Exercise on Lock-down~ Creative Time.

Another Month has gone, and either ‘Time’ is flying for you right now, or it is dragging out… So what are you all doing in your Lock-down time? Have you taken up your artist brushes, or you ladies, sewing or knitting. Or maybe you found some DIY jobs you needed to do if you had the materials in before the lock-down… If you are lucky enough to have a garden have you been busy in it enjoying getting out in it as Spring starts to bloom. 

 Have you been creative??  Have you been bored? Why not give something new a try… 

I felt like creating something different, and found myself painting in aboriginal art form. This is just part of that watercolour painting

Or are you perhaps seeing this time as a time to reflect and put into perspective all our blessings..  Maybe you are volunteering your time helping others, or maybe you need help.  If you do need help, then do not be afraid to reach out to your neighbours, never be too proud to ask.. There are many who are willing to help right now..  I am witnessing some wonderful neighbours within my own community and a band of volunteers are organising through our neighbourhood watch scheme, and its heart warming to see..  What ever you are doing, where ever you are, I hope each and everyone of your are well, and stay well. 

Have you been able to walk the dog, keeping your social distancing? or have you found time to dig your plot and garden and prepare your gardens ready for the growing season?

We keep on Walking.

We count ourselves very fortunate in that our allotment plot is only a five minute walk away, and when we go early in the morning we hardly see anyone or meet anyone. When we do, we respect each others distance and get on with the job in hand of planting our crops..  ( If you right click the photo’s  you can open up to view larger ) 

We have been busy busy, as those of you know this is sowing time.  So In went the potatoes.. Hubby did this in gradual steps, digging two rows each morning, digging out the deep trench mucking/ putting manure it and placing potatoes in.. Covering up… Hard work, and when you are Three score year and ten plus it doesn’t get any easier.. 

 

Hubby has now put in Nine rows of potatoes. Two early variety is called Foremost, and seven main crop are Picasso.

While Hubby was busy digging in the potatoes, I got stuck in one morning and planted the onions and shallots..  The quality of the photo below is not good.. It was pretty cold that morning, as off came my gardening gloves to click the photo. 

Onions and Shallots setting, I planted Two rows of each and one row of red onions. Which are Turbo, and the shallots are Golden Orbit.

The next morning while the potato rows were growing, two by two 🙂  I set too and planted a row of peas.. Growing in the cold frame. 

First lot of Peas sprouting, It was the second lot which the mice ate..
These are Hurst Green-shaft.

My row of Pea planting.. I would be lost without the kneeler. My knees did take the toll. Hubby later came to the rescue with his rolled up jacket as a cushion on the kneeler.

 These I set in rows of three..  And boy did I know about it with my knees and back.

Once the row was set, Hubby helped me put metal steaks in and we put wire netting either side of them. This is for support when they grow

Peas now in neat rows with wire netting each side to help them grow up and support .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the  sweater I was knitting and making up as I went along with left over yarns.. Well hubby took a photo of me wearing it as the peas we netted and I was raking the footprints we had made… 

Me raking up my messy footprints after the pea row is planted and covered with nets until they get a little bigger to flower… Otherwise pigeons and sparrows love young pea-shoots.

Another morning I put the nets in place along the trellis which was where for years we have grown loganberries.. But as these have not been there best for several years, so we decided to dig them out in the autumn.. And I had a plan to plant sweet peas along the row… Hence my dismay in my last post when the mice got in and nibble their way through them… But my new plants are now growing and in the cold frame. This is where they are going.

I mucked under the trellis work in the beginning of January, and now I put netting up for the sweet-peas flowers to climb up when big enough to plant out.

 The greenhouse on is still full of seedlings, brassica’s and leeks, lettuce etc. 

Seedlings and dahlia tubas. There really isn’t a lot of room.. But some now are out in the cold frame.

My Flower bed in the allotments.. Space for Dahlia’s at the side of the sheds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well my friends, that’s all for now Stay safe and well and See you next time.

