I always feel the urge to write a post when I’m at the wrong computer and don’t have access to my photos. This will have to be terribly grown up and photo free – so please stay with me…..
Happy New Year! Here we are freshly rubbing our eyes to the awakening of the New Year. I’ve had 10 amazing days off work and thoroughly enjoyed that middle section of the week post-Christmas pre-New Year where you have no idea what the day is. I’ve clearly been a very good girl as an abundance of gifts came my way including a Whistling Kettle, a camping stove, a mug that says ‘I love my allotment’, some fab DVD’s (a couple of Monty Don ones, plus The Lost Gardens of Heligan, and Swallows and Amazons), and much more. I feel incredibly grateful. I also brought myself ‘All aboard the Sleigh Ride’ on DVD after seeing it on Christmas Eve. It’s the most stunning 2 hour-long journey filmed as if you are with Sami (Reindeer Herders) in Norway. There is no commentary, music or presenter instead you are treated to a hypnotic journey along an ancient track to the sound of Reindeer bells and crunching snow. It’s absolutely magical and I can imagine watching it all year.
In my pre-allotment years I always found this a miserable time of year. My garden is North facing and soggy so I can’t do anything out there. However, this year I have my allotment to visit and things to plan and do. Finally the rolling of the year makes sense. When I got my allotment it was flaming June and a hive of activity. I rushed everything to keep up after the epic weeds and grasses clearing. I planted tomatoes, potatoes, cabbages, Kale, and Salad vegetables etc but I had no idea what I was doing. In that limited amount of time I learnt loads. I now know that if tomatoes are to have any chance at all they need to be at the front of the plot as it receives the most sun, and that my spacing is way off.
This Winter instead of being bored I’ve been busy creating a sowing calendar and working out what will go where. I’ve learnt I also need to consider plant neighbours and that some plants just don’t get on well. I’ve had a little chat with myself and decided I need to concentrate on the basics this first year and leave the fancy stuff till I have more of an idea what I’m doing. For example I had planned on sowing everything in pots at home. But having struggled to keep up with the needs of a few Sweetpeas, I realise direct sowing is going to be my friend. I don’t have the space, or the sunlight in the house and I’m constantly moving them from windowsill to windowsill. Instead I’m going to go old school and creating a seed bed. I know a lot of people don’t bother anymore, but I’m going to give it a go. Of course things like carrots will be sown where they are to grow so that will help. I know I have many years of learning to come, and this will be no exception.
In the meantime I’m still visiting every weekend and I’m amazed by how much there is to do. I couldn’t believe that I was weeding in December, but the ground was perfect for it. The weeds are in that lovely dormant phase and I can actually dig them out without them growing back before my very eyes. I have weeded my Artichokes and finally managed to weed three-quarters of my Raspberry bed. I would have cleared it all but I have a hibernating frog that I didn’t want to disturb. I’ve been breaking the ice on the pond so that birds can have a drink and was amazed to find two frogs still in there. I wonder if I’ll find some frog spawn soon?
Nature continues to amaze me. I think its sleeping and at rest but most of it isn’t. Its taking every opportunity to seize life and get a head start. I always thought I was nature savvy, but I’ve learnt so much more about it since having the allotment.