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Friday, 26 March 2010

Some Allotment Updates

Some very quick updates so you all don't think I have fallen off the gardening planet (I am also way behind reading all the blogs I follow but will visiting you all soon). My season is starting very slowly with lots of hiccups I have never really experienced before, like the non-germinating of seeds, I have been sowing but very little is germinating, which might mean my seed's viability is low or my compost need to be fresh batch.

In my garden I have next to nothing what with the blogshop taking up lots of my time and I am struggling to find a balance but will get there in the end. I am hoping that the Easter holidays will see me time plenty, emphasis on the words 'I hope'.

But I really want to show you all that progress is being made on the allotment front and its been much quicker than I envisioned/ expected, due to some kind and helpful plot neighbours.


On Mother's Day I went to the plot for a few hours to get some digging done and marking out of more beds. Another plot holder was there with his rotavator and offered to dig over the area for me with it. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted but removed all the perennial and surface weeds first.

Once I was done he rotavated it and tada! a good three days/ visits of work done. I also while I was there cut some carpet into footpath width to lay in my footpaths when all my beds are marked out.

I spent this week mostly nursing two sick girls but with all the decent weather we had that week I bundled them up on the Wednesday and took them to the allotment, to dig some of the previously marked out bed.
The allotment gods smiled on me yet again as there was another plot holder on site with his mantis rotavator who offered to dig over my beds once I was finished removing weeds, so tada! again two beds were done instead of one and if I had got there half an hour earlier I might have gotten the third and currently last bed done too but that had to be left for another day.
Sunday the 21st I made it the plot again, I know! I could barely believe it myself :) I went to the plot to meet up with the other two members of our little group that rents our little section. We wanted to clear up a lot of the old wood lying around to create a bonfire, which needs to be done before April the 1st. We also wanted to work on building some compost bins.
Two of us got there just after lunch and just as we were going to get stuck in I spotted an unwelcome visitor, some one's pet rabbit, so after an energetic chase we caught the cutie and went door knocking to find his home but had no luck so we secured him in a box and got on with our tasks.
About 2 hours later another one was spotted and this one was much harder to catch but catch him we did. We did find someone in the are who took care of rabbits but they weren't hers but she offered to keep them and to put up some lost flyers, etc.

We were happy with the days other outcomes as well We got three bins filled and lined with carpet offcuts (the pic below is before they were properly completed). Lids and doors were attached. Only one more to be built now and that job will be completed.

The bonfire was built but not lit as people had their washing out. I had hoped to fire it up by now but family life and the recent rainy evening put paid to that. Hopefully I can do so tomorrow evening before it gets dark.
With the clearing up of the woody prunnings, etc the back end of my plot which I need to clear for this seasons squash crops, got sorted some what.

So thats where the plot is at the moment, because of help from other plot hoders I am ahead of where I expected to be, so I'm very thankful for their help.

P.S I blogged about my crafty day out here.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Blogshop is Reopened for business and more APOLOGIES!!!

So I know you gardening lot have been making real in roads into your spring preparations on your plots or in your gardens and I promise you I have been getting things done as well, although I haven't been posting about it. I made it to the allotment again this week but I will be posting about all my gardening updates on Sunday. The camera is cooperating and I have lots to show, I just don't have anymore energy to give to writing.

Besides gardening I have spent and enormous amount of time on the computer spring cleaning my blogshop, a lot has been changed and work has also been done on new items which needed to be listed which also takes a large amount of time when you do a big list like I have done (I even pulled an all nighter Wednesday night, to get everything done).

Anyhoo, so that's why I am all computered out, so please accept my apologies yet again for being so laxed with my posting (oh dear! this is becoming a bit of a habit).

So you maybe wondering why did I burn the midnight, midday, morning, afternoon and evening oil. Well another reason for overhauling my blogshop (which I had planned to do but was dragging my feet re the design, etc) is that little old me is being featured on another blog today, I am not going to go into detail here as I just finished typing the reason out on my other blog, so please pop over there to Me But A Little More In Depth for the low down.

Thankfully though I am having a full day to myself today this post has been time set to post itself and by the time it does this, I should be on a train to London to enjoy a lovely day out, read here to find out why.

Wishing you all a lovely day soon, I'll check back in later to catch up with you all.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mother's Day Greeting and camera woes.

First Dwarf Irises of 2010.

I meant to post tonight about my gardening exploits from over the past week, hey I even made it to the allotment twice over the weekend but the camera is not allowing me to upload my photos so I will try to post an update tomorrow.

In the mean time let me share this photo that I took and was able to upload yesterday before my camera decided to throw hissy fits.

And I would like to wish all Moms out there a lovely end to their Mothering Sunday, I hope you all had a pleasant and restful day.

