Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spanish omlet anyone???

Hello everyone

the FAB weather continued all weekend and I got to the allotment both Saturday and Sunday!  I had a really busy day on Saturday - beginning with an extra choir practice as Caroline  - the lady who formed Rock Choir - came to visit, talk to us and hear us sing.  She is being filmed for an upcoming documentary at the moment and we thought the camera's would be with her, but twas not to be.  They filmed her on the way there and then went home BAH... (How scary and competitive are 100 women in one hall all in full makeup and hair done - all vying to be in the front row??? <<<shudders>>>)

Had a lovely lunch with some of the ladies then dashed home stuck on me gardening kit and got to the plot at about 3ish.  I was armed with a box full of my seed potatoes and a back with my shallots and onion sets in, and various other implements and rammage I can not live without!   I delusionally thought that I would be able to get all of those in the ground in the few hours I had left of the day...  Oh well you live and you learn!

I did manage to get my Arran Pilot 1st earlies in (well I think they are Arran's - I might have got them mixed up with the Nicola salad potatoes...) and one row of the Nicola's.  Now don't faint people but when I got home... Mr B offered to come with me the next day and help me to dig!!!  After I fainted I gladly accepted and he did indeed help muchly on the Sunday!   He redug two of the beds (weeds that had been missed) and then dug up some of the paths - which were awful.  I finished planting all of the potatoes and shallots and Red Baron onions and Giant Stuttgater white onions!  I hope I've done the onions right.  They say to leave the ends poking out - but I was worried about birds pulling them all out so I have nearly covered them.  I only get to the plot at the weekend so I can;t get there to check on them and replant them... Oh well - they have two chances.

Its made me chuckle all weekend ( a sign of my lunacy) an imaginary conversation between my seed potatoes  Arran - "Hi Nicola, pleased to meet you... Fancy hopping into bed?"  Nicola "And you've not even bought me dinner!  Oh go on then!" 

Anyway after all our efforts Mr B had a rosy glow to his bald head and the Lottie looked marginally less neglected... Good work done.  At lease we will be able to make a Fritatta or a Spanish omelet!

Ooooooh and I pulled the most eeeeeenoooooooormous parsnip up that I didn't know was even there!  I thought I'd got them all out!  Mmmmm Soup me thinks

We saw The Lincoln Lawyer on Saturday - BRILLIANT film - Go see - go see.  The first film in a long time when I didn't know what was going to happen until they spelled it out!  Edge of your seat stuff.

Seedlings all doing well (not killed any!)- most are spending time in the conservatory.  Must sow more aubergines and chilli's.  Also am going to sow some more broad beans, peas and start on cucumbers and gherkins!  Can't wait.

Chat soon  X

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring has sprung - BOING

Just when you turn your back.....  Spring springs itself into full on spring springyness and all is right with the world! Out come summer colours and SKIRTS people.... some would say that ladies day has arrived and with it more leg than you can shake a stick at!

I have seeds popping out all over the house and got loads of sowing done.  These seeds I am determined to keep alive.... Well I'm going to try reallllly hard this time...  I was very excited to see my artichoke seeds pop up.  I've never even eaten one (well a fresh one anyway)  They are really large seedlings not spindly at all.  The cape gooseberries on the other hand are weeeeeeenie (but the seeds were microscopic too)  Only one pea up so far so I'm going to sow some more this weekend and not a sign of leeks.... Should I bring the bucket inside?  Tomatos and chilli's are all over the place and brussels are out too.  No parsnips but these are apparently awkward to germinate and I will perhaps try to pre-germinate some or "chit" the next lot...

All well so far though.  My only worry is where to plant everything (yes I know I have an allotment!) as I only have a few beds dug so far and it does look like no one is going to help (bloody boys)... (they will be there when the crops come in I suppose the buggers)  I will just have to get a shift on and dig more beds this Saturday and Sunday.

I did have a lovely day at the Allotment last Saturday and met both neighbours on the neighbouring plots (its two half plots on both sides)  They were delightful and friendly and offered me lots of advice.  How brilliant...  Have not seen either plot holder on the other side yet but I am certain they will be there next weekend due to the fabby weather - in fact my phone now tells me it is 16 degrees! practically sunbathing weather!  :o)  I will have a summer tan before all my non gardening buddies. In fact the day was still light enough to get out in the garden at home when I got back from work yesterday - so I started on the clearing up I should have done at the end of last year!

Hubby and I went to the Ideal Home exhibition on Tuesday - I recommend you go, but only go once unless you are after something in particular!  Once you have seen one vegetable slicer or mop, you've seen them all.  What did I come back with - Four hanging baskets!  They ARE special ones I promise!  Look here  Hanging Baskets of Loveliness  Yes give me a shopping opportunity and I still come back with something for the garden... Is there a therapy group for this...???

Friday, 18 March 2011

Bugger, Blast and B@ll@cks

Hey peeps - Hope you're all having a good week.

Well in reference to the title, it was a NO for the job.  Apparently its not my experience or that they don't feel I could do the job oh no its just my personality.  They didn't think I was sparky apparently.  Well lets hope that the "Sparky personality" they did hire is one of those types that is FAB for five minutes but then gives you a really intense desire to stab him in the head.

Anyway moving on - the weather was not so good last weekend so I didnt get down to the plot - but I did catch up on lots of seed sowing!  I sowed - Peas, parsnips and peppers in loo rolls, Brussel Sprouts, flower Sprouts (V Exciting) more chillies, 16 tomato's, globe artichoke (never eaten one), cape gooseberries (actually sowed about a million as the seeds are microscopic) and Leeks in a bucket (makes for easy transportation down to the allotment when they are big enough to plant out!).  Phew.

