Farewell to plot ‘fifty seven a’

Happy New Year to you all!

Wasn’t the holiday break just the best thing ever?! I don’t know about all of you but I had the BEST time! Seeing family and friends, eating everything in sight… What could be better?!

However… Hasn’t the January blues hit us all with full force?! This January feels longer than ever before, I’m not sure quite how that is possible, but it certainly feels it! Aside from moping around at work and getting up and going home in the dark, I have made some serious decisions about the house, the yarden and the allotment.

This year am going to focus my mind on the place we live and try and put some time into decorating our guest room and saving up for the other big work which needs to be done. We are keen to get our pub shed in the yarden this spring too (exciting) and get some nice new paving so its basically done and I can then just merrily garden and we can BBQ until our hearts are content and enjoy the space we have.

This means that I have decided to hand my allotment back over to the association. If I’m honest I had taken on too much too soon. There isn’t the time I would like to spend up there getting everything as I would like and so the poor plot has suffered a little. I’m a firm believer of ‘do something properly or don’t do it at all’, so for the next few years at least I will not be an allotment holder.

I was sad to say goodbye to the little plot today but I know it’s the right choice for me at this moment in time, so although initially I was upset, now I feel that this huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I was getting worked up and stressed over it and how little time I had been able to spend on the plot, which was making me want to go up there less. So the plot was getting worse. A vicious circle when you think about it! A hobby shouldn’t make you feel stressed out or under pressure. Otherwise it’s no longer a hobby, it’s like work.

This doesn’t mean that my blog will stop though, if anything I have more time now to write and take photos of the gardens I visit and of course our own little yarden! I am keen to move some of my allotment ideas into the garden and change one of my large flower beds into a mini veg patch. I will be doing my cut flower border in the flower beds too, plus growing more potatoes and carrots in growing bags! I will be testing my small space to the max and will show you how much you can really grow in a teenie yard.

I’m so excited for this year. I am growing (pardon the pun) as a gardener and I am looking forward to the new things I will learn in 2018!

Can’t wait for you all to join me along the way!

Lots of love,

Amy x

P.S. New ‘plant of the month’ coming up this weekend and throughout the year I will be sharing my favourite design tips for a small space, will also try and get to some NGS gardens and share my ‘take away’ items from each garden!

My Week in Words 2/7

Hello lovely people!

So yes, day two is here and it was a little less productive than day one. However it was a day of small successes, as I went up to the allotment this afternoon and lots of things made me smile.

The sunflowers are in full bloom and wow, they are so beautiful!

Not only are they beautiful but the wildlife are loving them 🙂 Hoorah!

Next along the plot is the french beans… and they are growing, growing, growing! Exciting! Plus the little red flowers are in bloom too. Gorgeous!

Working our way along the plot, some of my broccoli plants are finally producing actual broccoli… I CANNOT wait until it’s all ready!! 😀

My onions are starting to look fab too – there were a couple which looked ready to come up, so I have risked it and pulled them up. Mostly for trial purposes, so I can see if i’m to early or if this is about right.

Also my nerves got the better of me and I pulled up the remaining carrots too. After pulling some up for a little sneaky peak last week, I had visions of carrot fly carnage, so up the rest came today!! They aren’t huge or particularly straight, but they are definitely carrots and not bad for a first attempt.

I will certainly be growing carrots again next year and will remember to space them properly and leave them a little longer in the hope I get monster sized carrots next time 🙂

TahDah! – ACTUAL REAL LIFE VEG!

 

I have left the onions spaced out in the green house so they can dry out ready for hanging in a few weeks.

Last thing I did today was eat the carrots… yep! I made a delicious stir-fry using our fresh carrots plus other non-allotment veg 🙂

Good day all round – but tomorrow Dad arrives and the real work starts 🙂

Chat tomorrow xx

Spring Evenings on the plot

Ahh, what a beautiful couple of days we have had here in Bristol. So warm that I popped up to the allotment this evening to give everything a good water.

The soil has gotten ridiculously dry since Sunday, so I was a little worried about my plant babies, but no disasters!

Everything is springing into life. My neighbours plot has masses of beautiful chives in flower, whilst my other neighbour has hundreds of pretty white flowers on their strawberry plants.

My plot is coming to life too, it’s actually starting to resemble an actual allotment and not a grass ridden wasteland!

Just look at those leeks for a start… Proper grown up looking vegetables!

