Gardening on a boat has its challenges. For a start space is at a premium, and everything has to be grown in pots, but there’s still a great joy to be had, and it’s lovely seeing how different boaters adapt to these challenging growing conditions. For us, home is a 60ft x 12ft narrowboat style … More Gardening on a Boat
Winter was tough on the plot and it’s only now, as spring unfurls, that we’re beginning to see what survived the storms and floods. The snake’s head fritillaries have done remarkably well in the wildflower orchard: The fruit trees are coming into leaf. No sign of blossom this year; hopefully next year will bring us … More Riders on the Storm
I know it’s a terrible pun executed badly, but we live in strange times – if now isn’t a good moment to get distracted by awful puns, when is? As you might have guessed from the title we’ve been busy planting potatoes. We’re trying a new-to-us growing technique we discovered whilst watching a YouTube gardening … More Mystery PotHAYtoes!
I wanted to feature this book on my main blog rather than the review section because I can’t be impartial towards it. Under these circumstances, it wouldn’t be a fair review. Lynn, you see, is my friend and allotment neighbour and I’m really proud of her, and her journey to becoming a published writer. The … More ‘The Country Tales with Rodderick & Mabel Rat and their Allotment Friends’ by Lynn Carter
I have gardening withdrawal symptoms. The water table has been so high that we’ve not been able to do much work on the allotment since November, and the recent rains have left us flooded for the third time. In fact, we’ve been flooded for so long that the water is growing algae! Our greenhouse was … More Allotment Aquatics
March saw the plot’s second anniversary in our care. Sometimes I worry that progress is slow, but when I look back at photographs of our first day I realise just how far we’ve come. 2017 was beset with rabbits, but for the most part we’ve since kept them at bay. I know it’s early spring … More Plot Anniversary: photo tour
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and that’s because I wanted to write about jobs as we completed them. Allotments, as it turns out, aren’t as ordered or linear as that – or maybe it’s just our concentration spans. We’ve been busy, that’s for sure, but I’m not certain we can officially tick anything … More The Perpetual State of Incompleteness
No one warns you before you get into gardening that it can be terrifying, but it is (and I’m sure that’s not just my anxiety disorder talking). I love reading gardening books and allotment blogs and I love to marvel at the spaces other people have created, but when it comes to our own plot … More Feeling the Fear
We can’t believe it either. I assume the long hot days of the heatwave made them too lethargic to attempt to break in, or maybe they found an easier plot to target because even when the heatwave crashed and the days became cooler, the rabbits still didn’t come. I’m not going to curse this by … More We did it: A Summer Free From Rabbits!
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