Grow

Bloom or bust is back!

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Hello, it’s been a while!

It’s been a busy few years; but having finally achieved the ultimate dream. Having our very own garden! If you follow my Instagram you will know that we said goodbye to my lovely allotment (as we moved areas). We also sold our flat and bought a house… funny how I focus on the allotment and garden. We are now ready to start the next part of our journey!

This is my first photo of the garden. We had the sunniest moving

So the real task begins to ‘get to know’ the garden and to make it ours. I loved using this blog for every stage of my garden adventure from balcony-to my allotment -and now ‘grown up’ garden! Marking my ideas, thoughts, trials and tribulations!

My focus has shifted from my allotment for the past few years when our son arrived. And he became the ‘project’ and will obviously always be the ongoing master project! So the gardening and growing obsession has taken a bit of a back seat, but…. it has never stopped. Having started him at the allotment from a young age he is a good trainee in the making and is not afraid to get his little hands dirty! If only they made gardening gloves for 2 year olds!!

Here is my assistant.

I love being outside and working hard to achieve a goal, it’s probably the challenge I enjoy the most. ‘Cheesy’ I know but I’m excited to see what we can achieve in our new garden.

The new, not new garden:

We looked and looked ….and looked for houses, and it was not easy to get our flat sold in the first place. But I think we got lucky and found a gem of a house with a good sized garden!

We have only been ‘in’ a few months, moving at the end of last year. Although we saw the garden in the middle of summer it had been hot and the garden was understandably a little neglected. But you can see it’s been loved and nurtured by the previous owners.

One of my favourite plants is a mature wisteria. Which has been trained over an arch. I have tried to give it an ‘over winter’ prune, without being to brutal. It would be great to get some advise please.

Now it is getting warmer we are starting to see the signs of spring. Lots of bulbs and shoots are popping up all over the garden. But at this stage my knowledge is seriously lacking on ‘garden’ plans. So I am trying a soft approach in some areas ; whilst I learn….combined with heavy handed approach in more forgiving areas of the garden. It’s not an easy balance. Also finding the time to really give the garden attention is really a challenge. I’m looking forward to lighter evenings and lots of bbqs!

Garden treasures:

We had a few in the garden!!! A rusty lawn roller, wheel barrow and various paving slabs, bricks and sand… not to mentions large pots were also left as garden treasure. Being an allotment scavenger at heart… this made me pretty happy! I now have 3 compost bins!!! Not to mention a gnome, mermaid and a duck garden ornament!! And a garden bench which has already been well used.

The unlikely couple!

July-August- September post!

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I stated writing this post a few months ago!…. Better late than never!

I have been off WordPress a bit of late. But the plot is still growing away, as is my own little (or rather big) side project. The baby bump!!

This post is a big overview of the year.

– Potatoes in the big bed grew well. We harvested these around the end of September. And this year we got them before the slugs! They turned out much better than expected considering I hadn’t given them much love. The potatoes in the waterlogged bed did grow, just not as much or as big. Next year I will need to find another way to drain my willow soaking pool, rather than just letting the water run into the beds.

-Tomatoes greenhouse and outdoor… Did well. But again a little tlc and they would have cropped longer and better. As always my greenhouse plants did the best.

-I also grew cucumbers and peppers in my greenhouse. Which did well.

-I grew some sunflowers to cut this year. They turned out great as just kept on flowering away all summer. And made lovely gifts to a lucky few! I also grew some big sunflowers…. Can’t have a plot without a few monsters!

-My tradition sweetpeas grew away nicely. But I’m determined to make them last longer. Lots of water?

– I also grew borage, wildflowers and some other companion flowers this year.

-My mini squash looked great, but gave up in the hot weather. I got two fruits… So it’s a start! They looked very pretty when growing away so I will try again next year.

– My beetroots did well. But got nibbled before I could get to them.

– Courgettes were a disaster this year. Just didn’t and didn’t want to know. They usually grow like weeds!

– Strawberry plants had there first year in a new bed. Hopefully next year they will show off!

-Raspberry plants were a bit sad this year. I didn’t cut back hard enough and I noticed a big improvement when I did! Next yearbook will be harsh on my lovely plants!
We cleared the plot and greenhouse down for autumn a little early this year. Next stop is manure spreading :).

Then we can start fresh in New year… With a brand new extra set of hands! I suspect he won’t come out with gardening gloves in hand…. But given a few years!

First day of Summer

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I have not written on here for a while. But today it’s the first day of summer!… And it’s raining (are we surprised?…..at least the plot will be happy).

