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.

A Time to Plant! A Time to Paint, and a Time to Ponder.

Hello again to those who may still be following, I have been very hit and miss here over at my garden blog this year, compared with previous years.  It is looking like once a month post, so this one may be a bit longer than my usual post, we will see how it goes, so  if you are still with me at the end~  Many thanks for sticking with it and reading, 

To be honest with you, blogging has taken a back seat for a while, as I felt the need to just go within my own silent space and create and concentrate upon my well-being for a time. So I did more painting. A tiger this time, I thought I would challenge myself, as I have always put off doing a detailed painting of tiger for fear of not getting its stripes right.. So it was time to face my fears, and just let be what will be.. And this was the result. 

This was my Tiger painting in Acrylics making my trilogy of Big Cats now hung on my wall.

 

I am sure those who live here in the UK are at last glad to see a little blue sky peep between the grey blankets of cloud that have hung over us far too long.. The weather is certainly a talking point across the world as we had yet more snow at Easter followed by more rain and almost a week of fog here last week that never seemed to move..

In the distance you can see the headstocks of the Clipstone Pit which closed in 1993 More about the coal mine HERE

This was the weather Yesterday as we went for a walk Skies have been grey for so long!.. Believe it or not this was once a big ugly slag heap of waste from the coal mining days. It was turned into a nature reserve called Vicars Water Country Park  many years ago and provides a sanctuary for birds, swans ,geese and ducks.  This was the view from the top looking down.  The mist is still hanging low, but not as bad as it was last week.  To see more photos of the Park click the blue link where you can see the lake and the golden hand which symbolises a miners hand reaching out of the earth. 

While further along the yellow gorse was out along with pussy-willow

 

 At the end of last week, my hubby was feeling well enough after a nasty bout of flu over Easter to tackle the allotment.. We just had a few weeds to clear, as we had already dug over the ground in the autumn in preparation.  So while Hubby got to grips with putting in the potatoes. I got busy planting seeds. We both had lots of rest in-between, and had hot drinks, Hubby coffee, while I had drinking chocolate. 

While the weather was snowing things were busy growing in the greenhouse. Peas, Shallots and Brussels and Cabbage plants growing

Here the shallots went in last week, we covered with mesh as we have a fox who seems to like to play and dig for worms as well as deep holes into our potato rows. You can see the purple sprouting broccoli which the pigeons have devoured on the left.. They stripped nearly all of them,

We have  now put out the shallots which started life in pots in the green house, and I planted two rows of beetroot, different varieties, two rows of parsnips.. I also planted out the corms of Gladioli into a new position.

Here I planted the gladioli. many of last years corms had rotted and gone soft.. You win some and lose some.. I put the small corms in another row. hopefully they will gradually mature to larger ones to salvage for another year.

I pruned back the dead wood of the raspberries and some of the overgrown blackberries, along with pruning out the middle of the redcurrant bush and the gooseberry bush which was hard last year to pick because it was so tightly packed with thorns.

As soon as the Rhubarb showed signs of sprouting we covered with bin, and we have had two tasty crumbles so far from young shoots.

 

Here you see the peas now planted from the greenhouse, much bigger now.. I covered up the rows of beetroot and parsnips seeds I planted to protect from the fox scratching the earth.. There were a pile of chicken feathers on next doors allotment when we arrived. And a large hole in the potato row.. Looks like he likes chicken and chips.. 😉

A closer view of peas now with mesh around we use mesh instead of sticks to support them as they grow.

In the autumn we planted what was left over of the leeks, in the spaces, and we planted some garlic from a bulb.  In the space you now see created I am going to plant some of my dahlias in this patch and some further at the top of the allotment.

The following day  while hubby planted out the peas above, and put more rows of potatoes in, I set to and weeded this patch below. 

 Before: This piece took me two hours to completely clear of weeds and grass.

 After: Here you can now see the leeks I planted around the edge, and garlic in the middle

We still have to clear behind the sheds, and it looks like we may have some bees nesting below the shed again.. So I am happy about that.. And I have to straighten up between the fruit bushes. But we are at last mainly on top of the planting for now. Then I have my home garden to start on.. 

How are things growing where you are? and have you noticed big changes in your own weather patterns?  And how are your Spring Blooms doing? 

Until Next time.. 

Happy Gardening! 

 

 

It’s June but with Temperatures of December.

I set too and weeded out all of the grass that had grown.

I set too and weeded out all of the grass that had grown  among the raspberries.

Hello my fellow gardener’s, well it is June already, although someone forgot to tell Mother Nature, as the Temperature here in our part of the UK was 2 deg’s lower than on Christmas Day on June the 1st.

But it has not stopped the work going on in the Allotment Plot. Click onto photo’s to enlarge.

I have been weeding none stop every morning all week, while Hubby has dug the piece  behind the shed, preparing it for butternut squash. We also put up a net around our redcurrents, and a lock was put in to stop the greenhouse door being opened.. Sadly we still have a thief who is helping themselves to various things, A fellow allotment holder a few plots away from us had his Green house heater stolen, ( while it was lit ) and they helped themselves to some slab stones. If they really want things a lock will not stop them but it makes things a bit more difficult to steal. 

There has been lots of rain towards the end of May so its been good for the garden, meaning we have not had to carry buckets of water. The Brassica’s have all really grown.

The strawberry plants this year are doing much better than last year.. We dug up last years bed and repositioned it, and used the runners off of last years plants for the new plants.. They are coming into flower now. As are the Loganberries and the Raspberries.

