We have bee hives on the allotments again. The original ones were removed last spring as the beekeeper frequently made the bees angry and often tended them during the busiest times of the day. It all came to a head one fateful day in April 2017 when the unhappy bees stung a number of people, … More No Honey for Humans (and Trying to Make a Home for Nature)
When I blogged about my birthday a couple of weeks ago I mentioned how well the fruit trees are settling in – well, if ever there was a case of famous last words… Our apple, Red Devil, is now having a devil of a time (I don’t regret that pun even though I probably should). On … More What the Devil?
I’ve wanted to keep chickens for years, but we’re not allowed to keep animals on the allotment and the moorings manager might have a word or two to say if he discovered us keeping poultry. Maybe one day if we have land of our very own. In the meantime I have the next best thing, … More In Lieu of Chickens
I recently hit a landmark birthday and I have to say the allotment did really well out of it. I mentioned in my last post that Rob bought me a few fruit trees – they’re settling in well and putting on new growth. Apple ‘Red Devil’: Pear ‘Doyenne du Comice’: and cherry ‘Kordia’: I also … More The Big Four-Oh, and Other News from the Plot
Back in February I revealed my allotment plans for the year. I didn’t want to leave too much wriggle room as I was worried without structure I’d sow the entire contents of my seed tin (it’s a secret, overcrowded place where no one dares venture alone). My plans, therefore, had to be adhered to without … More Going Off Piste, and Other News from the Plot
In my last post I wrote about being negligent and accidentally cooking our tomato seedlings on the boat roof during the first sunny day of spring. Never again, I said, would I be such a terrible plant mother and allow such a thing to happen. Never again… These are photos of my sweet peas … More Lesson Clearly Not Learned, and Other News from the Plot
Rabbit proofing is a never-ending battle, and one that we’re trying to keep up with as the rabbits outsmart us at every turn, but, and I mean-B-U-T- (that’s a tentative, and yet a big ‘but’), we think we’ve stopped them for the moment. We haven’t had an incursion for a few weeks. I know this … More Preparing for the Bunny Uprising, and Other News from the Plot
It’s been pretty wet on the plot of late and I’m very behind on digging the beds as they’re too waterlogged to be worked. That’s nothing compared to the situation at home. Two days ago the river crept its way into my little garden and now it’s the playground of ducks. This is, of course, … More Hello Thames, and Other News from the Plot
We pre-ordered a set each of ‘Ariane’ and ‘Mondeo’ asparagus crowns from Thompson & Morgan in January and thought it would give us plenty of time to build an asparagus bed. It did of course, but then it rained and snowed and rained a bit more, and as I recall we had even more snow and it’s … More The Not-Quite-Finished Asparagus Bed Adventure.
Those who know us in real life, or those who have read my About Me page will be aware that we live on a boat. It’s a 60ft widebeam style narrowboat, and it poses a few challenges when sowing seeds ready for the allotment. Our mooring is aligned north to south, which means our windows … More The Challenges of Sowing Seeds in a Boat
We did it, we made it through our first year of allotment gardening without killing everything or each other (excluding that time I nearly took Rob out with a ladder). Has it been a successful year? Well, we’re still on speaking terms and it hasn’t ended in divorce so that’s a pretty positive close to … More One Year on the Plot: Our First Year Reviewed
Intruders came on Friday, under the cover of darkness, and forced the lock on the main gates. They must have been on site a while because only a few plots escaped their attention. Plots on our snicket were raided – all the ones with sheds… Except ours. We know this because they left the gates … More Break-ins, Boobytraps, and Other News from the Plot
I started keeping an allotment journal after reading Richard Chivers’ post on the subject last year and it’s been an invaluable tool, so this year I’ve gone a step further and also made an allotment plan and spreadsheet. The plan and spreadsheet’s main purpose is to keep me on top of planting and sowing times, and … More Allotment Plans 2018
Work on the living fence has been going well, and we’ve not seen any recent evidence of rabbits on the plot. However, when I arrived today two very cute muntjac deer bounded away down our snicket. I stood for a while and contemplated their beauty as they disappeared amongst the treeline. And then I checked … More Oh, Deer!
It’s been a busy week on the plot as shed work continues. I’ve painted the inside walls to protect the pallet wood. We’ve used four 5 litre cans of Cuprinol wood stain so far (in shade Silver Copse). Rob helped paint the ceiling as finishing it meant he could start laying the floor. I’ll need … More Shed Update, Cold Frame Construction, and Other News from the Plot
We have both had flu for the last couple of weeks and it has prevented us from doing any work on the allotment. It has, however, given me the opportunity to pull the rocking chair close to the stove and delve into a few gardening and allotment books. Three of these were Yule gifts, and … More Allotment Reading
Since we have only had our plot since March last year we are still trying to find our feet. Our philosophy in 2017 was ‘try it and see’, and this best sums up every decision we made, every plant planted, and every structure built. 2017 was about getting to know the plot (clayey, compacted and … More 2018 – Allotment Aspirations
We were very excited last year to be given a plot with a well, but since the gravel extraction work in the quarry behind us intensified we have watched the well dry up. I also noticed that something slimy and possibly alien had moved into the hole so, for the greater good of mankind, we … More Goodbye Well, Hello Sinkhole
We have been collecting pallets since April with the goal of eventually turning them into a shed and, as you can see from the featured image, we are nearly there. Our family worked enthusiastically and tirelessly (and without being put under any duress) to build our shed over a very cold weekend at the beginning of … More Building a Pallet Shed, and Other News from the Plot
I spent Monday afternoon at the allotment re-doing and changing work we had previously completed. We do try and get things right the first time round, but plans have a habit of going awry. I guess this is because we are still getting to know the site and all its idiosyncrasies, and because this is … More The Convoluted Route (of Leaf Mould Bins and Compost Bays)
I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by the plot. I have no routine, I’m out of my depth, and I don’t fully know how the year affects the site. With the turning of the season into autumn I was left floundering and wondering, “what do I do next?” Luckily for me, that question … More Falling into Autumn with a Bump
It has been 6 months since we took on the plot. It feels like we have made decent progress in this time, but there is still a long way to go. We are lucky that there are no hard rules imposed by the allotment association regarding weed control and levels of cultivation – we can … More It Has Been 6 Months
If you have read any of my previous blog posts you will be no stranger to the fact that we have a rabbit problem on an industrial scale. There is a warren in one of the abandoned plots adjoining ours. The allotment association has no plans to tackle the issue and has left it to … More Rabbit Proofing Methods: Tried and Tested.
There’s a few things I’ve learned about gardeners since we’ve had a plot. They’re unbelievably generous with their time, knowledge, seeds, plants and produce, and they’re not keen on waste of any kind. We’ve experienced this generosity ourselves as at least three of our beds are planted solely from gifts and surplus from other gardeners. … More Food Charity