Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Allotment therapy

It's a shame the photo doesn't do the view great justice..this morning I could see for miles.

Dad and I spent a couple of hours this morning, weeding, sowing, planting and watering. The allotment is looking great. It was quite therapeutic to concentrate and think about something else for a change. I hadn't spent any time at the plot for a while, and was surprised to see how well things are coming along.

The rhubarb has been picked ready for rhubarb and ginger jam...

Since I first took an interest in growing vegetables I have taken a bizarre obsession with courgettes. I think it's largely due to the fact that they are so easy to grow. I transplanted these from home this morning. I haven't used this black plastic before but apparently it keeps the weeds at bay! We do suffer hugely with weeds unfortunately, and some of them are monster sized. Apart from the odd one poking through the sheeting though all seemed ok. These are just normal run of the mill courgettes, but I am nurturing some others at home which are quite this space!

This is one of two new gooseberry bushes, and Dad spotted teeny weeny berries on it today, so hopefully we shall get a fairly decent crop from them so I can make gooseberry jam. Jam is a big business in this household!

I quite like bucking tradition on the allotment, hence the weird courgettes, and this kiwi plant above. I bought it from Lidl a few weeks ago, one lunchtime when I was bored at work, and it really seems to have taken off. It's been planted against the shed as apparently they like to climb. We shall have to wait and see what happens. Maybe kiwi jam? Hmm, maybe not...

Dads' speciality, broad beans. They taste so amazingly good (well they did last year, these ones aren't quite ready yet) we have come to the conclusion that they will be perfect for picking slap bang in the middle of when we are on holiday next week. Excellent.

And good old potatoes. I got so excited when we dug up our first potatoes last summer, I can highly recommend it. One of my friends has grown some in a dustbin in her back garden, which is a brilliant idea if you only have a small area but still want to grow something.

We also planted carrots, parsnips, marigolds peas and various other flower seeds that we found at home this morning, so hopefully in a few weeks time it should be looking pretty.

The Gladioli which you can just about make out below were also a very cheap purchase from Lidl. I bought two huge bags of bulbs from there for a couple of pounds, and they seem to be growing really well. Gladioli and Sweet Peas seem to be the common staple flowers of allotments, so at least we are keping up with the neighbours! Can you see our block paved patio?? (courtesy of Dad)

These are the sweet peas, snug in their fleecy sheet!

So this morning I had sunshine, exercise and fresh air. We also have lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to look forward to. And jam making, obviously.


Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Your allotment looks fantastic - I'm with you on the courgettes - I love them! I grew 6 different varieties last year! I'm not growing as many varieties this year but probably a lot more plants! I'm glad the allotment therapy did some good - take care of yourself. Lucy x

mollycupcakes said...

It all sounds so very green and lovely, I'm so pleased for you that you have the passion to do it. I'd love to be able to grow fresh fruit and veg then enjoy eating it and making jams and chutneys from it all.
But sadly our house is rented and the garden is the size of a shoe box.
I wish you a huge crop of yummy goodies. And if you have any left over I'd love to test some jam wink! wink! honey.
Enjoy your holiday I hope it does the both of the world of good. Time together for walks and lots of snuggles.

Catherine x

Summer by the sea said...

Hi there - your allotment looks great, Like you, I love courgettes, (sliced and lightly fried - yum) Your sweet peas look good too - mine don't look like that, but they haven't got a blanket like yours - should they have? - Glad to hear that the allotment is helping to take your mind off recent events - take care and look after yourself - Natalie x

Bro said...

I love Kiwis! Why didn't we think of that?! Let me know how it progresses...sadly don't have any fancy recipes for them - I just have them the normal way (sliced) for breakfast. xxx

Bro said...

By the way, I am not your bro...just realised I must be in his log-in. Whoooops! x

dottycookie said...

It all looks fab - I am only a tiny bit envious, I promise! My sweet peas are much more raggedy than that, and the broad beans are nowhere near as healty - but our sunflowers and peas are coming on!

shabby chic said...

Hi Anna
Your allotment looks great and how exciting waiting to see the harvest from it all too. It looks like it is growing beautifully.
Glad you are out in the fresh air and in the sunshine. Greenery is very therapeutic.
jam , lovely , nothing like homemade jam x Dom

Katherines Dream said...

