Friday, February 27, 2009

This lunchtime, I are mostly cooking.......

...... lumps of lamb, bashed flat and flashed in a frying pan.

It seemed like a good idea, with a long day at the allotment planned, to take the means of cooking lunch. With regard to meat, I belong to the "see meat, bash meat, flash meat, eat meat" school of cookery; in other words I'm a bloke.

Camping stove + 2 small rumps of lamb + 1 huge tomato + bread & butter = enough lunch to keep a hungry chappy happy.

Then I put the kettle on.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Burning Man Festival comes to Allotment 81

Well, almost. I do want to go to the Burning Man Festival but fear I may be too old and terminally uncool. There's also the small matter of it being in Nevada.

For the moment I'll content myself with burning piles of rubbish and dig-dig-digging it. Look how much bindweed I got out of section 3 this morning.

I've also sown my Sweet Pea seeds. The RHS advice says to nick the hard seed coat opposite the growing point, to help the seed hydrate. Good advice of course, but has anyone with normal size fingers ever tried doing it? Ye Gods. I concluded that there was a fair old risk of taking a finger end off, and making no inroads on the seed coat at all. They'll have to hydrate without any help from me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I plough the fields and scatter, the good seed......

....... on my potting bench.

If I can get this lot dealt with this year I'll be well pleased.

Go with the flow? Brambles a Go-Go?

I've been wondering whether my approach to the 'wild' blackberries on the plot is wrong. They seem ineradicable, so perhaps I should work with them rather than against them. Perhaps I should regard them as bounty; a free source of extra blackberry plants and train them against a 'post & wire' framework rather than try, literally fruitlessly, to root them out. It won't work everywhere of course or the plot will end up only growing brambles but I can think of three places where I could do this immediately. Watch this space (or, pedantically, that space).

This has all been triggered by some proper work. Halle-chuffing-lujah. Proper work at last; amazing how energising it can be. So today I've pruned the Autumn Bliss, banged in posts for them, pruned the grapevine, pruned the blackberries and cut up into manageable chunks the Rogue Hawthorn I cut down before Xmas.

And mid-morning a skein of around 50 geese went over, honking furiously. Needless to say the camera was nowhere to hand.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Too cold to transplant, says Aladdin

I've bought the first plug plants of the year Geraniums of course, and Bidens, Fuschia & Surfinia Petunias.Buying small in February means I get lots for the money and can grow them on in the conservatory so that when it's proper planting-out time I've got loads of big healthy plants. That's the plan and it usually works. Even better if I had a greenhouse.

But, having bought them, I can't transplant them for a day or two. The compost has been in the shed so is perishing cold. I've filled the seed trays with compost and left it to warm up for a day or so before I dare plant the plugs.

In the meantime, here they are. The paraffin lamp beside them is an original Aladdin, at least 60 years old and a family heirloom.
It was the only source of light in the first house I can remember as a child. Even in my teens when we were living in a council house (without central heating) that lamp was placed in the bathroom an hour before anyone wanted a bath, just to warm the room up (a bit).

Even now, it's very handy in power cuts and you can still get a full range of spare parts for it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rhubarb 1 : Snow 0

Last weekend at the plot the snow was very much in retreat. Leeks were just fine but winner of the "Bring it On, I'll Shrug it Off" prize goes to the rhubarb. Can't wait to see how the big clods of rhubarb I transplanted last year do.

[What???? can't wait to see how your rhubarb does?? Get a life, Wilbury; do something exciting with a new mattock]

Friday, February 06, 2009

Passwords on Blogs


Don't see the point, myself. If you're blogging you are, by definition, offering your thoughts to the world.

If you want to restrict it to a chosen few write them a letter