Monday, 24 August 2015

Allotment Vision, building and growing

Hi everyone,

well its another wet and grey day here I think the sun decided to take a holiday for our summer this year. But must not grumble. Thank you to those that took the time to leave me some lovely comments on my last post and thank you to those that join me and read my weekly ramblings :-)

Well this post is about the going's on down at my allotment I have now dug over 3 quarters of my 90 foot plot cant believe I have done it to be honest the digging that is on my own. ( I suffer with fibromyalgia so this is a massive achievement for me )  But all the extra aches and pain have certainly been worth it :-)

So this weekend my lovely husband and myself started building the middle part of my little vision which was my wildlife and natural garden area of my allotment in the middle of my plot as its such a long plot I wanted it broken up with flowers and a pond and twisty path I draw a plan but had it all in my head and knew just what I wanted. I rescued an old car tyre from a skip for a pond and well I will show you the photo's. So through the rain and the mud we set to it...


First off we built a very large box frame for me to grow my potatoes in and we dug some compost in to help feed the soil.


We dug into the ground the tyre I had found we kept the inner section in as we couldn't remove it


Covered it with blue sheeting as you can see its not huge but frogs will enjoy it I am sure.


We then started building the platform for the little plastic greenhouse I had bought


And started putting the greenhouse frame together


And then hey presto I now have a lovely little greenhouse.


We then put a ground sheet underneath the decking planks and also under the shelves which should prevent the weeds from growing. I kept some soil and edged it with a piece of wood to give me a border, next year I will grow my tomatoes and cucumbers into the ground there. And I have a lovely shelve to sow my seeds and I will also be able to grow vegetables in pots under the shelves. And it also acts as a place to store my small collection of work tools :-) And best of all it cost me £8 in the Wilkins sale the timber and decking were free from my neighbour as she was throwing it out.


We then built a wooden frame around the pond area and put a little path of hexagon slabs from the edge of the grass along to the greenhouse we bought these from our local rubbish tip they cost me £8. To the left of the path I dug over the soil which is going to be part of my wild life area I am going to be sowing wild plant seeds here.


We then built another box frame a longer one which I will either grow my peas or sweetpeas in next year. I also built another metal arch to help define the space and give me another entrance and to help the long plot flow this cost only £5 in the wilksons sale. I will grow I think Jasmin or honey suckle up and over it to give off a lovely scent.


We then built a little patio area by the side of the greenhouse and I bought my little wire bench down from my garden as it doesn't get used its facing the apple and cherry trees and will be a nice little area to take a break in. I will put little pots of flowers around there also to make it look pretty.


We built a path between the potato bed and the wild flower bed so I can walk and weed easier. This will be filled with Bark when I can afford it.  As you can see here it its now a proper little separate garden on its own almost.


This is the pond area its looking a little sad at the moment. To the right of the pond is a tiny wooden pallet which we dug into the ground to give the wildlife a platform I will put pots of flowers on it so they have somewhere to hide and it will also look pretty to. Instead of buying big rocks to go around the pond which I couldn't afford we have decided to cut up and use some of the wood from a pallet to build a frame to house the white pebbles I did buy. This is a work in progress and hopefully next week I can show this area finished. I cant wait to see a little frog doing the back stroke :-) I will plant this with flowers to attract the bees and butterflies there are also lots of beautiful dragon flies down here to. I am planning on building a bug garden to out of bricks, wood, fir cones anything I can find really which doesn't cost anything ;-)


I ordered some potato tubers from Pennard plants Charlotte and Gemson both can be planted out now ready for a crop of Autumn new potatoes. They both take 14 weeks to produce.


So in they went into my potato bed ( sorry for the blurred photo ) 15 cms deep and the same apart. Fingers crossed I will get a little crop later in the year each bag contained 10 tubers.


My lettuces that I thinned and planted here from my vegetable patch have taken well and seem to be growing nicely. Please don't look at the weeds I need to get rid of them this week. And one of the 2 brussel sprouts I also took from my vegetable patch seems to be doing ok to.


My carrots that I also bought down from my vegetable patch have taken well and so have the weeds I will be getting rid of those this week.


