Monthly Archives: August 2014

Now the hard work begins…

Major excitement finding out that we have after all been allocated an allotment in the village where we live! Half a plot, as someone has agreed to give up the unused half of his so we can take over.

The half plot is 0.1 of an acre so I don’t think we’re going to worry about not getting a whole plot. We also have to sign a Farm Tenancy agreement which came as a bit of a surprise, as did the £75 charge for the surveyors who look after the allotment plots for processing the
paperwork… We then have to pay the ongoing charge of £45 a year for our half which seems like a bargain.

However, the reality of this huge undertaking came home to me when we had a walk round our new domain. I suspect that this part of the plot has been left to itself for many years.


We have found some asparagus under all the weeds as well as some raspberries and right down at the far end there are apple and pear trees and lots of blackberries.



Luckily for me, my husband is very excited about this new project. He has been scouring Ebay and Freecycle for useful allotment accessories and can’t wait to get rotovating, digging, burning and building!


Wish us luck, I think we’re going to need it…


Pepper progress

Harvesting plenty of peppers at the moment – as mentioned in an earlier post though, I had a labelling mishap so until the peppers started appearing, it wasn’t altogether clear what we were going to get.



The three sets of seeds I originally sowed were Hotscotch, Hot Devil’s Brew & Cayenne but no idea now which ones are which.



Not looking good…

Bit concerned about my azalea – it is not looking very healthy at the moment.



It seems to have gone downhill quite quickly. I’ve tried some plant food and forking in a bit more erinaceous compost but nothing is working. Next step is to dig it out of the pot and try replanting it but I think that won’t be that easy a task. This is what it looked like in its full glory, photo taken on 28 May this year – really hope I can save it but I’m not confident at the moment.


Plan for growth…

The ‘growing stuff’ bug really has caught hold, even though results are a bit mixed in the raised beds in the garden this year. So when we found out that there were some vacant plots in the
village allotments, our ears pricked up!

I hadn’t even realised that there were allotments in the village, they are tucked away behind the primary school, down a little lane. Off we went to reccy and whilst most of the plots were very organised and clearly well tended, there were indeed a couple which were neglected and looked deserted.

Took a bit of digging (not literally…!) to find out who looks after the admin for the site but we eventually found that it is owned by the church diocese and administered by a firm of
surveyors. We got in touch and they duly sent out their junior person who met us on site, armed with his plot map.

Not easy to work out which plot was which as only a few of them were numbered but we
identified the one we thought was unoccupied (certainly looked that way, those weeds didn’t grow overnight!) and he showed us another plot which was showing on his list as being vacant.
However, this one, though overgrown, had a pigeon shed and chicken coop half way down the plot which were both very much occupied.

So back to the office he went to find out more. We went home, discussing how we would divide the plot up, where we would start, what we’d grow… Shouldn’t have got so excited though as he phoned back the next day to say that he’d spoken to the deserted plot ‘owner’ – apparently he knows the plot is neglected, he’s working long hours but ‘might’ retire soon in which case he will get back on his plot. And the other plot wasn’t unoccupied, there was a mistake on the plot plan.

So in the course of a couple of days we’d gone from not thinking about an allotment, to getting hugely excited (and a little bit scared!) about getting one, to being highly disappointed that we can’t have one. He mentioned something about another allotment site in the village but we can’t find it so Monday’s job is to make sure he has us on the waiting list for a plot and to find out exactly where he means with the other site. We scanned the village on Google Maps/Earth and can’t find another site. Obssessed, us? Never!


Tree Following: August update

The year seems to be flying by (did I say that last month too?) Our crab apple tree is now full of apples which are beginning to go red and many of them are now falling.


I love this tree most of the year, the blossom weeks are my favourite time, but I have to say that we are coming to the time when it is not quite as well loved… tiny, wormy little crab apples all over the path, getting trodden into the house with the occasional one falling on my head, hmm not so much fun.

Here are three I picked up this morning:


We still haven’t decided what to try making with them, but some sort of chilli jam might be an idea as I’ve got lots of chilli peppers growing this year too.

If you want more details of the Tree Following challenge and have a look at a wide variety of trees that are being tracked, head over to the Loose and Leafy blog. If you click on my Tree
Following category you can see my original post in March, as well as the monthly updates to compare the difference.

Fully recovered

Today’s harvest includes a cucumber which I’ve just picked from a plant in one of the raised beds which I’d almost given up on.

This is the photo of the nibbled cucumber plant looking very sorry for itself at the end of May:


And here is the resulting cucumber with today’s produce from the garden:


I really wasn’t sure it would survive but it seems to be thriving now with several more
cucumbers growing. I’ve got it under a much closer mesh net which seems to be keeping the nasty creatures away.