Monday, February 26, 2007

I planted something!

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I've finally planted something!! Ok so I've put in some raspberry canes and a climbing rose but this is a 'real' crop. I planted the broad beans that I grew in loo rolls (at the same time as the sweet peas, previous entry click here) I spent the morning adding more to the living willow fence/hedge in the garden and then this afternoon I drove over to the plot with 10 broad bean plants (The Sutton) I've planted them with a lemonade bottle over each one as a mini cloche, I don't think it was essential that I did this but I'm concerned that the birds might rip them out if they're unprotected.

Well, let's see what next weekend brings, hopefully they'll still be there!...(pic to follow next weekend (hopefully) , I forgot to take one today!)

Living willow fence AKA 'Fedge'

Not to do with the allotment but hey what the hell I'm gonna tell you about this. I decided that we needed to do something about the hedge between us and next door.
Most of the way down the garden it's ok, a privet hedge that D spends his entire summer cutting to within an inch of it's life! Unfortunately at the top end by the patio it's more of a wild bramble mixture and a bit spartan in places.

So our problem this year is that next door are in the process of creating a patio area by the side of this area of hedge which is also by our patio, we explored options of bamboo and other ideas but I was really taken with the idea of doing a living willow fence which also go under the name 'Fedge'. The principle is easy, you take willow cuttings and push them into the ground, weave them together and keep them watered until they root. Come summer they will be in full leaf and create a hedge/fence

I placed a wanted post on FREECYCLE website to see if it might be possible to get some free willow, as the small amount that I needed would cost between £40-£50, a very kind lady responded and yesterday lunchtime was spent in her garden cutting the off shoot willow away from her living fence.

By 6pm I had pushed, tweaked and woven all that willow to create the beauty that you see below (it carries on behind the shed) It was SO therapeutic doing it and now hopefully come barbecue season we shouldn't feel as if we're dining with the neighbours!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

an inconvenient truth

Last night we sat and watched the DVD 'an inconvenient truth' with Al Gore, to say that this DVD was fascinating almost feels wrong to say but I urge you to watch it if you get the chance. Now I can hear you saying 'yeah? what's it about?', well it's a documentary film about GLOBAL WALMING, exciting stuff eh?! I could ramble on and say loads and having seen this film I would love to stand on the highest roof to shout the message to anyone who would listen, but the simple truth is that you have to see the film yourself to realise that we MUST change and we must change NOW!

I have never felt so excited about seeing a documentery or so sh*t scared!
I am not some nut who would stand on my soap box spouting biblical extracts or political quotes but this DVD has really hit the mark when it comes to what we are doing to our planet. Simple changes are the start, use energy light bulbs, drive less, cut down on food miles! One of the reasons that I wanted to grow our own veg is to know where the produce is coming from, what has been sprayed on it (or not hopefully!) and to also cut down on food miles.

When I named this blog 'Fork it' I also thought of calling it 'One foood mile' because it is one mile from plot to house. One simple mile. Why do people want food out of season? Why would you want strawberries that have been flown half way around the world and taste naff in December when our own from this country are FABULOUS! Why not wait and look forward to wonderful tasting produce at the correct time of the year and celebrate good British grown produce!

Think about it? Next time you are in the shop buy British and next time you are changing a light bulb put in an energy saving will be saving money as much as you are saving the planet!! an american site related to this film but SO worth 5 minutes browse... you never know you might just tip the balance!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another view!

This morning I posted the previous entry below about our attempt at attaching a door onto the shed. When I got home I found that D had sent an email to friends and family about our weekend which I am always sent a copy of. The following is his version of events....

'I had a day of working in a field in the rain yesterday - trying to make a new door for Chris's shed. We were freezing and muddy and bloody and not best happy - but we created a door of great beauty which swung and fitted so snugly as make one sigh with delight. Then we stood back to admire our work. And God decided that we had spent 2 hours creating a thing so terribly beautiful that he was jealous, and he sent down a holy wind to whip the door back so fast that it smash to pieces in front of my eyes - and also smashed the climbing rose which we had planted up the shed shortly afterwards to complete the perfection. God is a bitter and unjust old sh1t. We came home.'

