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 :)


  1. If it helps, mine doesn't look an awful lot better. And at least you've still got a greenhouse :>(

    And I hate privet with a passion too!

  2. I found that putting on the boots and coat was the hardest part. Once I got out to my patch and got started I couldn't wait to get out again. Unfortunately the soil here is still really wet and sticky which makes it hard to do too much other than chuck on a layer of compost and pull out the worst of the weeds.

  3. That's not bad; they're all a bit grotty at this time of year. At least you're back there!!!

    Incidentally, I'm about to buy a new pair of allotment boots ('spose I should really call them boo-its in Sheffield). They're safety boots with a steel toe cap but also (listen up for the science bit!) they've got a steel midsole too. I wondered whether that sort of thing would help your foot cope with digging?

  4. ooo I need some new boots ... after all I'm worth it :D

    mmm steel insert sounds very useful for those comedy rake moments. Will they be comfortable tho to wear all day I wonder ?

    Dee, it's still really wet here too - in fact we had more snow flurries today.

  5. It snowed again here too last night and the ground's frozen again. Thank goodness I did some autumn preparation!

    Rigger boots are great - steel toe caps and furry lining! No wonder all the lads wear them on the building sites.

  6. oooo - furry linings !!!! It's getting better

  7. hah! your pics make me entirely envious here in the states--we have 18 inches of snow here in virginia (yes, a little south for that sort of thing.) my new environmental students just inherited our small seed bank project, and are going to be inheriting our garden spot (if the school lets us). My old students, now graduated were all silent partners following your adventures--but they were shy about corresponding, arguing that emailing would keep you from your gardening.... may i have permission to introduce my new crop of envi kids to you a bit more directly this season? I winced to hear about the foot--and send our best thoughts--but at least it wasnt during dancing--or gardening, eh? (what, theres a difference between dancing and gardening?) hm..... doc

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  9. :-) they dont have a blog-site yet.... well, they dont even have a garden yet, this lot. but we are actively working on both those things-- there are some good kids in this group, and hopefully indeed a few will chat with you, commiserate, or at least give you moral support...

    i will be here in the wings egging you onward also--its good to have a new season beginning. for all of us. this last season has been tough!

    two quick thoughts-- we also have a fair amount of problem with damping off of germinating pepper and tomato seeds (and in fact this time a couple of the students have done a really nice job of building us an excellent sand hot-box for germinating).

    first--we have had very good luck with spritzing the seeds/seedlings with cold chamomile tea--it is an antifungal, and apparently a fairly good one at that. saves a lot of them.

    second--i took (some other) students to Nantes last may for a maymester class--and some of the countryside Bretons looked at me a bit funny when i talked about tomato plants from seeds--they generally thought that was a reallllllly bad idea--

    what some of them do there is in the fall they cut the tops out of their best tomato plants, and just stick them as cuttings in a glass of water--they root, and they pot them up and keep them through the winter on a window-sill, where, since they are technically still adult plants, they tend to keep flowering and bearing.

    then towards spring they begin to get all thin and leggy--and so they cut the tops off again, put them in water again, and make a whole bunch of new plants for the garden beds. Apparently, so they say, they have plants like that across a couple of generations. They share among each other as backup...

    i think am going to try that this season, since starting new seeds each spring is a real pain--and starting them as juveniles almost guarentees a late start to actually getting them to bear well, i suspect.

    they also all keep all their hot pepper plants in pots through the season in the garden, and then bring the pots inside to bear through the winter--keeping them for like 5 or 10 years. i think we're going to work on that a bit too. Ive lost some good ones each year in the fall that ive wished that i had back.