Monday, 3 June 2013

Plot takes a back seat...

New gaff!
There hasn't been a great deal going on for us allotment-wise just of late, nor of keeping this blog up to date  (the second rather naturally follows the first), although not entirely without reason; you see, we've been busy with finally moving in to the above abode. This has been on the cards for some time, and thankfully there were no last minute shit-ups, so we now own our first pad! This is a considerable step up from our old flat in terms of quite a few things, not least outside space.

Where once we had a west-facing back yard in which we struggled to grow anything more sunlight-hungry than moss, we now have this south-facing beauty:

Woo, garden!
There's a decent bit of lawn, it's on a nice slope and there's all manner of flowers and stuff in it. I know we've got some peonies and some poppies. The rest of it, apart from the dandelions, is foreign to me. After having got to grips with veg over the last couple of years on the plot it might now be time to understand something more about flowers. Up to this point, I've gone along with the dictum that they are but "tarts; prostitutes for the bees". Perhaps it's time to revise this view.

We've also got a bit of welcome greenery out the front, which will require some gentle tackling before long:

I might put up the odd bit here about exciting adventures of discovery in the land of the flower, or a dramatic description of my first battle with a flymo, but none of this means we'll be giving up the plot because firstly, we've worked bloody hard (sporadically at least) on it and secondly, I don't want to turn my back garden into a massive spud patch. Also, the new gaff is a mere chaffinch's strut (approx 5 min's drive) from the plot. So if you're a keen reader of this infrequent horticultural online dispatch (hi mum), then fret thee not.

The plot, tonight
Talking of the allotment, we have, as I mentioned, neglected the poor old dear a bit of late. Moving house, and all the tiresome flim-flam you have to engage in just after have meant that opportunities to head down there have been limited. Of all the times of year to take a hiatus, this is probably not the best as weeds are really rampant and things we've sown could have done with being planted out before now. RIP the sweetcorn we left in seed modules too long, likewise some beetroot and kale. We were down there tonight, in glorious evening sunshine, to give everything a well needed water and rescue/ pot-on some seedlings. Here's what's going on:

Spuds looking good. Rocket in foreground Pentland Javelin bringing up the rear.
Broad beans doing ok. The ones at the back were raised in modules, the foreground were planted direct much later.
Climbing beans Blue Lake struggling, but may make it
Four varieties of garlic in front, onions to the back, both looking good
Planting out the beetroot we salvaged from neglected seed modules. Godspeed, lads.
I never tyre of radishes. BOOM!
Phoenix the fig-twig. Had totally give up on this guy a few months back.
Apart from things being pretty dry after a few days of lovely weather up here in Newcastle, the weeds are gaining traction and will need to be dealt a severe blow very soon. There's a strange kind of guilt that comes from neglecting your plot. It eats away at you a bit, then you finally head down there. The first 5 minutes are grim, as you bounce from one unwelcome scene of plant-fatality to another calamitous victory for some noxious weed. Then you notice a breakthrough for a plant you'd forgotten about, or had underestimated, and then you do some work and things look better, and it all seems ok again. I'm sure there's a glaringly obvious metaphor in there somewhere...


  1. Never give up on a fig. I call mine the Lazarus fig as it came back from the dead and we now have Lazarus two.
    It will be exciting for you to see what flowers in your new garden.

    1. Indeed! Already since we moved in the Peonies have come out beautifully. All of a sudden, a far greater amount of gardeners world is of interest!

  2. Congratulations on your new home. Looks beautiful. And what a great yard! Definitely lots you can do with that.

    1. Cheers Jason. At the moment we'e just enjoying having it, but looking forward to growing some herbs etc in the borders.

  3. Congrats on your first home. It looks like you are going to have plenty of time spent in that lovely back garden. The allotment is looking good too!!


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