Sowing Seeds.

This is the time when we get busy again with our plots and gardens, as we prepare the ground to plant our seeds and soon we will be planting our  early potatoes at the end of March..

Now I could have shown you rows and rows of seed trays we had set.. We set our pea seeds and I set my Sweetpeas in February. My hubbies peas were just starting to sprout, when we had a little visitor sneak into our allotment plot greenhouse and who merrily nibbled their way through every tray… 

So we have had to both resow again… And I alone set 100 sweetpeas, as I bought lots of different varieties this year… So we had to repurchase and start over… And its amazing how mice will nibble through the harder husk of the peas and take the tender centre and leave the husk on the surface of the compost…. Any how Hubby has found where he/she or them were getting in and so far so good.. But I am not risking my second sowing of sweetpeas being eaten again so they are now on my home window sill.. 

While the weather has been up and down, I have been merrily knitting.. And while it may look at the moment a mixture… I know what I am doing as I make it up as I go along… lol.. 

I know this looks a bit strange at the moment… But it my own made up abstract design.. lol

I just want to leave you with a little bit of Spring that is now starting to bloom, through the wet soggy days.. 

Take care of each other…

And Sow LOVE not Fear my friends… 

 

 

Rainy Days, Knitting Days..

While Seeds have been set and are pushing their way through in the green house, most days have been dull and wet, with the odd bright skies that do not last long before the rain and sleet fall again..

But we cannot grumble.. for there are those who have lost so much as the floods have been horrendous in various part of the UK with rivers bursting their banks, flooding homes and business’s in many  areas.. This is going to make farmers tasks of sowing seeds for their harvests so much harder.. And we may well be seeing prices rise in shops due to what will no doubt mean crops are in short supply,   So I am very thankful for living where I do, and that we grow our own veggies etc,  and although we often get problems with our hill when it snows, we  are not flooded out like many people have been..  So we are very blessed, and thankful.

So while its been soggy and cold, I have been snug and warm and my knitting needles have been creating sparks. lol.. Yes they are not plastic ones but metal and the have been clicking away.. 🙂 And so I knitted myself a waistcoat with pockets..

The reverse side showing pocket before sewn in place

One side of the collar and rib knitted up for one side. Pocket ribs done and pockets now sewn in place. 

Finished Waistcoat

I have today spent a little time creating a short little video of a  Gwili Steam Railway  which we visited last year. We spent a pleasant afternoon looking around the railway yard and enjoying a long scenic ride along the track and back..   

  I hope you Enjoy. Take care All of you. 

February Is Here And So Is A Little Something Different

 Those of you who understand the seasons, know once the digging is done and we plant a few early seeds, like Onions, and Broad beans to get them on their way, there is not a great lot to report until planting new seedlings begins in the Spring..

Here are a couple of photos of what has been dug so far.. 

You can see lots of sprouts still to be eaten and parsnips still to dig up. And more still to be dug above  And I am proud to say I dug over that whole stretch between the sprouts.. 🙂

More was dug over and completed

So that will be it for a while on the garden… But I thought to share a few pictures in a video I made of a very special day we went to Inveraray, in Scotland a couple of years ago now… You can also find more facts too on Inveraray Jail in one of my posts 

 So Here is Something A Little Different!

Inveraray Castle is such a fairy-tale castle to look at, set in beautiful grounds.  The Castle is home to the Chief of the Clan~ Campbell.. And is the ancestral home  of the Duke of Argyll. It has been standing on the shores of Loch Fyne since the early 1400’s. 

Image result for vanbrugh

Picture Source of Vanbrugh Here

The dream  started with John  Vanbrugh, whose sketched his vision of the Castle.  However Vanbrugh then died, but his vision was then taken up by the Third Duke who started build the Castle in 1746.

The Third Duke Argyll Archibald Campbell.. Picture Image source Here ..

