Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Allotment Diary - Me: 41 hrs He: 36.5hrs 2012 Eggs: 303

Monday (yesterday) was so hot hot hot.  Lipreading in the morning, then in the afternoon I mowed the back lawns - twice.  The battery doesn't last for me to do it all in one go, so I had to finish it off today after spending three hours up the allotment.
 You wouldn't think that it would take that long would you - but we had to weed the beds again.
You wouldn't believe the amount of weeds had grown again, even after we had painstakingly dug them out before we put the wood chips down.  I did pick another big bunch of rhubarb though.   Shane phoned on Monday to say that he had mowed my paths for me - but they don't look any different to us, - except in one place some wood chips had been scattered - there aren't nice lines like there was.

The chickens are laying half a dozen eggs a day on average, sometimes more.  I am still leaving some out for Karen the post lady - although she didn't see my sign today as we didn't get any post.

I was absolutely shattered when I came back from the lottie - so we just had salmon shanties for lunch - Pat with chips and me with salad.

I am still getting up around 7am and doing a village walk and  getting the papers.  My muscles ache but it's worth it.

Here are some photos of the garden today.
This  bed is looking really lovely, but because of the bright sunshine you can't see the depth of the colours.
 This lupin has really gone 'mad' with all the rain we had and is loaded with lovely pink flowers - not quite out yet
 The lawns are looking green and lush and the trees and shrubs are getting lovely leaves.
 The strawberry plants are overflowing their beds
 I am so looking forward to getting the fruit - there are so many flowers on them.
I have three beds full and am hoping that they don't all ripen when we are away
 This afternoon I finished off the mowing - even though I was shattered, but it's worth it as I am really pleased how it looks
 The back of the raised beds look nice too!
There are nice flowers in the gravel

 I dug over some of the flower beds too in the woodland area.
 Dug over and weeded these raised beds at then end of the fruit cage
 The woodland bed is really coming into it's 'own' now
 And the shrubs are bursting into life - so too all the flowers
 I gave it a big overhall and pruned lots of shrubs in it at the end of last year, and of course we added the railway sleepers which came from the bed where the garden room is now.
 The remainder of the sleepers I used for the bed you can see in the background
 I ache for England - but I sure am happy with the way the garden is progressing
 My mixed leaf salad bed is at last beginning to mature
 And there are lots of seedlings appearing too.
Even the beds at the corners are looking nice and neat now that the chickens are unable to get to the gravel

That's it for today - off to geat my tea - cooked mixed fruit salad.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Come and get the Sunday papers with me.

My allotment blog gets rather boring for those who visit, as it's really just a record for me - so I thought I'd take my camera with me this morning on my circular walk around the village on the way to get the Sunday papers for Mr Lottie, and Mr and Mrs Neighbours.

As the weather has been exceedingly hot and dry here in the East, I've been doing my gardening in the evening and going out for my daily walk at 7am when the sun is not too hot.  I only do an hour so am back home in time for breakfast.

 Someone was walking their dog through a tiny alleyway that I love so I couldn't get a photo as it's a one person wide footpath, but out onto the main road leading to the city of Norwich (eventually)  I briskly walk with the milky sunshine on the deserted road.  No a soul in sight!
Past my friend's cottage - Mr Thetford - the gardener and plantsman - there are lots for sale.  I bought Mary, my lemon millefleur Sablepoot bantam from him, together with Dolly  the dopey Silkie.

 Not far from him is this alley with just a narrow path worn away through the grass.  Right at the very top where you get a glimpse of the sky in this photo are the allotments - so off I go to take a look.   At the gates a car had driven up, so I opened them for him - he was very grateful, as it's a bit of a palaver getting out your car - opening and securing the gates, getting back in and driving through, then doing the reverse, them driving up the lane, and doing the same with the gates to the actual allotment field
It's the first time that I have seen anyone up there so early!  I took some photos of my plot then headed back down towards the village centre on another route
Past the village school - eerily quiet on an early Sunday morning.

Onwards past the village surgery.
And right up to the end of the road.

 I thought I'd share some photos of the houses I pass most days.
 I have always loved these pair of cottages - many years ago they were one house
In the white alcove above the doors in the middle is a white statue.   It's not showing up today because of the sunshine and it's been newly painted
 We have a number of churches in the village catering for all denominations - I love this little old modest church tucked away - and can just imagine villagers a hundred years or so ago, walking along the lane dressed in their best for Sunday service
 I took some photos of some of my favourtie Dickensian style old houses along here - but the sun was on the camera so they don't show the houses to their best, so will take some more at a later date

Tally alley which meanders behind and between the grand houses, the pub, and old houses, now shops, in the heart of the village  which eventuallyleads to
the Candlemaker's Cottage which you can see on the right hand side which is now a little  house.

