Thursday, October 18, 2007

We are now 2 plots!!!

A very long story which I won't bore you with but D has now officially got his own plot at the allotments!! It is the vacant one adjacent to our current plot which we had been strimming the weeds to stop the seeds straying over us. So although that will be 'HIS' plot and the current one will remain 'MINE' we will actually be making some changes and blurring the lines between the two plots so we'll have one huge one!

'D' standing admiring 'HIS' plot next to 'MY' Plot!

We had talked about it for a long time, wondering if we would be slightly mad to take on another plot ( I think we probably are!) but what the hell, you only live once. We plan to use it to grow more veg on but also there will be a lot of flowers for cutting. We spend a small fortune on flowers from supermarkets, for ourselves and for friends when we go for dinner or the weekend, so we're hoping this will put an end to that and enable us to grow our own.

I went up to the plot on Monday to dig over the bed for the broad beans to go in. When I arrived Sue and Will were busy digging next door but kindly stopped long enough to inform me that I have a family of rats living by my shed!! I HATE RATS!!!
Sue was telling me that they had seen them climbing up the sweetcorn plants, so we walked over to find that the little bastards had stripped every single cob completely clean. Over the next half hour we saw THREE of the buggers which just makes my skin crawl, I am not going to mess about, I've already got some poison from mice we had earlier in the year at home so come the weekend Roland and his friends will have to say bye bye! I'm also looking at getting a battery operated sonic wotsit which I can put in the shed to keep any others away.

Oh the joys of communing with nature!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Champagne and onions

We wizzed up to the plot on Sunday for a quick half hour session and we ended up being there for about three hours instead!

I had decided to take the Japanese (over wintering) onion sets to put into the plot, I managed to get them in plus one row of garlic before Sue and Will, our plot neighbours, arrived. They really are fantastic people, always offering help and advice and on Sunday as a sort of toast to the end of the growing year and to challenge us to more and better next year they had brought a bottle of bubbly to share with us!!! Will called us over to be presented with a paper cup each of bubbly, it was one of the most surreal things to be stood on an allotment site toasting each others good health etc with champagne. Who said allotments is old men and flat caps!

Japanese Onion bed

So after our liquid refreshment it was back to digging some of the beds over in preparation for spring cabbages and manuring, I still haven't made my trip to the stables yet to collect some muck, something to look forward to!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Holiday (Yes another one!) and Malvern Autumn Garden Show

The panorama that heads this page is of Southwold in Suffolk, we've just spent a glorious week at D's parents down there and had a fab time. Much to the annoyance of my hairdressing clients who always, without exception exclaim "Another holiday?!" when I tell them I'm going away for a week. This is, I have to insist, only a week out of the four weeks that I take off from work but the buggers think I have too much!! Anyway......

Our trip to Beth Chatto's Garden near Colchester should have been the highlight of the week but sadly ended up being a washout, we went in the pouring rain and when we arrived we went around her garden nursery, spent money there and in the tea room (V. V. expensive) and then left! Oh well maybe next time it'll be dry for us to go around the gardens.

Beth Chatto Nursery

In contrast the place that we went to thinking that it might be a quick jaunt was Wyken hall and Vineyards.

From the moment we drove down the impressive drive to be greated by the Great barn converted into Country store and restaurant I suspected we'd be there for longer than we initially thought.

Again not a cheap place to go to but if you are in the Suffolk/Essex area it really is a stunning place. The Elizabethan hall at the heart of the estate is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens including knot garden, maze, kitchen garden etc. Not huge gardens but beautifully executed and the entire place ooooooooozes style and sophistication!

Wyken Hall

One thing I had decided to do this year having gone down the grow your own path was to exhibit some of the produce from the plot. I'd love to say that below are some pictures of my produce but sadly for one reason and another I didn't get around to doing it.

The show in question is the Autumn garden show at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern (Worcestershire) which is only around 20 mins drive from us and just down the road from Ledbury where my salon is.

I love these type's of shows, they do a Spring garden show too (click here to read of our trip to that) which to be honest is the better one but the Autumn one is fab for the Harvest Pavillion with the veg exhibits. I have never seen such impressive veg in all my life!! Thank the lord we didn't try this year!!!!! I am however determined to try something next this space!!