 

 

The sweetcorn now is in.

The sweetcorn now is in.

Above you see the sweetcorn is now planted, we were a bit worried when the temperatures dropped, they have turned a little yellow since taking this photo but they are growing.. We have since added in front of it carrots  of various colours. and some leeks

I weeded out the Turnips and the beetroot. to the right is parsnips, I weeded those out today as now I can see them to weed between.

I weeded out the Turnips and the beetroot. to the right is parsnips, I weeded those out today as now I can see them to weed between.

It has been a busy week with lots of aches, but I have slept like a baby.. Its been good to get back on the plot and get it looking more ship shape.

Have a wonderful weekend  and

Happy Gardening!

~Sue~

 

Grow Your Own ~Update May.

This time of year is always busy, the veggie seeds have now grown from the seed trays and been hardened off outdoors.. Most have now been planted into the allotments.  Below is the Picture Progress of what has been planted in recent weeks.

The Bugs that eat Pea Plants can be found Here 

Sowing Peas, make a small drill hole and drop dried pea seed in. cover and water.

Sowing Peas, make a small drill hole and drop dried pea seed in. cover and water.

Now these peas were rescued by me as these were the only ones from a full row of many that came through. So I transplanted into one place, some are sadder looking than others as they have been nibbled by beetles.. But they will survive... We have another long row recently planted.

Now these peas were rescued by me as these were the only ones from a full row of many that came through. So I transplanted into one place, some are sadder looking than others as they have been nibbled by beetles.. But they will survive… We have another long row recently planted.

Kidney Beans, grown in the green house then transplanted out.. Beans are very susceptible to Frosts  so should only be planted out or sown so they come through the grown late may when threat of frosts have gone.

Kidney Beans, grown in the green house then transplanted out.. Beans are very susceptible to Frosts so should only be planted out or sown so they come through the ground  late may when threat of frosts have gone. Seeds should be planted in the ground not before the 13th May to avoid frosts

 

Making use of an old swing frame to tie the bean sticks to.

Making use of an old swing frame to tie the bean sticks to.

Parsnips, Beetroot, onions and shallots.  The two lines are where I planted swedes .

Parsnips, Beetroot, onions and shallots. The two lines are where I planted swedes .

Both early and late crops doing well. Fingers crossed, as we had potato blight last year.

Both early and late crops doing well. Fingers crossed, as we had potato blight last year.

Brassica Family  Brussels sprout  , Red, and Curly Kale  under nets to stop the pigeons and white cabbage butterfly from laying eggs.

Brassica Family Brussels sprout , and Curly Kale under nets to stop the pigeons and white cabbage butterfly from laying eggs.

Cauliflower and Broccoli are under netting so as the butterflies white cabbage fly will not lay their eggs..

Cauliflower and Broccoli are under netting so as the butterflies white cabbage fly will not lay their eggs.. We do not use any pesticides

Lettuce, There  was also some spring onions Hubby set here, but I forgot and hoed them up :-( so will have to plant some more..  :-)

Lettuce, There was also some spring onions Hubby set here, but I forgot and hoed them up 😦 so will have to plant some more.. 🙂 Even I make mistakes LOL

Sweet corn at the far end  and Chard and Kale under the other two large green cloches

Sweet corn at the far end and Chard and Kale under the other two large green cloches The grids over the brassica family are to stop the pigeons eating the young leaves, There is a lot of wood pigeon near by who are busy feeding young. Who are partial to a few veggies!

Below now are the flower beds.. This year I wanted to have more cut flowers so below are the beds we planted Dahlia, I also planted Sweet Williams, and Calendula.. We already have lots of self set seeds of Marigolds growing which I will transplant around the veggies as they get bigger. Marigolds are easy to grow and they help keep  away aphids. “The relationship between plants and insects is known as ‘companion planting.’  it’s by far the safest, natural way to garden organically.” 

Dahlias  starting to come through we over wintered some and bought some new tuba's this year.. I wanted more for cut flowers this year,

Dahlias starting to come through we over wintered some and bought some new tuba’s this year.. I wanted more for cut flowers this year, Those things sticking up are just to hold a piece of plastic over them while we had threats of frost.

In the foreground is the flowers seeds in the small box, then the other 3 have strawberries with Gladioli behind them .

In the foreground is the flowers seeds in the small box, then the other 3 have strawberries with Gladioli behind them  just poking through.

Gladioli starting to shoot where the canes are. Always wise to cover low canes with a can or empty carton. its so easy to bend down and not see the cane and poke your eye.. So please be aware especially if you have youngsters around your garden too.

Gladioli starting to shoot where the canes are. Always wise to cover low canes with a can or empty carton. its so easy to bend down and not see the cane and poke your eye.. So please be aware especially if you have youngsters around your garden too.

Lupins in the allotments grown from seed last year.

Lupins in the allotments grown from seed last year.

The small ones are Butternut squash the three larger ones are courgettes ..

The small ones are Butter-nut squash the three larger ones are courgettes .. This was compost heap of several years which hubby flattened and straightened to make more planting room.

The Logan Berries are in full flower so looks like we shall have lots of fruit if we get to them before the birds.. But we will net them later on after the flowers have set after the bees and insects have done their work.

The Logan Berries are in full flower so looks like we shall have lots of fruit if we get to them before the birds.. But we will net them later on after the flowers have set after the bees and insects have done their work.

Red Currents starting to form. the bush is laden .

Red Currents starting to form. the bush is laden .

 And there you have it.. Our Update for May..

How is your Garden Growing?