The broccoli is growing  but the peas are struggling here not growing as quickly as they are at my vegetable patch. Yes more weeds here that need digging out pesky little things.

We have built a little net frame around my cabbages to help keep the pesky pigeons and white fly out.



But there seems to be more weeds in here than anything else they will be coming out this week to.

I currently have growing down my allotment now Brussel sprouts
Lettuces
Leeks
Broccoli
Cabbages
Cauliflower
Peas
Carrots
Spring and red onions
Spinach and beetroot
And now new potatoes to

Will let you know of their progress in the coming weeks.



And so after a weekend of getting wet and covered in mud the second stage of my allotment build is nearly complete just need to finish the pond and then bark the area between the patio and the pea bed and then the fun part starts being able to sow flowers and plant this area up :-)


And so from my little very long allotment space I will say goodbye but I will just say that I have some serious growing to share next week from my lovely little vegetable patch and with all the rain we have been having I haven't been there for the past few days so I am sure those courgettes should be much bigger now.

Thank you reading until next time,

Bye for now

Dee xx

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Making holiday memories and other things

Hi everyone,

this past weekend saw us taking a mini weekend break in our little vintage caravan Bertie. We set off Friday to our favourite place in Devon, Saunton Sands. We had 3 days of making wonderful memories. Beach walking, exploring Braunton burrows, finding shipwrecks, meeting nature and breathing in all the wonderful fresh air. Our evenings were spent reading, playing cards and just relaxing, it was simply lovely but over far to quickly.


BERTIE  

FRIDAY EVENING  



LAST TIME WE SAW THESE SIGNETS THEY WERE TINY  



DRIVE DOWN THE TOLL ROAD ALONG BRAUNTON BURROWS AND YOU FIND SHEEP GRAZING AND ROAMING FREE  



AND GORGEOUS COWS JUST RELAXING  




And then the gorgeous coast line is waiting at the end of the road to greet you, you can walk for miles when the tide is out. Explore further and boats and shipwrecks await you along with quiet and unspoilt beaches truly beautiful.



 
 

And the girls well they loved every minute running free on the beach :-)

Last week before we went away I spent some time down the allotment and I met my friend there who offered me some of her blackcurrants I was welcome to pick as many as I wanted as she had far to many so I spent a lovely hour picking away and came home with 4lbs worth in weight :-)


So I washed them and decided to make Blackcurrant cordial and I have to say it was the messiest thing I have ever made but oh boy so tasty :-)



Washed and weighed, and boiled them slowly, drained the fluid off the fruit and then added sugar and citric acid and hey presto after a bit of mess...


I have 4 lovely bottles of blackcurrant cordial and I have to say although its thick its so very tasty mixed with fizzy water.

Sunday evening after our return home we went up to Hazelemere and my vegetable patch I have to say its looking great and everything seems to be growing well, will share photo's on my next post and give a better description of what is growing.


But out of the brambles I was given a lovely welcome home gift of ever lasting sweetpeas :-)

And yesterday my blackberry bush in my little garden had produced more lovely fruit which I filled another large Pyrex dish full which have now been washed and currently in the freezer until I need to make jam again.


And this morning I picked my first tiny tomatoes from my garden this year I grow yellow and red ones and I must say the yellow ones have the sweetest flavour.


My lovely friend also gave me one of her courgettes from her allotment which had grown huge I will be making ratatouille later :-)

Along with some her spring onions they have since been put into a cheese and onion tart.

And think I had better end there as this post seems to be getting a bit photo heavy. I have so much to share with you about what's growing down on my allotment and the changes we have made there and also what's been growing up at my vegetable patch but will save that for next time.

Its my beautiful girl Kia's 12th Birthday today and she will be having a roast chicken dinner for her tea tonight :-) So I will leave you with my last photo of my gorgeous girl.


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings,

Until next time bye for now,

Dee xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Vegetable Patch Weeding, Growing and Making

Hi Everyone,

thank you for taking the time to visit me here for reading and leaving your comments I really appreciate it.

