Sunday, 14 March 2010

Little under the weather

This weekend the enormity of what we've lost at the allotment hit me more, especially as its the start of the sowing season. I am trying to be upbeat, buts its not easy. We've had to replace so much equipment that cost us so much in the first place. Even the lack of small things like seedling trays and planter labels bring my mood down. I get hit now and again by a mix of emotions: anger, frustration, sadness and feel bouts of gloom. Then I can't help myself and mumble something to D about the allotment plot and the losses. I know he's feeling what I'm feeling too, but is not showing it like me. Also he doesn't want me to get too down in the dumps, so doesn't encourage this kind of talk or fester in this mood of mine. On days like these, he's being optimistic for the both of us.

Anyway on a brighter note, we had to go to the garden centre to buy things including those mentioned above. When we got there I saw these self-assemble '3 foot by 3 foot' raised bed. I quickly thought in place of some of the pots and containers I could have one of them, especially as it would free space in the original bed for larger plants. In it I could plant, salad leaves, lettuces and radishes. I don't know if D genuinely agreed with me, or thought 'Thank goodness she's suddenly sparked up', but we ended up coming home with one with a number of compost bags.
After a cuppa tea, we ventured into the garden only to be hit by the spitty rain. But it was light rain, not heavy to stop us from assembling this bed. Once assembled, only a matter of minutes. D tipped in some old soil and fresh compost.
You can see how eager I was, I have even put some shop bought lettuces. As its still quite chilly, I covered them over with these plastic propagator bells, but I needed something to hold them down and stop them from blowing away. All I could find were these garden stick toys. There having some real function right now.
I also planted in these two very large pots Arran Pilot potatoes, an early variety.
Whilst at the garden centre I also picked up Timperly Rhubarb plant, as the Victoria one I had grown from seed last year had rotted away. I'm not expecting much of a harvest from it this year, I'm just happy I have some growing now.
When I got back up to the flat, I planted Cavalier peas and Purple Queen, a dwarf french bean in these recycled toilet rolls. Its the first time I am growing this variety. Next to it you can see some chilli seedlings. I picked up these from a local supermarket on Friday, they were going for £1 for 4. Chilli plants are one plant I can't seem to germinate well myself, so thought why not. Once they get to a good size, they will be living on the window sill anyway.
Make shift paper labels for the White Gem parsnip and Snowball turnip.
In the past we were fortunate to do all this in a greenhouse. Now space is really at a premium, especially in our flat, so everything that was on window sill has moved to make room for these trays. Under these propagator boxes are: Trocadero lettuce, strawberry spinach, Sunshine Giant sunflowers. I also planted Cabbage Hispi, Broccoli Arcadia and the wonderful Nero di Toscana kale.
Oh while D was going through the shed he came across some red onions that I had harvested from last year, and remembered being disappointed at them because they were all so small. I gave them all a gentle press. The majority of them were good, a nice bonus - I think caramelized onion tarts may be on the menu soon.


  1. There's a bright side! What an easy to assemble bed. It's fantastic. You'll garden smaller, but still garden. That's what's important.

  2. Hi there - you have been busy - I have some seeds for you

    Cherokee Trail of tears - a lovely french climbing bean, which is perfect if you are short of space.

    I also have an excess of other seeds- if you could email me with your address I could pop some forew things in the post.

  3. Well, everything is looking lovely. I know how you feel with losing an established garden - the same thing happened to us when we were told to move out of our rental a year ago. I had just planted three raised beds and was livid and hurt. I vowed to pull up all my plants and sow the earth with so much salt that nothing would grow for 1000 years. Here we are in a new place, starting over ... with lots of weeds.

  4. (((((((((HUG)))))))))) from me to you.

    I am glad you were able to get a little garden center shopping spree to help give you a pick me up. This is hard nowa and grieving for any loss isn't easy but it will get easier.

    Your window sill look lovely :) You are so far ahead of me regarding your sowings, golly I really need to get my skates on.

  5. It all looks very industrious and there is lots of hope in those pots and garden beds

    I have given you an award but don't worry about doing the meme (esp if, as my hunch is, you have already done it before) unless you want to have some fun with it.

  6. It is a shame about the allotment, but it looks like you have alot to look forward to with all those goodies youve planted. i love the above ground planter bed! that would be a great idea for our garden because our soil is just horrible.


