New Fence and Planting

Last weekend I had a bit of help to put a fence around the allotment using chicken wire and fencing pins to keep rabbits and deer out. With the protective fencing in place I began the very first bit of planting on plot 33 with sunflowers, cosmos, zinnia and winter squash in the large beds. Sweetcorn, more squash and beans are hardening off at home before they also make their way to the plot.

allotment

Using locally coppiced hazel poles and natural jute twine (to tie the poles together securely at the top) I put together a wigwam for borlotti beans, I just love how rustic hazel poles look. The recent rain made it much easier to push the poles into the soil.

sunflowers and cosmos

Next to the shed (where the previous compost bin was) I planted Velvet Queen and Black Magic multi-branching sunflowers, the colours are beautiful and I love growing them in the kitchen garden at home. Cosmos are planted towards the front to fill out the area with frilly texture and pretty blooms, bees and butterflies love them. The old trough was abandoned for years so I put it to good use planting it with zinnia (they can be tricky so fingers crossed they grow well), I’m super happy to have some flowers growing on the plot already.

allotment shed

allotment shed

Working on an allotment is thirsty work and my little camping stove comes in handy for making tea. I think it’s going to get a lot of use….

dig for victory mug

camping stove

Thundery downpours are forecast for our region today and brightening up again from the weekend. I have a little bit more painting to do inside the shed and then it will be ready for the shelf to go up.

allotment shed

My little plot is really coming together already, luckily it wasn’t completely overgrown (allotments usually are when you take them on) thanks to the previous owner covering half of it over to keep weeds down and the time of year I took it on helped loads. If you’re taking on a new allotment take photos before you start working your plot, you’ll be amazed when you look back at them and see how far you’ve come. It gives you a great sense of achievement.

Happy gardening!

Beautiful Evenings on the Allotment

The weather at the moment is glorious. Blue cloudless sky and warm sunny evenings spent on the allotment is a tonic, the stresses of everyday life melt away the moment I step through the gate. I absolutely love it here and I’m just so happy to have the chance to work another plot after reluctantly giving my old plot up a few years ago.

allotmentallotment shed

allotment shed

The sunny stuff is set to stick around for a while and I’m not going to waste a moment of it. While it may be too hot to dig for lengthy periods of time and unworked ground is like concrete anyway, it is however perfect weather for painting. And that’s what I’ve started to do inside the shed.

cuprinol country cream

painting the shed

Using the same colour as the outside it’s starting to look really fresh and bright compared to before. I still have a fair bit to do and more coats should finish it off nicely, then the bunting can go back up. The shelf unit from eBay needs a lick of paint too, then I can fill it with bits and bobs.

I’ll post some photos once it’s finished.

 

 

Allotment Shed

The new shed has been in place on plot 33 for a number of weeks, I’ve even managed to paint it a lovely shade of cream thanks to the warm dry weather that’s been hanging around. The paint of choice is Country Cream from the Garden Shades range by Cuprinol. The shed needs another coat at least and there are a couple of tricky spots to do that I can’t reach without a ladder.

allotment shed

I’m really pleased with how it looks with the little window curtains.

allotment shed curtains

I plan to paint the inside too and then add bits and pieces I have collected including a bargain shelf unit I got from eBay for £5. I couldn’t resist adding some bunting inside for now, it looks so pretty don’t you think?

bunting

It’s not all been about beautifying the shed, I have put in some graft to get some beds ready for planting. But first I need to put up some temporary wire fencing using hook stakes to keep rabbits and deer out.

allotment

I’m very impressed with my inherited patch of rhubarb! Plenty of pies, jams and crumble on the menu I feel, perhaps a gin tipple too, you know, for medicinal purposes and all that!

allotment

allotment

Plot 33 has changed so much since I got it in March, I really enjoy the visits there. At the moment I’m digging a small flower patch next to the shed, with plenty of annual flowers coming along in the greenhouse at home it’s sure to be full of colour very soon.

Rhubarb and Raspberries

A quick update on the allotment, I have a shed arriving in a couple of weeks time! I’m so excited to have a little space to retreat for a cup of tea. I have some little curtains for the window and I think I’ve settled on a colour to paint it….but knowing me that will probably change so I’ll reveal once I’ve committed to buying a tin.

shed base

After uncovering the old shed base from the pile of rotting wood I noticed the front row of slabs had sunk, I raised them up and checked it was all level. I’ve also weeded the rhubarb patch and levelled off some of the soil to tidy it up a bit.

rhubarb

I wasn’t going to cut the raspberries down and risk losing out on fruit this year because I didn’t know if they were summer or autumn fruiting, I changed my mind however and gave them all the chop to be able to remove grass and weeds without running the risk of losing an eye, a small price to pay I feel. The neglected patch of raspberries now looks tidy and the new canes can grow without competing with grass and weeds, a touch more hand weeding needed to get rid of the last stubborn bits and then I’ll give it all a good mulch of compost.

raspberry bed

Plot 33 is tucked under more tarp and sheeting for now to prevent excessive weed growth, except the rhubarb and raspberries of course!

I’ll update again soon.

Back To The Magical World Of Allotments

After giving up my allotment a couple of years ago I began to regret my decision. I miss the allotment site and the charm and character of the sheds dotted around, even the sound of trains whizzing along the track I found strangely soothing. I miss the general chit-chat weather grumbles, and being around people who, like me, have a deep need for being at one with the seasons and growing food from a slice of land. There’s just something about allotments, once you have the bug it never really leaves you.

I’m currently re-building stamina with regular walks around the village after having major surgery in January, more often than not I made my way to the allotments to soak in the serenity. I found myself enquiring and much to my delight a couple of plots were indeed available. A particular plot caught my eye and I accepted the challenge once more.

allotment

My new allotment looks daunting but in reality it’s not that bad. The plot boundary ends at the blue tarp, just before the grass path in front of my neighbour who keeps a beautifully tended plot. Plot 33 is a quirky and unloved little plot with a curved boundary at the top, in a lovely position adjacent to the community orchard. The shed that once stood has gone but the slab base still remains, currently hidden underneath a pile of old wood. I find myself day dreaming about how my new allotment shed will look in situ as well as paint colours and bunting. Ooh shed shopping!

hidden shed base

community orchard
Lovely view from my plot

I’ve inherited four tired-looking rhubarb crowns with my new allotment, I’m not sure of variety. I’ll give them a good mulch and let them do their thing this year, then I can see how they perform. Dividing will help regain vigour but that’s a job I cannot do right now so it’ll have to wait until the end of the year. It appears they may have flowered last summer judging by the decaying matter around them.

rhubarb crowns

There’s also a plastic raised bed thingy of strawberries, a couple of gooseberry bushes and a patch of rampant raspberries!

old raspberry canes
Old raspberry canes

My new plot is smaller by comparison but I still have to take it easy. Plot 33 and I will recover together, slowly!