So this weekend saw my best friend and myself visit our local flower show it was great seeing all the vegetables and flowers in the main tents and to what and who came first. I viewed some of the biggest and longest leeks I have ever seen how they grow them like that I have no idea. I forgot to take photo's of those sadly. We enjoyed a nice couple of hours and I treated myself to some seeds from a couple who produce their own. What really grabbed my attention was the wonderful and sweet packaging and the wonderful descriptions and history on the backs of the packets. I asked the seller about the best beef tomatoes would be to grow and he recommended Accordian Pink ruffled they look just like pleated petticoats but have the sweetest flavour I was told. Here is what I bought..


Cherokee Trail of Tears French climbing beans in fact it was the lovely history on the back of these that made me want to be a little part of their growing history. In 1838 in USA Cherokee Indians made a forced march from across the plains from Georgia and it became known as the Trail of Tears. This heirloom has been passed down the generations. Its an incredibly vigorous handsome plant, very tasty as a fresh bean and if dried is small, black and very flavourful.

I also bought Koralik Red Cherry tomatoes which is a Polish and Russian Heirloom. Its a bush plant and yields a very heavy and sweet tasting tomatoes.

Thomas Laxton Tall Peas. These were first produced in 1898 and named after Thomas Laxton who is considered the greatest Pea breeder ever. Its a wrinkled variety but very reliable with very sweet tasting pea's.

And the last packet I bought were a packet of colourful wild cornfield Meadow mix for my little wild garden area it contains corncockle, corn chamomile, cornflowers, corn marigolds, scented mayweed, field forget me not, corn poppys, opium poppy, night flowering catchfly, wild mustard, field Pansy, plus a few other bits ad pieces all 100% British. Cant wait to plant these next year the bee's and butterflies are going to love them to.

You can also buy online from this lovely couple here at pennardplants.com

I also made some bunting for my allotment to try and keep those pesky pigeons off my crops. I bought a waterproof apron in our local £ shop.


And drew a template out of card and then cut out a load of triangles joined them all together and sewed them using the machine.


I had enough for two lots and then hung them across my crops and so far so good. And for a £1 and a little bit of time they look pretty to as well as being practical.

On Sunday my husband, Myself and my hounds spent 4 lovely hours up at my Vegetable Patch the sun was shinning the radio was playing and Milly and Kia were happy walking around and digging. I cant believe where all those weeds come from each bed was full of them especially the carrots.

The Leeks were pretty full to



This is me in mid flow weeding it was so satisfying afterwards to sit back and to see nice clean beds :-)



Once the Red onions and Spring Onion beds were weeded I thinned them all out and re planted them I also took a few of each and planted them down at my allotment.


My Beetroot that I sowed just over 2 weeks ago is now showing itself so fingers crossed these continue to grow and get strong.


My Peas I sowed are now looking thick and strong :-)


My Carrots are looking strong to I have decided not to thin these though I am just going to leave them alone and see what happens I did take a few down to my allotment and spread them out so it will be interesting to see which grow the best.


And what I am most excited about is that my courgettes I grow from seed finely have 2 courgette growing I am so pleased I was grinning from ear to ear when I spotted them :-) There are plenty more female flowers to which should result in many more growing to.

If you click on the photo it will appear larger

And this is what my lovely patch was looking like after all out hard work of weeding :-) The leeks, carrots, courgettes, cucumbers which I have now left un covered to see if the light now helps them to grow after being in the clouch frame, My mass of lettuces which I am leaving also ( although I did replant a few out in another bed ) are all doing well.


The only problem I currently have at my Vegetable patch are caterpillars on my Brussel sprout plants so I did pick them and the eggs off and spray them so hopefully they will now stay away. Down at the allotment I have whitefly but it seems to be everywhere down there.

And after all that hard work...



Kia looked and felt just like we did Content and Happy :-)

This week I am planning on doing some more digging down at the allotment I will up date you on its progress next time. This coming weekend we are taking our little vintage Caravan Bertie on a little weekend break to our favourite place. The sea is calling us all and a rest to....



Have a lovely week everyone until next time...

Bye for now

Dee xx