PS My blogshop will be closed till midnight Thursday the 18th as I will be giving it a overhaul. Please check back on the 19th as new items will be listed too.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Its Spring!!!!!!!

Well this update is long overdue to say the least but as they say better late than never. I had planned to post this last night but the neighbourhood lost its electricity for all of about 20 seconds and some how it messed up Virgin media’s cable network and their broadband, so with nothing interesting to see on the telly and no internet access, it was an early night for everyone.
Anyhoo! Enough with the excuses, time to tell you what’s been up this last week, the first week of March which is counted as the beginning of spring in my books but brace yourself this is going to be long post, so you might want to get your self a cup of your favourite brew.

Woke to a lovely sunny day of blue skies and warmer temperatures, there was a touch of frost on the ground but spring had announced its arrival with the blooming of crocuses opening their faces to the warming rays of the bright sunshine.


This change in the weather gladdened my heart to no end and re lit the spark needed to get myself back into gardening mode. So I spent the day finally!!!! Sorting out my crop rotation plans on paper for the garden (the allotment one has been done already).
A saunter around the garden revealed:
More floral elegance…
Red orache self sown seedlings coming up in a vege bed.

And what appears to be baby water boatmen beetles swimming around in a bucket of water which has a quarantied bulrush plant from my neighbours pond (its guarantied to easily remove all traces of duckweed).


So with the second day of the month as favourable as the first I donned my wellies and got outside to do a couple of tasks.
The task I really wanted to get done was the pruning of my living willow bench, which you can see in the picture on the right needed to have all of last years new upright growth trimmed to maintain the original shape of the bench, you can see job all done in the picture below.

I also removed the containers that normally contain the summer plantings used to decorate the small step used to access the girls playhouse. I replaced them with the containers which contain the spring flowering bulbs. One of the pots which have crocuses in them had signs of crocus seedlings sprouting. I threw a small handful of collected seeds from the garden’s crocuses last summer into the pots because the local squirrels had made off with a number of the bulbs last spring, so it was nice to see the seedlings coming up this year, I assume those will flower next year.
And the first critter to be photographed for the year was taken.
A 7 spot lady bug in between some of the stems of the willow bench, it was very much alive as it moved a little when I disturbed it. Its discovery bodes well hopefully for this year in the war between pests and beneficial critters. I also saw the first queen bumblebee for the year as well but she didn’t settle long enough on the crocuses she visited for me to get a shot of her.

Later on I got my sowing mojo on and went a tad bit crazy with the sowing of sweet peppers x 8 varieties. I also sowed three types of aubergines which I plan to grow on in the greenhouse this year. Ochro and French & African marigolds were also sown in earnest.
03 & 04/ 03/2010 - was spent being a mummy and also working in my loft studio making pieces for the blogshop. The sun was still out, though the wind had returned to its chilly self.


Woke to continuing sunshine and frosted surfaces.

The rhubarb is making a show too.

A few weeks ago a neighbour who lives in the other street was having an old oak tree cut down and so I took the opportunity to beg a few logs off of him. Why you are wondering, well I have an allocated area for some mushroom logs which has a grass patch for field mushroom growing (I am yet to sow it with mushroom spawn). Anyway I got 5 logs off of him and ordered a starter kit of three varieties, which arrived on the 5th. So I spent the afternoon drilling holes, hammering treated dowels and sealing with hot wax, on one of the logs. I’ll have two extra logs and so I’ve ordered two more varieties and will hopefully all five inoculated logs in their final resting place by the end of the week.

I also sowed my onion seeds a white variety and a red variety.

06/03/2010 - Mummy duties and shopping errands ruled the day, the wind was bitter but the sun was still shining.


The sun is still shining but the wind is a not quite yet ready to relent its winter duties. The mornings are still frosty with lots of frozen water as well.
Today I made it to the allotment and was there for about 3½ hrs. I was able to string up the bed boundaries for half of the plot and dug over one of the beds and proceeded to plant out the poor suffering garlic bulbs, whether I get anything from them is a wait and see outcome.
When I got home I checked my sown seeds which with the current sunny weather I have been moving to the greenhouse during the daytime hours for them to get lots of warm temperatures and in the evening I move them back into the house. Anyway I found evidence of a sprouting African marigold seedling, yeah!!!
Well that’s all for now, thanks for sticking around to read my entire ramblings. I hope to get some more sowings done today and hope to update later on this week on any gardening tasks I get done during the next few days.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Winners of the 2000 Visitors Giveaway Celebration are...

Sorry for the delay in announcing the giveaway winners, I'm afraid I haven't been well. I'm all better now and life is getting back to normal, so without further todo, here are the winners of the giveaway....

Congratulations Scented SweetPeas and The Syders on winning one bottle of my homemade chutneys each, I'll be contacting you both for your addresses soon.

Thank you to everyone who took part.


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