I also potted up my poorly looking Bay tree.  Well it has been in the same pot for four-five years - shame on me.

Now considering I did all this sowing on Saturday, it completely amazes me that half of the tomatos are up already AND one of the chillies poked its head up this morning!  YAY  plants are sooo amazing.  I also ordered some colourful flowers on offer from T&M (used my voucher which just covered my postage) - this is an attempt to sop the feelings of my poor hubbie who just wants some colour in the garden - veggies be damned!  Either that or a golf course - he's not fussy.

I ordered a Wine making kit from ebay and this arrived yesterday!  Cue great excitement from me and a raising of the eyebrows from Mr B.  I have been looking through my wine recipe book but I think I will make a Rhubarb wine I saw on the "Grow Your Own" website  http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/juicy-gossip/quick-nice-wine_2365.html  (the best forum there is in my opinion!).  Watch this space.  I love that it is entitled Quick Nice Wine... I needed no more selling!

Anyhoo - going to sow more seed this weekend and get more aubergines and tomatos on the go (yes more) and some caulis and cabbages.... I will have to check on my reminder list of what I should be doing...

Till next time :o)

Chat soon X

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Busy Bee

Hiya!  Here I am.  WOW I've been busy over the past week.  I had a FAB weekend as it was wonderfully sunny and DRY!  First weekend in about three that there was no rain at all.  I even managed to get my first load of washing on the line (boring I know but I always love that feeling of victory)

I spent a good few hours on Saturday and Sunday digging at the allotment.  I have taken some pictures on my whizzy new phone but will have to look at the instructions about how to get then on the computer and to be able to attach them here.  I will do tomorrow when I have some free time for a change - no scratch that I'm booked already.  I know I haven't put up the plan yet either - smack my wrist if you ever meet me!

Anyway I dug over the remainder of one bed and Dan (the brother) dug over another.  I have tidied and degrassed the Gooseberries to (they fought back)  I look like I've been fighting off tigers!  However I thought while I was at it I would do them properly as I certainly don't want to have to do them again - So they have been weeded and pruned and thinned out a bit and look much happier for it.  We also took out all the old canes that have been sitting in the ground since last year and tidied all that was left on or in the ground.  Just some potato plants left but slowly slowly catchee monkey.  All in all its looking much tidier and I am starting to feel a bit more hopeful about whipping it into shape :o)

Three tomatoes survive this week.....

We saw the Adjustment Bureau at the cinema this weekend... Brilliant with a disappointing ending for me, Hubbie liked it so don't let me put you off please!

Anyway - The BIG second interview - had it yesterday... I feel it went well but basically its me VS the other candidate... So now its in the lap of the gods as it were.  I feel a bit blue now its over and there's nothing more I can do...  Oh well.... I should know by the end of the week... Keep those fingers crossed.

I'm off out to meet a friend tonight for dinner - Thai - my fave.  YUM YUM YUM cant wait.

Then its the weekend (as near as dammit anyway!) - It's looking a bit grey today so I hope the rain hods off for the weekend.... Oh wait - My phone tells me rain today and Saturday but some sun on Sunday.. So maybe some seed sowing Saturday and Digging on Sunday  TADAAAAA

Anyway must go and do some work!

Chat soon X

Friday, 4 March 2011

Tomatocide? Or suicide?

Okay we're down to four tomato seedlings left now.  This has to stop.  I think I have potted them on into to large a pot.. and they were leggy to (due to being started off too early)  Either that or its a conspiracy...  I am going to sow more tomorrow or on Sunday.  Aubergines are suffering too - although I have not potted these on - I think there isn't enough soil in the small paper pot I started them off in and they are just getting tooooo dry...  Seriously maybe they are just depressed - perhaps I should leave the radio on to keep them company during the day?  Its obvious the cat isn't providing any TLC while I'm out.

Okay I completed a "PLAN" on the http://www.growveg.com website.  I will try and scan in a copy later to show you.  This website is AWESOME (in my opinion anyway)  It works out planting spacing and has pretty pictures of all the fruit and veg and hints and tips - AND it emails you with reminders... Just what I need!  Not for everyone I know but being forgetful and rubbish at excel etc etc I need all the help I can get.  Anyway this is beginning to sound like an advert - I am not affiliated to this site (other garden planning tools do exist! :oP ) anyway...

I need to get going this weekend and get my "Farty" chokes planted - Never tasted one but I like the idea of them being like tall sunflowers.  On http://theidiotgardener.blogspot.com he described his as being as "high as an elephants eye" and that rather tickled my fancy! If they are horrid I'll just dig them all up and not bother next year!  According to my list I also need to start off aubergine (check) Brussels cabbages cauli's, leeks (late I know!) peas, peppers and the infamous tomato's.  We will see if I can NOT kill them this time... sigh

How long should sweet peas take to come up do you think?  I'm beginning to think my seeds are duff... I shall have to try some from the packet and not the saved ones...

The weather is Gorgey today - What's the betting it pisses down tomorrow when I actually have time to get out and do stuff...(refer to previous post)

Did my first solo babysitting stint this week.  YAY I survived, and happily so did the baby! 

My second interview should be next week - Tuesday maybe - I have yet to hear - Keep crossing those fingers.

Anyway hope you have all had a good week! 

Chat soon X