But also, how nice to have half an hour in the sun after work. Taking in the sights of my successful plant growing and topping up my vitamin D at the same time.

Everyone should get an allotment, that little bit of outside time makes your soul feel good!

Amy x

 

Huge progress!

Today we made some real progress on the allotment, and what a beautiful day for it too!

First things first, I prepared the ground for a selection of new seeds, as unsurprisingly, some little weeds had begun to emerge. I then planted a row of broccoli (Autumn Calabrese), two rows of carrots (Flyaway F1) and another of spinach (Amazon F1 Hybrid). Plus I have planted a row of red onion sets – which is more of an experiment, as I have some sets growing in pots in my garden too. Hoping too see which is the most successful method.

I must say, I am quite pleased with how allotmenty this looks! Yes, very smug!

Lovely Andrew popped up to help me for a while too and managed to fix a very old and broken water butt and pipe system which now directs water from the shed roof into the butt rather than all over the floor!

He also created a raised platform to put the water butt on, so that I can get a watering can under the tap.

This will be super helpful now the weather is looking up, we have no water supply on site so I need to collect all the rainwater I can to help keep my little seeds happy and healthy. A good job done, thank you Andrew!

Finally I got myself tangled up in some black sheeting before managing to wrestle it onto the ground and peg it down. I have covered nearly 6m of my plot, which is mostly weed free now but needs covering to kill the remaining weeds and grassy bits, so I have a decent area to turn over and plant even more veggies in the coming months! As well as pegging it down, I have put spare planks of wood on top of the sheeting to stop it flying away if we get any strong winds.

You can buy sheet like this from most garden centres, but our site has its own store which opens monthly, where we can buy these useful things for a discount. Today I also purchased some garden fleece which I will use for my seedlings as they slowly harden off in the garden and then some netting which will be used when my veg starts to emerge from the ground, to prevent pesky birds and mice from nibbling away at any new growth.

I am chuffed with our progress today, it feels like we have some kind of control over the allotment that was once a bit wild. To top it all off, the weather was beautiful too, and signs of Spring are everywhere – even my Plum tree is in flower… Beautiful 🙂

Keep posted for updates coming soon on both the allotment and the yarden too!

Amy xx

The Other Project – Progress

After my parents gave us a hand on the allotment a couple of weeks back, I spent an hour there this morning – as advised by my super knowledgeable parents! Just clearing any weeds which were popping up and then starting to dig over and clear a bit more space.

I now have a good sized bed to start planting my first lot of seeds – Carrots (Flyaway F1) which will go in the ground next month.

As you can see, we have something sprouting up already. We rescued these little guys from some of the grass ridden patches of the plot. I do know that they are part of the Allium genus, but unsure as to wether they are leeks or spring onions. I look forward to finding out nonetheless!

I am really excited to start planting and growing our own food! I encourage everyone to do the same, even if you just have a small balcony or even a window box. You could plant herbs or smaller fruit/veg.

Keep up to date with my allotment by keeping an eye on my blog and Facebook and Instagram pages.

Amy x

The other project…


Let me just set the scene, after moving to Bristol only a couple of years ago, Andrew and I buy our first home, which is a deshevelled 1900s cottage needing lots of work. We also start to think about working on the garden, plus I start a card making hobby/business to help make some pennies and give me a creative outlet. We both have full time jobs which often push our work hours above the standard 9-5. So the logical thing to do on top of all of this…

I signed up for an allotment in the village. Yes.

I have no experience of any real gardening, everything I had learnt about plants came from listening intently from colleagues when I worked on BBC’s Gardeners’ World or from my parents, and yet I took on an allotment.

Ok, so it isn’t huge (about 80 square metres), it’s much smaller than most on the site, but it was very overgrown. It certainly was a challenge for someone with very little spare time. Call me crazy, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have my own allotment.

There is something wonderful about the thought of growing your own food. I’m not expecting a vegetable miracle but it would be fantastic to be able to grow one successful crop. So that is the main reason I went ahead with the plot.

We haven’t had a lot of time to get down there and clear the brambles and mess so it was becoming a little overwhelming. But mum and I managed to spend the whole day there last Saturday. We cleared all of the brambles and dying fruit bushes and turned over a nice area for me to start planting up.

I can breathe a sigh of relief now that I actually have made a start on the allotment and we can think about what we want to grow.

Keep posted for more updates on the ‘other project’.

Amy x