As this is a bit photo heavy, I'd best leave the rest of my walk home for another day.

by 8.30am I was back home in the garden room with all the windows and doors open - eating my breakfast with Mr Lottie and reading the Sunday papers.  The only sound was that of birds, and softly 'clucking' chickens content after eating theirs.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Allotment Diary - Me: 38 hrs He: 32.5hrs 2012 Eggs: 283

 This past week I have managed to spend a total of 10 hours in the garden, and a couple of hours up the allotment.  My salad bed is looking good - and since this photo was taken after heavy rain, the mixed salads have really grown.  I have also sowed chives and beetroot and  mixed salad leaves between the rows.
 I got a chance between storms to mow the lawns which was good.
 But they all need mowing again since this photo was taken
 I love lavender and have several plants around the garden.  This is a very young plant in a pot.  The flowers are just forming, and I never fails to stroke the leaves when I pass to release that wonderful aroma
 My absolute favourite hosta just sprouting new leaves.
 Looking through what use the be a chicken pen years ago.  The tiny fruit bush cuttings I took a year ago are thriving - they loved the nice warm rain.
 I weeded the raised beds - and planted Victoriana climbing peas and sowed carrots.  I am hoping the mice don't eat them this year.
Some more climbing beans - another variety.
 Parsnip seedlings - I'm planting some at home this year - as well as up the allotment
 More blackcurrant and redcurrant cuttings - I'll transplant them next year before they get too big
 The strawberry plants have gone crazy
 It was all that rain and jungle weather we have had
 I'll thin them out at the end of the season - but this year I'll enjoy them - you can't get too many strawberries - think of all that jam, cakes, desserts, juices - and just fabulously fresh straight from the garden
 Yet another currant cuttings
Through the netting - more raised beds for veggies.

I adore this time of year - when the garden in just starting to burst - new fresh foliage - emerging flowers - and the rush of sowing seeds and the excitement of seeing new plants emerging almost daily

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2012 Allotment Diary - Me: 36 hrs He: 30.5hrs 2012 Eggs: 248

It's been 13 days since I was last able to get up the allotment.  Rain stopped play mostly!  So it was a joy to get up there today - just for a short visit - but it ended up over 2 hours.

 At last the early potatoes are above ground.   I had earthed them up and the rows looked lovely - but today the soil was baked hard on top - all the wind and a bit of sun soon changes it.
 I was amazed to see that the broad bean seeds I sowed had germinated the started to grow so quickly!
I need to hoe between the rows and heap up the soil again - but for now grass cuttings do the job well.

 It's amazing how quickly the grass grows up there - and so lush.
The comfrey has thrived with all the rain, and will make really good fertilizer.
 I set Mr Lottie the task of weeding one side of the compost heap - which will be planted out with pumpkin or squash plants.
 The weeds filled a wheelbarrow - and the compost is perfect.
What I can't quite understand though - is why it is so dry - all the way through - after all the rain we have had.  Maybe the fact that it had grass and 'weeds' growing which might had have sucked up all the moisture.

I had a lovely heap of fresh horse manure delivered,  and spent a while filling up and spreading it out into the other half of the compost bin.

 I once was told that if you hoe when  you don't need to hoe, you won't need to hoe!
It didn't make much sense at the time - but it does now.
 So I hoed between my broad bean plants in the front bed, and it broke up the hard soil - you can see the difference can't you.
It made a  big difference and any rain will now be able to soak in again.  I don't know how much time I will get to keep the hoeing up on all of my plot - but I'll try.
 The currant bushes, which I hard pruned are really flourishing and loaded with flowers.
I am hoping for a good crop again this year.  I freeze all the fruit and it lasts a whole year until the next harvest.
 I harvested more rhubarb too - again - it gets frozen and sees us through to next year.
The gooseberry bush is going to give me so much fruit
My fruit bush cuttings are coming on a treat
 These are mainly current bush cuttings - doing well too.
I got Mr Lottie to help me top and tail the bags of rhubarb sticks.
Well he'll be eating the crumbles and pies I make, and it'll save another trip to the allotment compost the leaves!

Rain forecast again for tomorrow - so I'll be working in the garden tomorrow.