Here is a run down on the plot.

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Courgette x3 + 1 still in greenhouse
Squash x2. + 1 still in greenhouse
Sweet peas and other flowers ๐Ÿ™‚
Sunflowers
Leeks
Beetroot
Beans
Potatoes x 6 types.
Strawberries
Raspberries

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And in the greenhouse:
Tomatoes
Melon
Peppers

It’s all growing along with very little help from me. Just weeding and watering.

Last night we had our first big pot of raspberries. ๐Ÿ™‚ The strawberries are being eaten by other beasties.

The to do list is:
-pot up the rest of my greenhouse
– Set my squash around frames, so it can grow upwards
-do battle with strawberry eating beasts
-pull up first flowered potatoes (set flower about a month ago :))

And I’m sure I will find other jobs!

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Un-posted! But not forgotten a

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This is a VERY delayed forgotten post from a few weeks ago…

I got a good few hours in at the plot last weekend. I did a bit of everything!

I got my back bed cleared, organised and dug. That’s all beds set for growing. Yipeee! Getting closer to growing season…. Fast forward one week….. and I have sown spinach, sweed and beetroot in this bed.

I have seen a bit of talk about sowing in sand to help seeds seperate, avoid rotting and to spot seedling vs weed? Curious to know peoples thoughts and advice on this.

My potatoes are finally coming up, I am dutifully keeping on top of covering with soil. Even the flodded bed (lesson learnt, do not drain willow soak into allotment)

My leeks are starting to grow along, but my spring onions (tape) seems to have failed. I love my spring onions so its back to the drawing board on this.

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Tissue or seed tape?!

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I have a horrid never ending cold at the moment. But I had to laugh when yesterday I was scrabbling in my pocket and pulled out seed tape instead of my tissue!

So yes the spring onion seed tape went in ๐Ÿ™‚ and was not used as a tissue. I have never ‘seed’ anything like it… Giant wide seed tape… With a little strip of seeds in the middle. Let’s hope it works.

Garlic and onions moved out from my greenhouse, and went in a freshly dug patch.

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And I got my mixed leeks sown. And I got some beetroots sown, or I will do when I go back today.

I got lots of seeds in on Friday night… As a result we are dinning around seedlings…Needs must!

The sown list
Sweet corn
Courgette x2 varieties
Sunflowers x 2 varieties
Chillies
Cucumbers
Squash red kiri
Pumpkin
Nasturtiumย 
Tomatoes… The first!

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And here is the plot in overview. My bulbs are doing well ๐Ÿ™‚ seeing all the bees last weekend I’m so glad I put so many in. And it looks great!! More next year.

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And my bulb lasagne pots are working, I can see my tulips slowly emerging. Then it’s the summer bulbs after that!

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Sunflowers down! Timber!!

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My Sunflowers looked like a disaster zone on the plot; 3 down and 4 wonky wobblers!

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Sad sunflowers

But we have a silver lining! The best flower display ever!!

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My first cut sunflowers!

And after a night’s drink… They look a bit more perky!

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Sunflowers survived!

I have strung the remains and attached one to the bbq (almost certainly a bad idea) but needs must!! ๐Ÿ™‚

The giant cucumber week

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I made it to the plot on Sunday. Time runs away with me on the plot, in a happy way (especially in the sunshine) so complete with suncream I set to work!

Things I did:
-dug up my remaining early potatoes (not so early…but looking lovely) and they have not been attacked by bugs this year! I only stabbed a few. So generally it wasn’t the disaster I was predicting! Yay!!
– dug over the whole bed… watered and then in went… (shop sources plugs ….sorry wanted to give them a running start!) kale, broccoli, cauliflower. Thanks for the suggestions on my last post.

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Back bed

-I removed my final black fly ridden bean plants and spaced out my chard seedlings a little more…the seedlings are doing really well now and perhaps this is a lesson in patience (as I should have let them get a bit bigger before I moved the first lot) however I am sure they will catch up

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Chard, peas and leeks

-covered my beetroot plants again as they are determined to push themselves out of the soil
-sowed a new lot of spring onions
-then my assistant came to join me; we sat in the hammock read books and ate chocolate fingers ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hammock time

On the eat/pick list:
-tomatoes from greenhouse… Just
-Courgette and one huge giant marrow!
-potatoes, all the earliest are stored now
-spring onions, just picking as and when
-rocket and spinach
-one giant cucumber!

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Giant cucumber

What’s happening:
-my first sunflowers is nearly ready to flower! perhaps by the end of this week!? Only 11 more to go!

