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Allotment home
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5 December 2012

The first snow of the winter.

The up view

The garlic just showing

The down view


October 31 2012

Now that the boat is back on her home mooring AND the donkey shed floor has been poured AND the roof is weather tight, maybe there will be a chance to sort out the allotment in the few spaces between the rain showers before the winter sets in.

At least I was able to get the garlic in yesterday [November 2]. Ideally, I would have rotavated first but it was just too wet so had to make do with a quick application of the rake to remove the proto-seedlings. Keith tells me that he plants his garlic on the shortest day and harvests it on the longest. I like mine in earlier if I can manage it though I do like to knock off late germinating weeds before the bulbs go in. Having said that, I was jolly glad that it was them and not me who would be standing in wet, cold soil with the allotment wind bearing down.

The up view


Brassicas safe in their cage

September 31 2012

High time I got up to the allotment for some work rather than just a quick scrumping run.

The up view

Weeds running amok where I rotavated earlier

Rhubarb over but the dwarf beans soldier on

August 3 2012

Not much change from last month except that the weeds have got bigger. Runner beans cropping well and so is the sweet corn. Have dug up all the potatoes but it is a small crop, no big ones and several plants missing, presumably lost in the mud.

The up view

Runner beans

Sweet corn ready

July 31 2012

The rain keeps acomin' and the weeds keep agrowin'

I proclaim this'The year of the slug'

The up view


Sweet corn has liked the rain

Down view

Weeds have liked the rain too

July 15 2012

Considering how bad the weather has been, gnome has been much less grumpy than usual....I wonder why?

Someone has come to coax him out of the bushes

He looks jolly pleased about it too...and who wouldn't?



June 25 2012

Rain, rain and more rain with the odd lashing of wind.



Garlic needs up-rooting and drying in the sun


100 leeks, not enough to drain this summer


Potatoes dredged from the mud


Courgette plants have withdrawn their support


Onions seem to have liked the rain


and so has the sweet corn

May 25 2012

Suddenly the sun has come out and Gnome has put his sun glasses on.

I know that some of you have been concerned about sexual dimorphism in gnomes so you may or may not find the pic below re-assuring. It seems that like the rest of us on the allotment, he finds a suitable bush to hide his profundity. However, it just occurs to me that there might be a possibility of polymorphism in gnomes in which case more direct evidence may be required. For this, the help of someone like Gilbert White's brother may be required. He is described by White as being a 'curious observer of nature' and is quoted below when talking about eagles, though surely this must also apply to gnomes and their ways, especially where they abound.

The notes of the eagle kind are shrill and piercing and about the season of nidification much diversified as I have been often assured by a curious observer of nature who long resided at Gibraltar where eagles abound.


Gnomes in Black

If you have never read -*- Gilbert White, you are lucky as you will be in for a treat when you do. His Natural History of Selborne is available as a free e-book at -*-The Project Guttenberg or at -*- Google. Download it and enjoy!


-*- Natural History of Selborne

May 22 2012

Early May was just a continuation of cool wet April but today the sun has come out and we have hit 27C in the barrel. Actually had to water seedlings to-day.

Four month end photographs in the sunshine, but from slightly different angles than usual as the [very effective] windbreak precludes the long down shots.


The 'up' view, from the corner


The usual up view, well almost


Runner beans behind the windbreak


The new cabbage cage in place, no top yet


More windbreaks thanks to Matt and Tam

April 28 2012

April has turned out cool and WET after an extraordinary March which saw summer temperatures and no rain. The may blossom is out on the canal banks but not yet up here. I have runner bean plants ready to go out but I think that this wet spell will end in a cold snap once the sky clears of cloud. The latest weather forcast sees the wet weather continuing well into May so possibly when the sky does clear, we will miss the frost.

I usually like to take the month end photographs in the sunshine, but I think this batch, taken in the rain, sum up the month rather well.


The 'up' view, blackcurrants doing rather well after their 'pruning'


Down view all but hidden by my new Newham College windbreak


The rhubarb likes the rain


Perspective on the windbreak, viewed across Frank's perfect patch


The other side of the windbreak, garlic doing well


First earlies just showing


Took pity on Gnome and made him a 'brolly


The new cabbage cage arrives

March 11 2012

Carrying on warm and bright [25 C in the barrel to-day] but very dry.

A bright sunday bringing out the allotmenteers, you could hardly hear the motorway for the rotavators.
Had a quick word with Jill who tells me she is looking for a new partner to work with her on her patch. So if you are local, and would like to share an allotment,
contact me or her. Jill won the Oakley Gardening Society cup for the best allotment last year so you would be in good company if you joined her. It's all right, we still speak to her.

I've also 'pruned' the blackcurrant bushes. I doubt you will find the method in many gardening books, but I removed all wood old enough to have lichen on it. In some cases this was most of the bush. Hopefully they will improve after this drastic action.


Jill gets down to it!


Newly varnished gnome takes on his patch


The 'up' view without the blackcurrant bushes


The down view of this year's garlic


The down view with the rhubarb doing well

February 25 2012

A warm start to the year and then it suddenly turned cold with low temperatures [-12 C in the barrel] and some snow. The snow obviously concentrating the minds of the muntjak deer as they have eaten the purple sprouting bits of my brocoli.


Not a purple sprouting bit to be seen


The 'up' view


Cabbage cage looking ravaged