Fun on the allotment.

I'm a student, chef, gardner, photographer and general procrastinator. On the 5th November 2011 I inherited an old battered allotmentand started this blog so people can watch as I work and play to make it my dream larder.
Sowing Seeds
I never thought gardening was for me. 
I’ve always loved food and cooking. To me its very artistic. My love of food eventually leads to thinking more about the ingredients. If you follow that thought process long enough you end up with an allotment. Since then my need to grow herbs and heritage carrots has grown (pun intended) into a fully fledged horticultural obsession (where I even grow non-edible flowers).
My little sister loves good, seasonal food and has the healthiest diet of anyone I know. she has no interest in gardening though. 
While she’s back from university for the summer I’ve convinced her to plant a few rows of seeds. She was keen as the thought of fresh veg is appealing … but just maybe it’ll spark a passion.
She occasionally reads this bog, so if you’re there you’ll be happy to know the Mustard Cress and the Ruby Chard have both germinated.

Sowing Seeds

I never thought gardening was for me.

I’ve always loved food and cooking. To me its very artistic. My love of food eventually leads to thinking more about the ingredients. If you follow that thought process long enough you end up with an allotment. Since then my need to grow herbs and heritage carrots has grown (pun intended) into a fully fledged horticultural obsession (where I even grow non-edible flowers).

My little sister loves good, seasonal food and has the healthiest diet of anyone I know. she has no interest in gardening though.

While she’s back from university for the summer I’ve convinced her to plant a few rows of seeds. She was keen as the thought of fresh veg is appealing … but just maybe it’ll spark a passion.

She occasionally reads this bog, so if you’re there you’ll be happy to know the Mustard Cress and the Ruby Chard have both germinated.

Leek flower about to open. 

I missed harvesting these over the winter and would be horrible, stringy and bitter now. Instead I’m letting them flower for the bees and Co.

Leek flower about to open.

I missed harvesting these over the winter and would be horrible, stringy and bitter now. Instead I’m letting them flower for the bees and Co.

A nice annual poppy that’s come up from nowhere …

A nice annual poppy that’s come up from nowhere …

Planting out my new herb bed.
They’re all either divisions or cuttings that I took last winter. Aka I haven’t paid for any of them.

Planting out my new herb bed.

They’re all either divisions or cuttings that I took last winter. Aka I haven’t paid for any of them.

First of the years strawberries!

First of the years strawberries!

At the back of my allotment I have a messy area where I tend to dump stuff, like unused wood. The wildlife love it, there’s always a multitude of creepy crawlies around, in the best possible way. It’s also a heaven for wildflowers, which makes it one of my favours parts of the of all.

At the back of my allotment I have a messy area where I tend to dump stuff, like unused wood. The wildlife love it, there’s always a multitude of creepy crawlies around, in the best possible way. It’s also a heaven for wildflowers, which makes it one of my favours parts of the of all.

My Oriental Poppies have bloomed, and are a lovely shade of coral.
Does anyone have experience propagating these from root cuttings?

My Oriental Poppies have bloomed, and are a lovely shade of coral.

Does anyone have experience propagating these from root cuttings?

Allotment shot from the front.

Allotment shot from the front.

Allotment Update
The back bed (nearest in this picture) is full of potatoes that I accidentally left in last year. I was meant to clear the bed but never got round to it and the plants are miles ahead of everyone else’s and looking very healthy. 
Next was the brassica bed but the sprouting broccoli had just finished so I’ve dug it over. I desperately need more top soil to fill the beds. I’m likely to fill that bed with strawberry runners for next year.
Then is a thin ‘permanent’ bed that will be planted with sterile Comfrey “Bocking 14." I had root cuttings delivered earlier this spring and they’re growing on in the cold frame at the moment.
The 4 bushes in the next bed are the 3rd year Jostaberries that I took from cuttings when I first got the allotment.
Onions, Sweet Peas and mixed salad leaves make up the 5th bed.
After that is another thin ‘permenant’ bed that has been planted with Asparagus “Pacific Purple,” but they are yet to come up and I’m starting to worry!
I’m leaving leeks from last year to flower in the bed after, as I left them too late to harvest. In a few weeks they’ll be replaced with outdoor tomato plants that are currently in the cold frame. The rest of that bed are “Kestrel" potatoes that I actually planned to grow …
The last of the ‘rotation’ beds right at the front have sorrel that is going to flower (you can just see it sticking up) and my main strawberry plants.
Right at the front is my flower boarder. I’ll post an update of that soon.
- Gary.