 

 

And who then employed the Architects Roger Morris 1695–1749 and William Adam,1689-1748. who started construction on the Castle..  But both Adam and Morris died before their construction was completed and it wasn’t until some 43 years later when the Son’s of  Adam who were Robert and James, took the castle through to its finished state. 

 Can you just imagine the type of Capital it would take to build? The opulence of such wealth even back in its day, is beyond belief, especially  during that time when people were starving and being punished and thrown into prison  for stealing bread or poaching  just to survive.  You should take a look at Inveraray Jail, I hope to post a separate video on my time spent visiting the Museum Jail in the town.  A surreal experience with full size models of people and one or two real ones that jump to life unexpectedly in my case lol.. But that is for another time.. 

John Vanbrugh’s other well known Architectural genius’s were the design of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard

More construction was done to the Castle due to a Fire which caused damage and a third floor and the Cone shape Towers were then added in 1877. 

This stone commemorated where the Old Castle Stood before it was  destroyed in the Fire before being rebuilt

The Ground Floor is full of Arms, from Guns to Lances, swords, and other weaponry. Along with  a magnificent State Dinning Room.. ( unfortunately my picture in the video was a little blurred of the dinning room, but you can find a better one with the ground floor link. )

I hope you enjoy the little video I put together of the Castle and surrounding areas we visited.. 

Have a Wonderful Month of February Everyone.

We get one Extra Day too.. This Leap Year!… 

Another New Garden Season~ January Update

The lane we walk once inside the Allotment gates down to our plot.  One the left you can see the water cisterns which are at intervals along the lane.

Well Christmas has come and gone, and already we are halfway through January. And even though the picture below shows early morning frost, this image was taken on the 20th December of last year, as we were up early collecting our sprouts for the Christmas Dinner.. We have had loads of rain and everywhere is quite soggy. 

In the Autumn Hubby moved both of our Apple trees..  While we got some apples off of one tree, the other was covered in scab.. A good site to find out how to care for your apples, how to plant, store and treat diseases is here. https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/essential-apple-care-guide  As we do not like to use any type of pesticides or chemicals on any of our produce.. We just take pot luck and find alternative treatments for problems..   Ten tips on Homemade Organic Pesticides can be found at this site, The Global Healing Centre or you can listen to the short two minute video telling you how to mix them on the link.   

Our neighbouring allotments plums which over hung where the apple trees were also diseased.. So we took the decision and replanted our apple trees to their new position, pruning them back hard.. It means we may not get much fruit this coming year.. But it will give the roots a chance to grow and hopefully they will like it better where they now have been planted..

Apple Trees.. A Cooker and a lovely sweet rosy eating apple… I confess I forgot what varieties they were..

The Kidney beans are now pulled up.. We still have plenty of sprouts and about a row of parsnips left.. I will be sad when these are finished I have enjoyed them roasted several times a week.. 

Our Manure arrived on Saturday, a huge tractor trailer load full.. The heap is bigger than me. Today is the first decent day to get some of it moved.. And we have hardly made a dent in it. 

( if you hover your mouse over the below photo’s you will see the captions )

You can see I am wearing one of my knitted hats and my snood/scarf in the photo, a closer look at another one I knitted for a Christmas present is below

Hand Knitted Beret.

Remember the tuba’s of the Dahlia’s drying in the greenhouse, well here they are stored nicely in the shed. 

Dahlia Tubas in straw.

Well that is all from the Plot this month.. I hope you all have a wonderful 2020 and have a great growing season. 

Happy Gardening

Until Next Time

Have a Wonderful Christmas!🎄

I hope those of you in the UK are not all bogged down in mud in your gardens, as record rainfall continually seems to be sweeping our country.. 

Thankfully our Allotment is on sandy soil so it drains away quiet well..

Have you got your Brussels Sprouts all in ready for Christmas Day? Ours are a small variety and I forget the name of them this year, they are tiny but compact and very tasty.. 

