Tuesday, August 22, 2006

At last - time up the allotment

After my lovely surprise this morning, I was later than usual going up the allotment – and arrived just as the sun came out!

It is really boggy up there – we have had two month’s worth of rain in the past two weeks (so the weather forecasters tell us) and it feels like much more! But for every negative there is a positive – and the positive in this case was that it was easy to pull up the weeds – well some of them in this case.

I decided to tackle one area today – and that was this one, where I tried to rescue the parsnips from the rabbits.

As you may remember, they ate all the first sowing, the second sowing failed and the third is surviving – and were revealed after I removed all the weeds.

It took me about two hours today to do this – with a few distractions of course!

I dug it all over with a small ladies fork which I have to use to prevent me from lifting too much, so it takes a while.

At the end of 2003, I planted a tiny piece of cultivated blackberry root, and I thought that it had died.

A number of weeks ago I found it was growing, and I have been carefully watching it ever since.

There were small berries forming, but with the drought they didn’t seem to develop.

Then yesterday when I was putting the girls away I noticed some berries, so today I took a plastic container to collect them (not knowing how many were ripe).

And look what I picked – 1lb 12oz.

But it came at a price. This bramble has vicious thorns and I got really stabbed at one point and the thorn got stuck in my finger, so deeply that I had to bite it out. (It was a really big thorn from a branch which didn’t even have any berries on it!

On the left the cultivated berry - on the right a wild berry.

And can anyone tell my why, the biggest, juiciest, blackberry is always just out of reach amongst stinging nettles. And when you reach to get it, you lose balance, the blackberry falls, and you get stung like crazy!
Another injustice is that the blackberry that I planted, for some reason, has grown towards the south, so the neighbouring plot has the most berries.

As they haven’t been up there for weeks, and unlikely to be up there for more – and especially as we are forecast the most foulest of weather until at least Monday, I was very naughty and reached over and picked some from there.

I then did an assault course to get through – or rather under, the elder trees which are my hedge, with a hawthorn tree too, to get to the field. I was glad of the two pairs of trousers I wore I can tell you, as the stinging nettles were waist high the other side!

This is the first pick - next time I will be better prepared!

Am I being eccentric about picking these blackberries I ask myself? Yes probably – but who cares. The berries will taste all the sweeter for the effort I put into getting them.

Now all I need are some apples!


  1. Wow!
    and indeedy I say again.....wow!

    Tomorrow........I want to do something in the garden!


  2. i like your photos withe the notation on them everything looks like it is doing well in your garden. mine is shot. the chickens look great.

  3. Mrs N - I hope that this motivates you to be outside in your garden doing a bit of work. You are lucky - you have a huge garden attached to your house for you allotment - us mere mortals have to travel to our allotments. LOL

    Thanks Patsy - why is your garden shot - going to pop over the pond and see if you say

  4. Thanks chuck!

    It is raining here today so I am indoors, but am busy...will be sorting out my study later...dont know where all of the tat came from! Your friend with the fabric stash.....well I have paper/card etc etc stash!.....can you think of any uses?


  5. I surely can - and if I don't use it all I know the village playgroup would.

    Are you stll heading this way on your superbike?

    We only have a little bungalow but could put you up for overnight or there are nice B&B's around here. Or you could sleep on the futon in the studio at the end of the garden - how romantic is that LOL

  6. the veggies look great. and all your little helpers, exasperating if they get in the way but hte amusement factor must more than make up for that. I am a bramble fanatic, you call them blackeberries. I like to make jellly with them and rarely share it, its too good! and I freeze some to heat up with apple pie on a cold winters day.

  7. I love my little time-wasting helpers - even though they do give me stomach churning moments by dashing in to pluck out a worm just and my fork is heading straight down. gulp.

    I don't think that I will amass enough berries to freeze as well, the wild ones are pretty small due to the drought and my bramble is not very big yet. All the more precious.

  8. Oh, I love your chickens! What fabulous garden-helpers!

  9. Thank you so much - they are great company


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