Sunday, 29 July 2012

All aboard ...

... thought you might like a tour of the new plot.

The owners have had the plot for around 5 years I think - it is fantastic, you can tell that they love gardening and have green fingers. 
I've been for a good look round to see what is growing and how the land lies. They've spent a lot of time making raised beds, using railway sleepers etc and all of the paths are woodchipped.  There is a huge leaf collection area and an enormous compost making area.   In addition there are 3 greenhouses, a shed and a summerhouse.  I think that Vic & Anne want to retain exclusive use of the greenhouses and I'll have use of some, or all of the 8 raised beds - we still need to discuss the finer details, but I've got so much to do in my own garden and house that it'll suit me very much to only have a few beds to maintain for a while.

This is the entrance, looking up and into the plot - to the right is the huge leaf collection area. Vic loves composting - wait til you see that bit later.  To the left are the raised beds.

Here is one of the raised beds - it is made from railway sleepers and currently has courgettes, nasturtiums, brassicas & potatoes  I'm hoping that in October I'll be able to plant some red & white onions & garlic. 

There is a funny little railway / workman type shelter at the end of the bed - Vic has quite a collection of interesting items.  I saw a few of these when we went round the open day - some have been made into sheds.

Jerusalem Artichokes ... seems they forgot to dig them up last year, vs really really really liking them LOL. Happens to us all :)

 This small-ish bed appears to be empty at the moment - looks like it may have had a small greenhouse on it originally. It has blackberries growing up the wall at the back of the bed.  I'm wondering whether this might be a good place for a couple of Globe Artichokes.  I think I'll find my seeds and get some started in preparation for next year.

Here is the master composting bay - look at the size of it.  Apparently it was full earlier in the year so all that goodness is now in the soil.  It is waiting to be filled from the various composters dotted about - I've never seen so many !!

This is the walled strawberry bed - I believe it's been a poor year for strawberries this year with all the rain - never mind, always next season - isn't that the allotmenters mantra !!

Here is a familiar sight ! It's just like being back at my previous lottie - there is a much bigger variety of birds at this site, although I have never seen such fat and satisfied looking wood pigeons are here.

I think this is a flower bed ... can you see the familiar sight of bindweed popping up?  It doesn't seem as bad as my previous plot.

Two of the raised beds are covered - one with fleece and one with polythene. The fleece one has brassicas inside and the polythene one has strawberries. Vic has a fabulous watering system through the plot.  He gathers water from his roof and diverts it down to the plot (he's got some huge water containers to store it in) and then it is distributed through a system of hoses to the various structures & beds.  It is very impressive.

This is another covered structure - it's around 10x10ft I think and currenty has a fig tree, grapevine and various veggies growing inside.

Vic & Anne also have a bug house - cool !

Then the top of the plot has been turned over to a mini orchard - in total on the plot there are 7 apple trees (eating, cooking & crab), 2 plum trees, a pear tree and a couple more that I couldn't identify yet

This is Vic's main greenhouse - it has 2 x grapevines, tomatoes & a nectarine tree - very exotic.

The plot also has a small pond with lots of froggies, which is good as slugs have been thriving with all this wet weather.

It looks great doesn't it !  So think my plans will be to plant onions & garlic in October and get my globe artichokes going.
(I'm having lots of issues with blogger at the moment, so apologies if the size of the photos is too much for your pc, I seem to have also lost my comments facility .. oh well only another 5 hours of looking through the help forum and I'm sure I'll crack it LOL)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Exciting News !!!

It was Open Allotment Day on Sunday :)

The site is a quarter of the size of my old one and seems much better cared for. Hedges are generally much lower and under control and we only saw a couple of plots that looked abandoned down towards the woods.

One lady had a nectarine tree growing in her greenhouse - it smelt delicious ... apparently she discovered that a stone had started to sprout in the compost heap, so she planted it and three years later it has loads of fruit !

Beautiful sweetcorn - apparently they don't like wind (it is tremendously windy at my new house) so they are growing in a shelter.  I didn't know that !

This chap had green fingers and then some. He loves cacti and succulents and has very impressive displays. OH had a little drool :)

The day before I was invited to have a look around the plot that adjoins my neighbours garden. The tour went well and I've been invited to become co-owner with a view to perhaps taking over when (if !!) I get to the top of the waiting list. The plot is fanstastic - about 10 fruit trees, greenhouses, summer house, proper raised beds, compost heap the size of a bus and lots of chipped paths. I am luckier than lucky at the moment ... you'll see me in the lottery queue on Friday :

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Guess who's back ....

... oh yes !!

so quick catch up ... we moved (hurrah) and have been in our new house for around 3 weeks now. The good news - it has a garden !  yippee :) Here is my lovely front garden.  Seems that it was originally planted by a landscape gardener - it is packed with plants and has been in constant flower since we moved in. I don't think it will need much TLC to get it back to it's former glory. The Acers are a bit big so I'll probably have a chop during the autumn.
Here is the back garden in Spring before we moved in - the huge tree belongs to the property next door. Apparently it is dying and there are several discussions taking place to possibly remove it. Even though it's a bit unstable we'll miss it when it's gone as it's very popular with the birds. Here is how it looked before:
End of the garden - this is where the greenhouse will go :)
This is a Camilia - it's a deep / pale pinky colour, but the garden hasn't been touched for 10 years, so everything is a vastly overgrown.  The bushes were so big they've hidden half the garden
So I gave it a little trim !  I think in Spring I'll have another go at the main upright bit, but for now at least the sunshine can get through to the soil under it. I took out a second one that was around 7-8ft tall ... and then saw one in the garden centre (4ft) for £50 ! Eeek.
Most of the contents of the garden are now in this bonfire !
We found a gate behind one of the enormous overgrown bushes.  Sadly I think the previous owner 'lost' the access rights - would have been handy for my manure delivery !
It's looking much better
and here it is now - a blank canvas to start planning !
The white hydranger is the only plant so far to have escaped the chop.  It is around 20 years old I'm told.  I'm going to use the flowers for Christmas decorations - then it'll be getting a severe prune.  There is a water & electric point somewhere inside the bush from when a greenhouse used to be in the garden.
Here is the first plant I've planted - a Kiwi Fruit. It has already wrapped itself around the trellis. I've also got a fig tree waiting to be planted.
and the best to last ? Look what is at the bottom of the garden ... an allotment site !  oh yes. Have I put my name down ... oh yes !! only a 5 year wait haha.
In the meantime, we'll be enjoying our sunsets :)