There has not been a great lot to report this last month as I have been taking a blogging break, except to say the Parsnips are also delicious.. 

So I will see you all in the New Year..

  Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday all of you

and a wonderful 2020 and beyond.. 

 

November Rains brings yet more Floods.

Well, hello again my WordPress friends, its that time  again for another monthly update. And oh my what a wet month we have had since I last updated here.. So much rain with the odd dry day thrown in-between..

Back at the end of October the weather broke just long enough for us to to get more of our allotment cleared and while my hubby worked on digging and clearing the top end of the plot, I set too and began to cut back the Autumn Raspberry bushes.. What a harvest we have had, both from the early and the late berries, The bushes were still full of wet soggy fruit when I cut them back.

My hubby had also dug up all the Loganberries and composted them. Because for the past several years they had not been at their best and as they are much more tart and sour than the abundance of raspberries we harvest, so I decided we would concentrate on the raspberries for next year and clear space. He also eventually in stages was able to lift out the Dahlia’s, so clogged were the tubas with sodden earth he had to dry out in the green house first before he could remove the soil from around the tuba.. These are then placed upside down with the  cut dahlia storks of around 6″ to 9″, (I still work in inches even after all these years of being metric.. So that is around 15 cms to 22 cms..)  The storks facing downwards to allow them to drain… When completely dry these are then stored in straw… Our Home Begonias and gladioli are stored in sawdust..   These are kept frost free covered in the shed.

Here is a previous image of stored Dahlia tubas from 2017.

Hubby made a metal grid in the allotment greenhouse, where you place the stalks side down and tuba side up, This helps to drain the moisture out of the stalks .. And here they will stay for a couple of weeks until the soil has completely dried and can be shaken off.
Then they will be stored in the shed

Here below is the Before Photo where I weeded and cut back the autumn raspberry canes. The Red foliage leaves are the blueberries these I leave alone.. Sadly we hardly had any fruit on the blueberries this year due to a late frost which caught the bushes in flower…. But the raspberries made up for them.. You always win some and lose some when gardening and you have to take it all in your stride.. Some years are good, others not so good..  Like our Leeks, this year because of the rain many have rotted and have been composted..

Cutting and clearing Autumn Raspberries

And here is the after photo… I have to say my back was aching when I had finished and I left some of the grass and twitch to be weeded out the following day as my bones had had enough for the day.

Raspberries pruned back and ground partly cleared I went back the following day and cleared the patch you see  left of grass and twitch.

I also collected all the finished sweetpea seeds. My idea for next year it to plant many sweetpeas along the trellis where we dug out the Loganberries  and place a net for them to grow up, The frame work is already there.  You can see the stakes and framework in place on the above photo.

Sweetpea seeds

As the title says November has been almost none stop rain too, and many low lying areas not far from us have been hit by floods.. And I count my blessings daily for living on a hill, and even here outside my window  at the moment the water is around ten centimetres in puddles that are no longer soaking into the ground.

Rivers have overflowed their banks and I feel so sorry for all the residents of FishLake  near Doncaster as their streets and homes have literally been turned into a lake, More on their plight can be found at this  BBC news link. The whole village is under water..

So while nothing outdoors can be done I have been spending more time on my  indoor projects and have completed these items you see below as well as I am midway through another knitting project..

And I have been less and less on technology and on the internet  So I have spent less time in WordPress, though I do hope to try and get back into my WP reader and catch up at some point.. But as the Autumn days get shorter and as  winter approaches I am finding I am hunkering down into my creative space more and more as I try to tune out from the bombardment of negative news and tune into my own creative, harmonic creative space..

 I hope you are all Keep safe out there..

So many things going off in the world, Fires, Floods, and Elections!…

Keep your own Balance!..  And create your own Bubble of Peace..

Keep safe and hold each other close..

Until Next time.. 

