Allotment update June 2018

It’s been a little while since my last post but the weather at the beginning of the year meant that not very much happened. Thankfully since April the weather has been hot and dry meaning finally we could get things planted outside and get the plot organised and sorted out.

Here’s how it looked earlier in the year ….

After a good few days sorting out and several trips to the tip it looked much better, especially the greenhouse and shed.

Next it was time to start organising the beds and planting. I started all my seedlings at home, but the weather this year decided to do strange things. From snow in March to blazing temperatures in April/May. I had dug over and covered a few beds so managed to get them planted up with red and white onions, shallots, garlic, potatoes, peas and beans. I lost a couple of beans to pigeons (I assume)  and the fox decided to dig up both patches of garlic I planted (both times) so I gave up on that.

Whilst waiting for seedlings to be ready to plant out we got started on the ‘wildlife’ area and installed a couple of ponds and fixed up a couple of new gates.

Thanks to the previous owner we’ve had tons of rhubarb, and made lots of people very happy, including trading with other allotment holders.

Now I have a few more beds dug over and planted with courgettes, pumpkins, butternut squash, pak choi, turnips, beetroot, sweetcorn, radish, broccoli and sprouts. I already had a very well established plum and pear tree and have added some gooseberry bushes and red and black currants. In the greenhouse I have beef tomatoes and cherry tomatoes on one side and sweet and hot chilli peppers on the other. Everything has grown well so far.

I still have about a quarter of the plot to finish but I’ve managed to get all the wood I need to build the new beds later in the year, ready for the new growing season.

A good start, and the harvesting has begun …

 

Here’s to the next six months of growing. Any tips or advise are always welcomed.

Advertisements

Allotment week 2

Well the weather isn’t being very helpful at the moment ! I was hoping to get a little bit of digging started and possibly the greenhouse/shed cleared out, but the rain and hailstone this week changed my mind.

Instead I decided to do some research and proper planning. I’m lucky that I know what has been previously planted so know what to avoid/change as needed.

IMG_8558

My mum and I have measured the full plot and even broken it down to each individual bed and path sizes. I am planning to keep most of the beds as they are, however I’m going to split the biggest bed down the middle and make a small path as it’s too big to reach the middle from the current path, also the big bed nearest the shed I’m going to change into a seating area with a wildlife/pond area. I know we have a family of foxes that live on or near the allotments so have been advised not to use any bone meal as they will dig everything up.

Until the weather clears up I’ll continue planning and sourcing seeds, tools and other materials.

Happy growing.

Allotment Week 1

I got the email I was waiting for, the previous owner had handed over the keys for the shed and greenhouse.

IMG_8556

So I went to collect them and have a good look at what was inside.

It was a pleasant surprise, the previous owner was an elderly gentleman so everything is usable and useful although not very organised or tidy. The first job will be to de-clutter and clean up then we can see exactly what needs replacing or repairing. I did notice he’s left an old welly boot so I think I might plant in it so he’s still with us.

The greenhouse is in a good condition, just a clean up required.

It’s lovely to have a workable plot and to start planning what I want to plant and where. This year I’m keeping things simple. Vegetables I’ve grown before and we use on a regular basis, get plants established and sort out the fundamentals of the plot. I’d like to have a flowered seating area and a wildlife/pond area. Lots of planning and digging ahead.

Here’s to a good growing year.

Scrapbooking

I’ve started the year as I have the last few years, looking through the 50 things list and updating what was completed the year before and what I could/should do this year to get closer to achieving as many goals as possible.

One of the goals is to start a scrapbook, it’s not something I’ve ever done before and having had a quick look at scrapbooking it’s terrifying !

All the different books, papers, cutters etc, where to start or even how. It’s easy to understand why people avoid crafting. It’s complicated and all the ‘help and tutorials’ make everything look easy and theirs always turns out perfectly however the reality isn’t always that way. It can be tricky, messy and not always straight, but they will be our memories.

So to start with I’m going to collect everything together in a special tin. All tickets, stubs, photographs, anything from days out, events and holidays. Then I can organise and start to plan how to put them together. Until then I can explore ideas and maybe perfect a few techniques or even just some straight lines.

Reading Challenge 2018

I didn’t quite manage to finish the 2017 reading challenge, I was let down by ‘Epic Romance’ and ‘published this year’ – all the other categories I completed and found a couple unread authors I will be reading more of.  Here’s the link Reading challenge 2017 – update

Now for the new challenge.

  1. A book with more than 500 pages.
  2. A book with a number in the title.
  3. A book by a female author.
  4. A popular authors first book.
  5. A book with non-human characters.
  6. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
  7. A book from your childhood.
  8. A book with a colour in the title.
  9. A graphic novel.
  10. A book by an authors you’ve never read before.
  11. A book you own but have never read.
  12. A book the was originally written in another language.
  13. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read.
  14. A book with bad reviews.

I have a couple of ideas from a few categories but any suggestions are always welcome.

Happy reading.

My recent break away

This year, for the first time in many years I wasn’t working over Christmas and Oscar was away with his dad so I decided to treat myself. I bought myself a three day break at a hotel with spa, which fitted in with my 50 things project. I looked around at different sites, hotels and spa’s but finally found one I liked the look of.

Crewe Hall – part of the Qhotels group – A grade 1 listed hotel. From the moment I turned into the tree lined driveway I knew I had made the right choice.

Being a solo traveller I was a little apprehensive but the staff couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful. Check in was quick and simple and I was assisted to my room with my bags. And what a room it was….

The old building is spectacular inside, beautiful rooms and ceilings, stunningly decorated, especially with all the Christmas decorations.

I spent the first afternoon wandering around the maze-like hallways, discovering more and more rooms, the library, Malt bar, chapel and numerous reading nooks with plenty of comfy chairs.

I was bought vouchers for Christmas, so after a relaxed buffet breakfast on day 2  I headed down to the newer wing which has the spa, and booked a few treatments, a facial, a body exfoliation and massage. It was relaxing, luxuriant and if I’m really honest I felt a little guilty at enjoying the me-time.

I spent some time in the gym and plenty of time swimming, in the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. It was lovely sitting pool side reading in the warmth whilst looking at the snow outside.

IMG_8445

It was a perfect break, a time to recharge and catch up on some reading in beautiful surroundings.

A trip to be repeated…. hopefully.

An update

In October we decided to take a short break away to Blackpool, it’s always been one our favourite ‘guilty pleasures’.

We did all our usual activities, saw the lights, into the tower for a dance around the ballroom and a laugh at the circus, made a wax hand at Madame Tussaud’s, a day of swimming at the sandcastle and the highlight….. getting soaked and terrified (mostly me) on the rides at the pleasure beach.

It was a very cold week but good to spend some quality time together.

November arrived with a couple of surprises, a permanent job (in a place I enjoy working with lovely staff) and a new allotment.

As you can see it’s been well looked after and is in a decent condition, unlike the last one. This one is a family affair, myself and my mum. So you can look forward to some allotment blogging in 2018.

A day out in Liverpool for a look at the Grayson Perry dresses in the Walker Art Gallery.

I attempted a little craft project with a few balls of wool I had kept (after my clear out – Bye-Bye knitting needles) and created  a huge pile of pom-poms and created a bedroom rug, it looked pretty good for about two weeks but the constant foot-fall soon took it’s toll and some of them started to ‘shed’ so I’ve moved it to a different part of the room, where it will get less wear. I will replace a couple of the worst affected.

December arrived, busy as December always is. A few birthdays, a night out with friends and Christmas with the family.

A hope you’ve had a lovely time and 2018 is a happy and healthy year for you.

xx