Sunday, 28 February 2010

STILL freezing :(

Popped up to the lottie this morning to find the whole place is a total mudbath. Way too wet to do anything with the soil and the greenhouse is still really cold. Grabbed my stock of seeds that I keep in the brick greenhouse (checked inside the bag first to ensure no little mousey surprises were waiting for me) to drool over later.

Popped down to the lottie shop to start clearing the greenhouse in preparation for the plant sale that we are going to have on site in May. Spent an hour or so chucking dead plants / emptying pots etc, then beat a hasty retreat.

Hope we get some sunshine soon - actually even a week without snow might be good.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Who ordered snow ??

Well there go my plans for a day at the lottie again ... got up at 9am to discover it has snowed overnight :(

4" in our little backyard. It's like a winter wonderland outside, so beautiful.


Kinder has been having fun



Saturday, 20 February 2010

Birthday Boy !

Loki is 2 years old this weekend :)


He is a Norwegian Forest Cat, so still got a couple of years growing left to do.


He's not letting the excitement get to him though ...


He's having a party tomorrow with his friends :)



and Ianto

New Blood

We have new blood in the allotment office ... Michael Peacock is the newly appointed Allotment Officer and he is an allotmenter too, so fingers crossed ! We've been told to give him a couple of weeks in the job before we start to pester, er, introduce ourselves :)

He's even got an allotment blog

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Blimey it's hard work this allotment milarky

Well it proved challenging leaving the house this morning. I was putting the wheelbarrow into the car, along with a few other things when I noticed I was no longer alone !


Loki jumped in the car and then wouldn't come out !! Is this normal behavior for a cat I ask myself. Eventually he jumped out and ran down the alley (spooked by a passerby). Great, I went to let him in the house, when he changed his mind and then ran under the car and refused to come out ... so I had to resort to bribery. Mum got the kitties some treats for Christmas and they are obsessed with them - with a shake of the tub they turn into sweet, obedient cats .... butter wouldn't melt.


Finally catless, I set off for the lottie. Top job for today was to clear the greenhouse.

I thought it would only take a couple of hours, but as soon as I started to dig I discovered bindweed. Groan. It's taken me ages, but at long last it is finished. I found 3/4 of a bag of manure so that's been dug in and the strawberries have been replanted. It was doing a good impression of the sahara, so I've given the soil a good water. That's it now until I sow some seeds - actually I meant to do some cabbage & cauliflower today ... but I forgot to take them with me.


There have been some more break-in's apparently - lots of mess, but nothing appears to be taken - I think the thieves are looking for power tools. It's bloody annoying - poor Jenny had her door kicked in.

I've been dong a little bit of tidying and managed to uncover the compost heap - spot the difference. Haha, my ambition is to be retired so that I can sieve my compost - who on earth ever gets time to do that.


The raspberries are budding up, so I took the opportunity to give them a quick trim. I have to confess I'm clueless as to what I'm supposed to be doing. I cut out anything that looked dead and 'trimmed' everything else. They look a little tidier, but I must try and find some time to 'contain' them properly. I'm determined this year to remember to mark the summer vs autumn raspberries ... note to self, paint yummy canes so you can co-locate them for near year !

I can just see the rhubarb pushing it's pink buds through the surface of the soil and the blueberries are also budding up.


I thought I'd start to dig over one of the beds. As they are nearly all empty I thought it would be a relatively easy task to remove the creeping buttercup that is plotting plot domination, but the first spadeful revealed yet more bindweed - tonnes of it. It's coming from the hedge, so I guess it's going to take a fair bit of work to dig over. Oh well, at least I've started.

I've potted up 5 teasels and some ox eye daisies - we might be holding a plant sale later in the year, so I thought I'd get organised (haha).

Last job of the day - Jenny persuaded me to dig up some potatoes. Hmmm, really didn't expect much, but they are blooming lovely - dug up some Charlottes. I'm hoping OH is going to do something yummy with them for tea, but no sign of action yet. I've still got Pink Fur Apples and Cara to dig ... oh well, that's one way of having spring potatoes :)

I've spent about 5 hours there and I'm completely shattered. Oh well at least I should sleep well ... yawn

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

am tidying up some of the links to other people's blogs as I notice quite a few of the lottie links are out of date, moved or have been abandoned ... if you've come across any interesting lottie blogs let me know.

I can't resist ...

... need to make a list ! Oooo it's just like old times:

- Buy new gardening gloves and some lovely new boots ... 'cos
I'm worth it :D (actually can't find my existing gloves and my
boots have so many holes, I'd be better off in my socks LOL)
- Take wheelbarrow back to lottie where it can be useful !
- Clear glass greenhouse
- Prune raspberries (close eyes and just chop ... must label them
this year !)
- String raspberries up whilst still small so that I still have skin
left when they start to fruit
- Dig up teasels
- Dig up baby Ox Eye Daisys
- Think about how to germinate tomatoes without an airing
cupboard ... hmm

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A start ... finally !

I probably picked one of the coldest and most miserable days for my fist visit to the lottie, however, off I went, drizzle and all.

Oh my word, just look at the sorry state of it.



The good news (haha not much of that so listen up) is that it doesn't seem to have suffered any winter damage and although we've had another spate of break-ins mine has not been targetted. Inside the brick greenhouse, which is miraculously still standing, I discovered some long forgotten onions from last season :)

The right side hedge is over 10 foot again .. it grows so flippin' quickly. When it's a bit drier I'll have to devote a day to chopping it back. The new lady next door looks to have put some carpets down so maybe this year there will be some real progress next door.


The glass greenhouse has made it through the winter without any damage, but boy it needs some time and energy devoting to it. Maybe that will be next weekend's job, after all it's nearly seed sowing season. Speaking of which, my seeds have arrived .. yeay. Not got my potatoes yet as I've not really got anywhere to keep them protected from the frost, if my favourite pet shop sells out, then it'll be a trip to Wilkinson's.


During my reccie today, I've spotted absolutely loads of baby teasels growing all over the plot. I may pot up a couple for the plant sale later in the season, but most of them will be going on the weed pile.


Ox Eye Daisies are also atempting to take over the plot - I think I will easily spend half to a full day getting rid of them.


I did find a few treasures though - some spinach, lemon sorrel, jerusalem artichokes and a couple of leeks. The globe artichokes are springing back into life too.


I didn't stay for long - a combination of my foot hurting and being chilled to the bone, but it's wonderful to be back !

... and so it starts :)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

if in doubt close your eyes and have a little sleep :)

Crikey what a start to the year we have had. It is currently snowing AGAIN in Sheffield. My drive home tonight took 3.5 hours and was very, erm, exciting at times ...

Had a bit of a worring week when I realised that other plot holders in Sheffield received their rent demands from the council in December. Quick email has confirmed that they did indeed send an invoice out, but for some reason I didn't get it - although thinking about the postal strike, the weather and the 4 different post men we have had while I've been off work I suppose it's not really that surprising. So the good news is that my plot hasn't been given away to anyone and a new invoice is on it's way ... a note is being made on my file - make of that what you will !

No sign of the seeds I ordered at the beginning of January, but there's an allotment meeting on Sunday, so hopefully I'll find out when they are due. OH has confirmed that the pet shop have received their seed potatoes ... I've not had chance yet to get there to see what they have. The way my luck is going this year, they'll have none left :(

At least my foot is making good progress. I've almost lost my limp and every day the movement and flexibility get better and better. I'm seeing a physiotherapist weekly and she's given me lots of exercises to do. I've managed my first night dancing, well I use the term loosely haha, but I was there in body at least ... lottie next :)