  7. Sorry to hear that you've lost so much from the alotment. Hopefully there'll be lots of goodies to try once they all spring up. Your lettuce look lovely and cosy, and I LOVE red onions so can't wait to read your recipe for them :) x

  8. I'm looking forward to seeing your garden develop, I think you will be surprised at how much you will get from it. I'm glad you have some of your enthusiasm back. I was out on my veg plot yesterday making a homemade raised bed. I was also reading about vertical planting, I'm going to look for some sort of growing bag that I can use for this.

  9. I can understand the range of emotions you must feel at having lost your allotment, but there's an exciting new venture ahead of you, and you are certainly getting stuck into it. I know how windowsill space is at a premium at this time of year, one idea would be to get a mini plastic greenhouse which could house some of your more hardy seedlings.

  10. I'm so sorry for your losses - you are in my thoughts during this difficult time... Sending big sympathy hugs...

    I'm so impressed with the gorgeous beginnings of your new garden! Kudos to you for striving forward so beautifully!

  11. Why in the world did I never think to use those little cardboard tubes as seed starters? I am stealing your idea!

  12. Your right Ribbit.
    There is a bright side and though my garden is small, at least I have one. It reminded that before moving into this flat, I didn't even have a balcony to grow anything, so it is a blessing.

    Oh Lottie,
    You are kind. I don't have a shortage of seeds, as my seed box was one thing that I did keep home, but you are tempting me with the 'Cherokee Trail of tears' as I have heard so much about them. I am just unsure whether they would grow well in Scottish, wet and windy environment.

    Jen S.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience of losing a garden that you established from scratch. All us growers know what it like/or can imagine what it would be like to lose something that you built from scratch and tended to from seedling to strength. I really felt and some days still do feel like going to the allotment site and pulling out some of my plants, but its not the plants fault - unfortunately it is other human beings, as you've experienced.

    I'm looking forward to reading of your growing ventures too, and yes starting over ... with all that digging and lots of weeds is not fun, but we'll get there and reap those rewards :D

    Cyber hug gratefully accepted.
    Your right it will get easier. That is one of the reasons I thought I better move my butt, otherwise it could easily be a downward spiral; and we don't want that. You don't want to come and visit a misery guts now do you?! And I don't want to be that person either.

  13. Thank you so, so much Johanna.
    I am truly humbled.

    Thanks Rose.
    Your right, I will have a lot to look forward to once things start growing!

    In my larger plot, the soil is half good, the other is clay, so I have to think carefully what to plant on the one end.

    I'd encourage you to get one of these self-assemble beds if you can.

    Thanks for your comment GlutenfreeWelshy. I do appreciate it.

    Yeah the lettuce does look cosy, I had not thought of that :)

    Thank you Ann.
    I'll be over to have a nosy round your blog later.

    Thank you so much Jo.
    I'm looking into getting a mini plastic greenhouse, so thanks for encouraging and reminding me.

    Thank you so much Astra.
    Your big hug is appreciated!

  14. Hi! I just stopped by to have a gander at your blog. Thanks for leaving a message on mine. Looking at your photos of gardening is making want to get busy in my garden but in my part of the world, it's still cold with the possibility of frost. What a genious idea of using the cardboard rolls as temporary planters!!

  15. Welcome Ginny.
    Unfortunately its not my idea. I hve no idea where the original idea to recycle loo rolls came from, but i've been doing it for a few years now after reading about it in a gardening magazine and it works well esp with legumes.

    Hi Joanne.
    Thank you so much for coming by.
    I hope the weather warms up for you soon so that you to play in natures playground.

    As I was saying to a Ginny above the recycling of loo rolls is not my idea, but I totally agree it is a genius idea and a great way to recycle/compost too.

  16. Hey I can't even imagine you as a misery guts, just take the time you need, I'll be happy to stick around with my cyber shoulder. Wishing you a great week.

  17. Your so kind Kella :D
    but my husband would disagree. I do have my moments. Thank you for being there.

  18. you're a marvel MC - all the cooking, gardening and posting (+work) you fit into 24 hours! I feel like right lazy bones now ;o)

  19. Thank you Nic.
    Nothing wrong with being a lazy bones.
    Some of these things are just part of my daily routine, so I don't think anything of it - though I wish I didn't have to go into work (sometimes) but bills must be paid!


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