Allotment Update

The back bed (nearest in this picture) is full of potatoes that I accidentally left in last year. I was meant to clear the bed but never got round to it and the plants are miles ahead of everyone else’s and looking very healthy.

Next was the brassica bed but the sprouting broccoli had just finished so I’ve dug it over. I desperately need more top soil to fill the beds. I’m likely to fill that bed with strawberry runners for next year.

Then is a thin ‘permanent’ bed that will be planted with sterile Comfrey “Bocking 14." I had root cuttings delivered earlier this spring and they’re growing on in the cold frame at the moment.

The 4 bushes in the next bed are the 3rd year Jostaberries that I took from cuttings when I first got the allotment.

Onions, Sweet Peas and mixed salad leaves make up the 5th bed.

After that is another thin ‘permenant’ bed that has been planted with Asparagus “Pacific Purple,” but they are yet to come up and I’m starting to worry!

I’m leaving leeks from last year to flower in the bed after, as I left them too late to harvest. In a few weeks they’ll be replaced with outdoor tomato plants that are currently in the cold frame. The rest of that bed are “Kestrel" potatoes that I actually planned to grow …

The last of the ‘rotation’ beds right at the front have sorrel that is going to flower (you can just see it sticking up) and my main strawberry plants.

Right at the front is my flower boarder. I’ll post an update of that soon.

- Gary.

New compost bins being put to work.

New compost bins being put to work.

The ever knowledgeable Greedy Gardener correctly identified the plant as a form of Thalictrum Aquilegifolium, and I suspect the cultivar to be the popular “Thundercloud.”

Does anyone know what plant this is?
It’s in my mums garden. We thought it was an Aquilegia (in terms of growth habit, height and to a large extent the foliage). But it has theses dainty magenta flowers.
Ideas?

Does anyone know what plant this is?

It’s in my mums garden. We thought it was an Aquilegia (in terms of growth habit, height and to a large extent the foliage). But it has theses dainty magenta flowers.

Ideas?

The wild anemones are still flowering in my front flower boarder. I’ve given up trying to identify them, as you can probably see, they’re all different.

The wild anemones are still flowering in my front flower boarder. I’ve given up trying to identify them, as you can probably see, they’re all different.

Cold Frame Update
Starting at the top-right, going clockwise;
- Apple ‘Rosemary Russet' which I grafted last year (that post here).
- 5x Comfrey ‘Blocking 14’ cuttings in 3” pots (a sterile variety that won’t self seed everywhere).
- 2x 12 cell trays (for a total of 24) Aquilegia ‘Nora Barlow’ seedlings, which I sowed last year (I got the seeds for my birthday, from my Auntie).
- 15x Echinacea ‘Lustre Hybrids' seedlings in 2.5” pots (post here). - Then from the bottom-centre all the way to the bottom-left are various herb cuttings I took in autumn, mainly; Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Oregano and (not a herb) Dianthus ‘unknownus.’
- Top-left is a large pot of Sweet Marjoram and one of Oregano.
- Finally, at the top-centre are 9x 4” round pots with a mixture of apple seedlings and unlabelled fruit bush cuttings (I should really get better with labelling). 

Cold Frame Update

Starting at the top-right, going clockwise;

- Apple ‘Rosemary Russet' which I grafted last year (that post here).

- 5x Comfrey ‘Blocking 14’ cuttings in 3” pots (a sterile variety that won’t self seed everywhere).

- 2x 12 cell trays (for a total of 24) Aquilegia ‘Nora Barlow’ seedlings, which I sowed last year (I got the seeds for my birthday, from my Auntie).

- 15x Echinacea ‘Lustre Hybrids' seedlings in 2.5” pots (post here). - Then from the bottom-centre all the way to the bottom-left are various herb cuttings I took in autumn, mainly; Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Oregano and (not a herb) Dianthus ‘unknownus.’

- Top-left is a large pot of Sweet Marjoram and one of Oregano.

- Finally, at the top-centre are 9x 4” round pots with a mixture of apple seedlings and unlabelled fruit bush cuttings (I should really get better with labelling). 

Sat eating my breakfast watching a blackbird go backwards and forwards with moss in its mouth, building a nest in the tree just outside my kitchen window.