 

October Already

Hello again, well October has arrived and with it many places have had flooded roads and rivers are running high to overflowing here in the UK,  as for the last few days its done nothing but rain, rain, rain day and night.. 

Click on Photos to Enlarge . 

Cleared out the sweet corn and general tidy up The sprouts are now clearly visible standing to attention

 But thankfully before the rain set in last week, we had a wonderful week of sunny warm weather. Which my hubby and I took advantage of as we got stuck into more chores of clearing on the plot.. The sweetcorn came out and we cleared a space ready for the delivery of  manure which we order later this month.  You can see by the picture below just how the lettuce is growing and we have picked quite a few now, and the swedes are also filling out as are the carrots growing which will be weeded out once they get much bigger.

Lettuce on left, Swedes, and carrots, leeks, January Kings Cabbage and Sprouts far right

 We also reaped in our Butternut Squash and have stored around 24 largish Squash so we are very happy with our harvest of these as you see below. 

Butternut Sqaush

I also cleared out the borders on the front garden of the summer flowers which had gone past there best and also took down the hanging baskets and replenished the wall containers with winter pansies and cyclamens..  Which I forgot to take photos of.. Maybe next time..  I planted lots of chrysanthemums in various colours as well as dwarf daffodil bulbs. My intention is to fill the front border with more perennials next year so as to help with lower maintenance of Summer and Autumn planting..  

But there is still lots of colour in the  back garden and these fuchsias were made into standards by my husband are now three years old taken from one plant as cuttings. They have now been moved into the greenhouse as we have a pending forecast of frost for Wednesday..  

Rainbow light from hanging crystal

Since my  husband cleared and cleaned the pond in the spring its done really well, the fish are happy and the waterlily he cut back hard, and its produced many more flowers this year.  I think in total this year we have had nine or ten  blooms in total, where as in other years we have only had a couple. 

Water Lily in our pond.

You may remember a few months back I began knitting an Aran sweater, It got shelved in July when I went on holiday and upon our return we then started decorating our home and then had to catch up with the neglected plot, so this now knitting project has been completed. And I am very happy with its fit.

My hand knitted Aran sweater .

Have you any projects unfinished? Or have you about to start some..  I am being urged by my inner prompting to start painting again now the garden chores  have been caught up with.  So I will leave you with a gallery of some of the flowers still in bloom and the Dahlias are still in wonderful flower until the first frost hits them on the plot. 

 Until Next Time

  Take Care and Enjoy All you Create

Be it in the garden or in arts and crafts. 

💚 ENJOY! 💚

 

 

September Harvesting

September evenings are now drawing in quickly, much quicker than I remember in my childhood days, but then again the Summer holidays from school seemed to last and last when we were children, and now it seems within a blink of an eye  they are gone, as children break up for the Summer and now already they are back at school again.

So while the temperatures brought an unexpected Late August heat wave on a holiday weekend here in the UK, its now dipped back to normal with a clear chill in the air first thing in the morning.

So before the rain set it Hubby and I got to work in harvesting the potatoes, along with  the ripe sweetcorn cobs, and clearing out the litter of spent brassica leaves and weeds.

Click onto any photo to enlarge.

Just two rows of potatoes dug up here.

So while Hubby got digging the main crop of potatoes up, Picasso, I got busy picking sweetcorn and also pulling up the spent dwarf beans, collecting the pods for next years seed.

While Hubby dug I sorted into sizes and any damaged with the fork will be used first.

 

 

 

Gathering dwarf bean seeds, the rows covered in weed ..

 

 

 

There were also the Dwarf Beans which had finished to pull up and collect seed pods  for saving next years seeds. The rows had got covered in weeds and so this area of the plot needed a good weeding and clearing out.

It’s very satisfying when  its all cleared and raked, I also went under the Brussels sprouts clearing out decaying leaves.

