Sunday, April 22, 2007


Yes, finally up to date! A nice photo of the plot this weekend. You can see from the photo that the flowers and garlic and doing well at least. (the carpetted part is the neighbouring plot) And you can see the black cover over my chopped bramble area, which I decided to poison this weekend with Root Out. It already seems to be working! I won't be planting that area for a long time (summer earliest, but probably autumn) so am not worried about it.

Today I forked over and weeded half of another length of the main rows area and got in half my calabrese and beetroot. They'll continue into the next half of the row which I'll try and do this week. In order to get my second lot of potatos in I'm thinking of completing digging out a length - making a trench I can build up as they grow. That would mean not having to weed the turned soil so could be an easier option. I can use the soil for something else when I have time to weed it.

After this week I'm on holiday for 3 weeks so just have to leave it to nature for a while.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Drawings from last week!

Still forgetting my camera, but I've been sketching while having breaks. It's SO beautiful out, about 20 degrees last weekend! The flowers are all in bloom, lovely black tulips have all come up, garlic is going well, more digging but now the ground is rock hard.

A peek at the garlic.

One of the black tulips.

And a view over into the back half of the front half, now covered in black sheeting. There's a funny old frame made out of metal bars and then in the bramble I found the remnants of the steel frame from an old shed.

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Catch Up: About 6 weeks ago, part II

More catch up photos. :) On the Monday my friend Leila came along to help chop bramble while I got on with digging. Jo (Oakley) popped along later with a lighter and we had a nice bonfire with the bramble! It burned really nicely in the old compost bin. A nice 'safe' holder so that I didn't complete lose it. I was slightly convinced we were going to burn down all of Eltham! So I stood by with bucket at the ready the whole time.

Second length of bed dug:

A couple "sculptures" found in the bramble, now in the flower bed. (These photos are very out of date now, the bed is filled with flowers now!)

The base of the shed is down, took a lot of digging, levelling, sand and paving stones. It'll do anyway.

My new 'tool'. A pram. Can you believe it? ME? With a pram? Haha! Very good for moving bags of sand though.

And another view of the plot with Leila over by the bramble.

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Catch Up: About 6 weeks ago

I *have* been down at the allotment, just keep forgetting my camera. A nice Saturday out, started digging my biggest area for veg - weeding out all the couch grass of course. Grrrr... A nice shot of my first bed, the plot so far, and my wee rose bush! It was a beautiful sunny day.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Chopping chopping chopping

Had a day out with my friend Leila and my new loppers and BOY did we cut a lot of bramble! It was fantastic. In a stunning contrast to her usual fashionable style (well, her own style at least) Leila donned sweats, hoodie and boots and loved using the loppers. So spent a lot of time piling up the wheelbarrow to move the chopping down to the bramble wall.

Also borrowed neighbour's saw (with his permission of course) and chopped down a couple of the hawthorne trees. So here's a pic of me with my first felled tree! (yes, I did yell 'timber')

We had quite a few tea breaks too. Sitting in my eBay old army chairs, purchased from the National Theatre props dept.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

B&Q Bonanza

Today I cycled down to B&Q to spend my gift certificates from Christmas. Of course, getting it all in the basket on the back of the bike was rather challenging. Rather than putting on the proper pannier rack I had strapped my old front basket (from the hybrid bike) onto the mountain bike pannier which is just held by the seat post. So as I packed up all the shopping I realised I was beyond the 9kg limit for the rack! Plus it all wobbled back and forth nicely, so the ride home was slow just in case I had to stop to grab potatoes or a trowel off the road!

Main purchase was a lovely big pair of Wilkinson Sword Large Gear Action Bypass Lopper. Whew! This was the main big treat because I figured with about 30m of bramble to chop down it would be well worth it.

Hand trowel
Hand hoe (double sided, it's so cute!)
2 bags of seed potatoes - early crop and salad crop
A rose bush (yellow roses with blush edges, can't recall the name)
4 mini tester pots of outdoor paint - to paint pictures on the shed once it's built
Zip ties
Lots of seeds! They had a couple 'bargain packs' for herbs and veg so more seeds for less moolah. Herb pack of parsley, coriander and basil. I want to get mint too, and I have lavender at the plot. And then a veg pack of cabbage (2 kinds), sweet corn, broccoli, leek, white onions, courgette, early carrots, autumn carrots, spinach, parsnips, brussel sprouts. Now I wanted all those anyway except for the sweet corn so good deal. I bought seeds for peas and beetroot separately.

We're supposed to have snow tomorrow though, so have to wait until I can go play with the new toys.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Photo update

Not too much done today, hard digging this afternoon and not much light. Here's some photos!

First, introduction to the plot as is.
1. The sand and paving slabs free from local skip. :) And my nifty hand-painted plot number board. Will make something more interesting later. 2. Plot as is. 3. Cement roof tiles from same skip to make some paths. My beeeeeyooooteeeeful Howies jacket my parents bought me for xmas is also hanging there.

These pics don't really do them justice but here are some of Shelagh's lovely birdbaths:

And finally the beds. 1. The garlic is growing! 2. Flower bed hoed and primroses put in. 3. The new bed extending from the garlic bed - will be potatoes, and longer too. It doesn't look much but I did dig out 2 big bramble roots.

And I'll finish with a pretty primrose photos. Aaaaaah

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dry at last!

Thanks gods January is gone. And we seem to be having spring days, though I'm sure the frost will be back to haunt us. (We've only had a few nights frost last week, that's been it all winter.)

Wonderful day out...
Planted a bit more garlic. 'Hoed' (with my hands) my 3 beds and it's wonderful how the cold really has broken up the clay soil! One of those things I just didn't believe but I have lovely smooth(ish) soil to putter about with. I smoothed things out and weeded the flower beds. Put in a few more bulbs. Dug out a few bramble roots in order to make a little herb corner - just teensy little parsley plants in now.

Friend Leila bought me 6 primrose plants at the Manor House Gardens farmers market yesterday so I put them in a little row at the front of the flower bed. They look quite cheery!

I also put out 3 ceramic pots, made as birdbaths by my friend Shelagh, on the ground as either birdbaths or little ponds for frogs. Whatever wildlife might like them. Sunk them a bit and made sure there was earth banked up around them, tried to have one a bit hidden in grass.

Also chatted to Hamish next to me and decided to put my shed up at the top of the plot. There's a space I've already cleared, fairly flat and ready to go. So if I can get to the plot tomorrow I'm going to move the sand and paving slabs up to the top. That's a bit of a task in and of itself since I can only carry one slab at a time.

Light out until about 5.15pm. Will get some photos tomorrow.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Garlic and lavender

Okay, haven't updated much. I did get my garlic in on Christmas Eve and today popped over the the POURING rain. Honestly, it looked like it was going to clear up but I've never been so wet in my life - it was the first time ever my Howies jacket actually got soaked through. But I wanted to bring my lavender plants over to transplant them because they've been knocked off my back deck twice now by high winds. So they're in a little corner of the flower bed now.

Unfortunately some of the flower bulbs seem to be coming up. And I suspect even some of the garlic. I can't believe it but I wish we would get a proper frost.

Tomorrow was going to be my proper day off but it's supposed to rain, so I guess I'll postpone a day of bramble chopping until Monday or Tuesday.