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Sunflower

– my carrot seeds sown on a whim have shooted! So although I don’t reallyย like carrots there is hope for carrots on my plot and will keep assistant happy as he likes then!
– my late sown flower seeds are taking hold and I think I wil need to try and recall what I planted and space then out…. Possibly around the plot. Fingers crossed they might flower before the end of summer!
-sweet peas are making lots of lovely seed pods and drying off nicely! A lovely friend gave me some ‘seed saver’ pots so I can get these into action!
– my snap draggons (sorry I don’t know the grown up name yet) look amazing, as does the cosmos (is that what they are even called?)!! So I am going to try and save some of the for next year.

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The plot in all its madness

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Complete with sunflower wall 🌻🌻🌻🌻

….just add water

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The plot has been plodding along. It’s a great time as it mostly takes care of itself… Just add water!

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Plot madness

The eat list:
-the final onions red and white
-spring onions
-tomatoes! at last!!
-padron peppers
-rocket and spinach
-potatoes

Over the weekend: 2 hours quick visit
-Pulled up my final onions
-moved and spaced my chard seedlings to take up the onions space
-spaced out my sweet pea seedlings

Things I’m excited about this week:
-my sunflowers are looking pretty awesome. Most are lined up along the front edge of my plot. Can’t wait for them to flower!! Think I have about 12 sunflowers dotted around my plot this year.
-more padron peppers. We had our first last week! they were amazing fried in a pan with my courgettes.
-Put another potted courgette in… Taking up the first potatoes spot.

Things I need to do:
-Strawberry runners in pots. I have moved plants every year, but this year the oldies are going to be replaced with baby runners! (finally a chance to tidy up) So I need to get some strong runners set.
-Get some raspberry training wires set up.. As they are starting to get a bit crazy!
-Look at collecting sweet pea seedlings. So I know the colours!!
– Get potatoes up… Asap! As it rained so much I’m just waiting for the right moment!!
-Decide what I can grow in potato bed over Autumn to winter. Any ideas?

I’m reading ‘The Jewel Garden’ by Sarah and Monty Don at the moment. Feeling very inspired!!

Cancelled train…time for day dreams!

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Once upon a time we had a frog visitor on our allotment. Which I thought was very good… Till I realised i couldn’t squashing it! Oh the fear!! But think of the slugs being eaten….yipee!!

I have seen ponds on other plots and it seems such a good idea. Does anybody else have a pond on the plot and any advice? I’m thinking a mini wildlife pond.

And then I saw this….

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Which I think is amazing and once I have a big enough garden I am going on a sourcing mission! But it’s not especially wildlife friendly….

I do fancy a pond in a pot… But I think it’s all a bit fancy pants… When I just need a waterproof hole in ground ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thinking a hole I can’t fall into would be ideal!!

May green fingers!

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Feeling a bit of a blog block at the moment! But the plot is making great progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

Greenhouse has 12 resident tomatoes; in 4 grow bags. One resident cucumber plant also in a grow bag.

We kept the Physalis plants going…. and its been far to long…. but these have been potted on over the weekend. Having been given a good water and some growing space they are looking much stronger.

Outside my strawberries are turning out some good fruit. I really should net and straw them asap!

My garlic and onions are doing ok, but I have spotted some rust on a nearby plot. Just keeping my fingers crossed.

Bbeans are doing well after initially being dug up by accident! I’m seeing lots of flowers and turning a blind eye to the nibbled leaves.

I have planted sunflowers at the ends of each bed… Hopefully this will look very jolly once they shoot up. The sweet pea dividers seem to be growing along well! I’m waiting for the 14th June as that was our first proper buds last year and just in time for our wedding last year! After this date the sweet peas really got cracking, and this year we will be here to enjoy them ๐Ÿ™‚ that’s only….18 days away!

I have all 9 raspberry plans in… Suppounded by strawberry runners from last year. I figured these would be the most determine to battle the raspberry rambling spirit! My 3 mid season were a toltal fail so I got them replaced… I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the new plants… But I doubt I will get much from them this year.

Otherwise it’s the z bed….spinach, rocket, Courgette 1, beetroot, carrot (patchy and I don’t like carrots… He he heee!) And leeks.

And potatoes! And Courgette 2…. And some cheeky spring onions. It appears I killed my rhubarb plant… One to try again.

I have lots still on pots… Needing homes… It’s a mission to fit it all in. but I will find a way!

I got the hammock stand up and bbq out (as no space in greenhouse) ๐Ÿ™‚ just need a sunny weekend to enjoy some lounging!