Cleared area after pulling up the dwarf bean rows

Ladybird bug feasting on the aphids and white fly

Look closely for the ladybugs on the  left photo, making a meal of eating the aphids.These little creatures are a gardeners friend, although the invasive species of the Harlequin Bug are now wiping out our UK Ladybird bug..

 

Sweetcorn ready to go into freezer.

Our sweetcorn has done exceptionally well this year, with the heat and often heavy rainfall which would fall in the night. On the left here you see 40 cobs ready for the freezer. There  were cobs still ripening ready to be harvested. Quite a lot, but when we went to collect today it seems our thief had got there first leaving only six small ones..

We are having problems with produce being stolen again on the plot.. We had onions go, and the odd cabbage, broad beans we knew were ripe also went.  You do not mind the odd thing missing but when they take a  lot.. or a whole row.. It can be quite soul destroying when you put so much time and effort into your plot to grow your own veggies..  We have thought of putting our Motion camera on the plot, but as this was a gift we do not want this stolen, as we get a lot of pleasure watching the hedgehogs roam on our garden during the night via watching the play back.

Hedgehog out earlier in the Summer on our patio

I have no problems sharing, we always plant more than we need and give family and neighbours that which we cannot store.

I would gladly give produce away rather than someone think its there right to take it..  Though I am under no illusions people have no qualms with taking what is not theirs..  I just hope they enjoyed what they have taken.. They obviously must need it more than we do.. So we keep planting more than we need .. And are thankful we can do so.

So until next time.

Take care.. and be thankful for what you have, for there are always those less fortunate than ourselves..

Through the Sweetcorn view of plot

Happy Gardening!

Sue

 

 

August Update~ On the Plot.

August has been a very good month, lots of warm Sunshine, hot days, and short sharp heavy bursts of rain.. Though in the beginning of August we did have three days of solid rain..

This has been good for our growing crops, but also ideal conditions for our main enemy~ The Weeds!.. whose relentless battle goes on and on..

Click on the photos to Enlarge:

Even when you have weeded, set seeds, the battle is constant. Click photos to enlarge.

Now I have no problem with weeds, they are all beautiful in their own right, but some are just so invasive and spring up like a carpet, choking and taking nutrients from the crops. The plots are full of them

now re-weeded you can now see the lettuce, swedes, the carrots are too tiny to weed out too close.

 

 

 

 

 

We had several weeks of redecorating our home, so the plot was neglected apart from watering in the heatwave every morning.

This beautiful weather ideal for our Sweetcorn which has grown to the size of me now, and it has some lovely huge cobs just about ready for harvest.

The sweetcorn has loved the heat wave and we have some huge cobs ripening

We have enjoyed strawberries right up into the middle of July, when this next picture was taken. While the early Raspberry canes are now finished, our late raspberries are just beginning to ripen and I have already had three such punnets off, with lots left to ripen.

While this photo was taken in July, These raspberries were the early ones, we are now getting raspberries from our Autumn late crop

We have had some lovely tasty new first early potatoes these were called Foremost  we planted three rows of earlies and six rows of the main crop, which are Picasso Below you see hubby  who yesterday weeded out the rows as the tops had died down, though he is not digging them out yet until the end of Sept, as everything seems to be about a month in front of itself this year, probably due to the mild Spring.

Hubby weeded out the potatoes now the tops have died down, We have 6 rows of main crop and still two rows of early potatoes to dig up.

Above you can see the onions drying out in our home greenhouse, in the middle on the bottom shelf are tulip bulbs from our home garden, I dug up and dried out ready for replanting in the Autumn. On the right these are shallots  which can either be used for pickles or I like to add in stews. 

My Dahlia’s and Gladioli’s have been lovely again this year and they are still  producing lots of bloom

 Inside the Allotment green house we have yellow tomatoes ripening and we have fallen in love with these Crystal  Lemon Cucumbers  

Well that is what is happening on the Plot this month, I will leave you with some busy lizzie plants on our patio.

Until next time

Busy Lizzie’s in one of our patio pots

Happy Gardening!