It is great to be at the allotment, I love the quietness. Your one is looking very productive. I know what you mean about the weeds...I feel they make it look untidy!I was weeding yesterday evening for a while. Your broad beans look so healthy, I spaced mine out too much and look a bit pathetic really. I do not have a rhubarb plant yet, but I have been given some by the other keepers...sadly not enough to make jam, your's sounds yummy!
Carol x

April said...

Glad to see you're feeling a little better.

The allotment looks great.

Take care


April xx

driftwood said...

everything looks fantastic, can't wait to see the mystery courgettes! oh and course the jam! yum..

julia said...

Good old Lidl, I've had a couple of plants from there and they've been stars! We had a dustbin full of potatoes last year, it was a great way to grow them. I've just been given a courgette plant to nurture - oh dear, the responsibilty!
Glad to hear you're getting back on your feet again, have a lovely holiday, I'm sure you'll be able to find a volunteer broad bean picker!
Julia x

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh my goodness aren't you fruitful or vegful(!) anyhoo you have a lot of yummy things growing there missy!
I absolutely love courgettes! Oh and rubbarb & ginger jam, mmmmmmmm scrummy!
lots of love
Alison x

julia said...

It is the racecourse car boot, you should really try to get there one Sunday, I've picked up loads of stuff there. It's my Sunday morning treat!
Julia x

Ragged Roses said...

Wow Anna not only do you have rhubarb and ginger jam in the making but gooseberry too (two of my favourites) and if that wasn't enough broad beans which I also love. Your allotment is looking fab. Glad to hear that being out there did some good

Ali said...

Hi, I have just read your latest blog and I love it! We are very similar in alot of ways, I have the lotty bug, love courgettes (got 4 growing), love the films you listed and like you on a sunny day, it's out in the garden with a strong cuppa! I find the lotty very theraputic and after a hard day at the office (estate agency too!) there is no other way to unwind than spending a half a hour or whatever I can grab at my plot.
You keep up the good work!

wendster said...

OK. Now I am all on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what a courgette is. I have never heard of them.
And growing potatoes in a dust bin? EXCELLENT notion. I thought they discouraged us from growing potatoes (the infamous "they") because they are fraught with ... disease? trouble? they go about the neighborhoods at night bothering the cats? I have no idea .. . but my dad doesn't grow them here, even though I've asked.
And do kiwi's need male and female plants growing across from each other to bear fruit? I thought I heard something like that for some exotic fruit like kiwi.
I think I am more excited about your garden than you are. LOL.

Tracy said...

Loved this allotment update, Anna! Such a lovely spot--and great views! The rhubarb looks so good, and I like the though of rhubarb-ginger jam (do you have a recipe to share for this one?!) Your crops are coming along so well--it is very exciting to see. It is still early in the season here and we've yet to sow some seeds direct in the ground. So glad you had a great day! Be taking good care...Happy weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

alice c said...

So much hard work and such lovely looking plants - not sure about the broad beans though - it is the one thing that I CANNOT eat.

Gina said...

wow, every thing's looking so healthy, you must both have green thumbs.. bet it will all taste so good, esp the jams! (must admit I can't stand broad beans, was forced to eat them as a child!) :O)

Cowboys & Custard said...

Hello Anna
You have that special green fingered touch with your allotment.. Lots of wonderful produce to look forward to and JAM... oh yummy!!!
I am a bit of a courgette fan myself and we are always rewarded with a good crop.. Have you tried the flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese.. or tempura style?
Plants are very healing and it is comforting to know that you are enjoying your garden pursuits..

Did you make it to Malvern??

Lots of love

Curlew Country said...

Even run of the mill courgettes are a sight more advanced than I've managed. Keep meaning to plant up toms in a growbag but...
Good on you for getting out there again, takes a brave girl. Hope the holiday gives you a breath of fresh air and some lovely time with your lovely chap. Take care.

Sal said...

What an amazing allotment! I have a passion for rhubarb! And sweet peas are simply the best to grow. Sal;-)

Dragonfly said...

Wow, that all looks fabulous. You have about 50 times as many broad beans than me! But the pinching out of the tips has definitely kept the blackfly at bay!
My pesky chickens have been dust-bathing in my pea bed, tut tut!