Funny how people view it eh?? I knew I was frustrated but his version seems so much more comedic, bitter and frustrated! To any devoutly religious people I apologise for his view of God!!

Some days I just wanna say...FORK it!!!

It had been planned for the last week that the weekend would be a productive weekend at the plot, he above had other ideas!

'D' was a star, he'd booked a day off on Monday so that we could go together up to the plot and sort out a few things. We'd thought that we'd maybe get some digging done but after all the snow on Thursday and Friday (followed by non stop rain) we decided to just sort out the shed and fix a door onto it.

It felt like I was in a Laurel and Hardy sketch! We arrived, it rained, we spent ages fixing new door in looked great (with allotment eyes that is!) the wind then blew it off and we were back to square one!! This is the point that I sort of lost it and behaved WORSE than a 13 year old, I knew it was going to be hard but this was BLOODY hard. We were wet, cold and very frustrated, luckily for me D is a very calming sort of person and stopped me in my tracks, sat me down and gave me a good talking to.

Once I'd calmed down we decided to clear a small patch to plant 5 raspberry canes that a hair client of mine kindly gave me. We de-turfed an area in front of the shed and planted them, it did feel much better to actually plant something. I also planted a bare rooted climbing rose 'New Dawn' in front of the shed, hopefully it will scramble up the shed and make it look beautiful!

So the door came home with us for repairs, I WILL make this allotment work, if only we could have some dry weather, it is winter though so I suppose I should calm down and be patient.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Ledbury in the snow

Well we were warned that it was going to snow and boy did it snow! Thursday morning I woke to find snow outside the house but it wasn't too bad on the roads. I work in Ledbury which is approx. 15 miles from Gloucester, the nearer I got to Ledbury the worse the roads were, I have a feeling this doesn't bode well for our forthcoming allotment weekend that we have planned.

Today was the worse day though as the morning was clear but by the afternoon it was blizzard conditions and approx. 250 cars were abandoned on one local road!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gloucester Garden Website

I've decided to include a link to my website (or should I say web page!) for my garden, the garden is very new and the website is very new and very basic so please forgive me! (The link is to the side of this page)

This garden is our first garden in 15 years having lived in a flat all that time, it has given us lots of fun and frustration. We were very lucky to win an award at the end of last year for it which bowled us over, then 2 weeks later we were told that 'Gardener's world' magazine were going to publish pictures of it as their November make over garden. If that wasn't enough they sent us £100 worth of gardeners vouchers which was amazing. We still haven't spent them as we liked the idea of buying a nice bench/ornament/'thing' for the garden rather than spend it on smaller items and not have anything to show for it, if you get my drift, and we just can't decide what to get...oh the dilemma!!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cold frames arrive!

So, 'tis the time of year to make cold frames pay their keep. I spent most of today reassembling the plastic one I bought from Aldi last year and then building two new ones from FREECYCLED bricks and old windows given to me by a hairdressing client.

Our garden is long and narrow, very typical of Victorian terrace houses, the working end of the garden is at the very top and because cold frames need regulating and checking most days I have decided to set them up here and not at the plot. I still have loads of bricks left over and a couple of old windows, so I may also set up some cold frames at the plot later on but we'll see.

Yesterday on the way home after work, I bought my supply of seed potatoes from a local garden centre . The list is as follows :-

Duke of York...First early...10 tubers

Pentland Javelin...First early...3kg

Nadine...Second early...3kg

Maris Piper...Main...3kg

Pink Fir Apple...Main...10 tubers

I've thrown everything around in the shed so that I can squeeze in a small table by the window to accommodate them whilst they are being chitted.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Toilet roll sweet peas

I decided to start some sweet peas off early by sowing them in old loo rolls indoors. We saved some seed from the sweet peas in the garden last year so I'm hoping that they'll be OK, I love them and now that I have the allotment I thought it would be good to grow some up there as I can put more plants in than the garden on it's own.
I've been told that it is quite usual for the loo rolls to grow hair!!! Apparently it is not detrimental to the new seedlings.....we'll see!