Monthly Archives: January 2015

Signs of growth

Not much going on at the allotment or garden at the moment but I do have a few things ticking over nicely in the greenhouse until it is time for them to go outside.

Sweet peas are coming on very well:

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Wallflowers:

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And for the vegetable plot, cabbages and broccoli continue to grow:

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Just for contrast, here’s how they were all looking back in mid November.

Gardening roundup – what I’ve been reading/watching…

Lots of gardening programmes on at the moment, or maybe I’m just noticing them more as it is my new(ish) passion! I’ve also been reading a few interesting articles so here is a roundup of some of the things that caught my eye recently:

1. Big Allotment Challenge programme on BBC2 Friday nights. I don’t entirely like the focus on appearance rather than taste for the show bench (ugly veg rule!) but this series has a few more growing tips so I’m finding it useful. The programme website with more tips is here.

2. Great British Garden Revival – ten gardening experts talk about their particular passion to try and save the nation’s rich gardening heritage. More details about the episodes here.

3. One ridiculously simple way of transforming your garden from average to enchanting – I loved this article found via twitter on The Middle-Sized Garden blog here.

4. The Benefits of Keeping Records on the Allotment – great advice again via twitter, which I’m determined to heed this growing season… here.

5. I’ve mentioned twitter a couple of times already – definitely a great source of gardening tips, other blogs, experts and amateurs as well as information about offers and upcoming events/tv programmes. It was much more fun watching the Big Allotment Challenge at the same time as following the story on twitter – and a good way to find new people to follow. Using hashtags means you can catch up with what others think and there are also a number of Q&A sessions, for example every Thursday on Twitter from 8-9pm UK time, there is a tweetorial and gardening Q&A using the hashtag #WoolliesAskAlison

So that is my list of gardening/growing sources of information that have caught my eye recently – there won’t be as much time for reading or watching television once the weather improves so I’m making the most of my spare time now 😉

Tree Following: January update

Well, here we are again, happy New Year – hope we all had a good Christmas break.

I was hoping to see a few tiny signs of life in the old crab apple tree, but nothing yet, maybe next month… But I have managed to take some photos of a lovely blue sky so that is a bonus.

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Roll on Spring.

Details of the tree following challenge can be found on the Loose & Leafy blog here and if you want to see how my tree was looking with leaves, blossom and fruit, feel free to scroll back through my tree following category posts.

New Year Gardening Resolutions

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I’d like 2015 to be the year when I really get the hang of this whole ‘growing stuff’ thing – we’ve taken on half an allotment and I’m keeping the three raised beds at the bottom of the garden too so I need to be a bit better organised…

In 2014, some crops went very well as this previous post outlined.

And some were a bit of a disaster – for 2015 I’m hoping for a lot more of the former.

So, my resolutions for the year ahead are:

1. Plan ahead – list the crops I want to grow, check the seeds I already have & stock up
accordingly and work out a monthly sowing schedule.

2. Sow little and often, staggering the harvest so we don’t risk wasting anything I’ve grown.

3. Grow more flowers – loved my sweet peas and marigolds this year and want to have more flowers I can cut for the house, as well as pots of them on the patio.

4. Waste less – we have three big compost bins and two bokashi bins now so plenty of
opportunity to ‘recycle’ anything we don’t eat as well as peelings etc. We’ve got a plan to have
some chickens on the allotment too, so that will help.

5. Keep on top of the weeding and general maintenance, little and often will be easier to
manage!

Think that will do me for now – I might need to give up work though, it is going to be
challenging to fit all this gardening in too! 😉