in a very cold greenhouse during all the freezing weather, are doing much better than the planted ones. They didn't get much water either. Hopefully I can get those planted soon and have some lovely cabbages for the spring.

The cabbages I planted out under fleece in the autumn.

The cabbage plants left all winter in a cold greenhouse and doing well so far !

Finally, it lifted my spirits to see the wallflowers that I planted beside the lottie greenhouse have survived that terrible cold spell, amazing ! they made such a wonderful display last spring and flowered for ages, so I look forward to the first bud showing. There was also Lot's of bulbs showing through, so although my hands were frozen,and I hated being up there in the cold, it was a positive visit. Photo below is the Wallflowers today.

This one of the wallflowers is from last spring, can't wait for this years to flower.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I need more hands.

I have been a terrible blogger haven't I ?? I know I have and it's because I have been so fed up with not being able to garden or get to the allotment due to this terrible weather, that I have taken up other interests and have got side tracked and obsessed with so many other things.

That's why I need more hands !! I am crocheting squares in girlie colours making my little grand-daughter Florence a throw for her room. I am making the hearts shown in my previous post. In fact I have just found lots more lovely fabric. If that wasnt enough I have now bought a book with some fabulous Angels in in to make, one is holding a parsnip and has on fab dungerees and little shoes,I can't wait to make one. I will post a picture when I do, but don't expect that to happen for a while, not enough hands you see !!

I dont know if you remember my post about these seeds from T & M ? the oriental poppies 'Fruit Punch' only 16 germinated out of the whole packet, I e-mailed T&M and they sent me a new packet, well I never had to use the new packet yet, as these fellers have come on fantastically, look at how big they have grown, and really sturdy little plants. I hope I'm lucky enough to have one of the apparently elusive plum shades. Can't wait to see them bloom.


Then there's the onions I sowed a few weeks back, which are growing on the bedroom windowsill, they are doing great, here's a photo. We have only just finished eating last years onions, it's a bummer having to go out and buy some after all this time.

Doesn't it feel great to see new plant life emerging. SOON BE SPRING !!! Yeah !