Have I mentioned I love my allotment and how happy I am lately? Even flying visits to water leave me feeling immensely proud, happy and relieved. I got my new plot in March this year, just 2 months after having a full hysterectomy so I reckon I’ve every reason to feel mighty chuffed with myself. This place is my little haven, just as my old plot was (I reluctantly gave it up due to the stupid disease I was suffering with). I knew I had a long road ahead of me to get well and difficult decisions to make along the way, but now I feel as if I’ve come full circle and I’m back to my old self, full of excitement and eager to get stuck in. Of course, I’m careful not to overdo it (I’m still healing after all). I grab endless opportunities to rest and sit inside my little shed, sipping tea whilst looking out across the allotments is pure relaxation.
On one of my more energetic days last week I cleared and dug over another bed opposite the patch of rhubarb, both beds are roughly the same width and length. I don’t have any solid plans to plant in this bed at the moment (but that could change, I’m thinking gloriosa daisies for autumn colour), I’m concentrating on marking the structure of the plot and improving the heavy clay soil. I didn’t expect to get this far with my plot so everything that has been planted is a bonus, I’m not expecting great things it’s just nice to see something growing, but if I do harvest something it will be even sweeter.
Zinnia in the old trough are growing really well and flower buds are beginning to swell. I really hope this trough does well, it would be lovely to see it full of colourful summer flowers. I popped a couple of nasturtium in as well, you know, just to be sure!
It hasn’t rained properly for many weeks now so I’m watering frequently during the evenings. My vintage watering can developed a very slight leak recently but that’s to be expected considering the age, it’s still usable though and I love it. I often wonder how many gardeners it served before me.
The sweetcorn plants are putting on a growth spurt now, they’re loving the heat. I put some bunting up around the plot to frighten pigeons away, I doubt it works but it looks pretty.
Yesterday I planted lavender next to the shed, as it grows it will overhang the path just in front of the wooden gate (on the to do list), releasing calming scent whenever I walk past.
Earlier this year we planted our first blueberry bushes in lovely old bath tubs. I wasn’t expecting much from their first growing year to be honest, but was happily proved wrong.
Two blueberry bushes provided steady pickings throughout summer right through to autumn, enough to keep the blueberry fans of the family satisfied. It’s now November and we’re still picking berries.
I spotted this vintage mini trug recently from one of my favourite online garden shops, with berry picking in mind it’s perfect for the job.
The temperature has really dropped during the day and nights are chilly, the bushes are just starting to display their beautiful autumnal colour in patches. I’m so pleased we introduced blueberries to our kitchen garden, if you’re interested in growing them too take a look at our growing guide post https://thegardensmallholder.wordpress.com/2017/03/12/blueberries-in-tubs/ for helpful information to keep them happy.
Being a hands on gardener I use lots of different gardening tools, many of them older than I am. Over the years I’ve slowly built up my own personal collection of vintage garden tools, old shabby tools that have stood the test of time. Timeless and stylishly beautiful, I love the idea that old garden tools can be loved, treasured or put to work all over again. There’s something quite special about grasping the wooden handle of an antique gardening fork or trowel, smooth to the touch from years of work gone by just feels ‘right’ somehow.
I have many vintage trowels, forks, onion hoes, secateurs and weed grubbers. I adore my collection of English galvanised watering cans, although rusty and a little battered in places most are still fit for the purpose intended. My stamped (makers mark era 1896 onwards) antique garden line and pin ensures rows are straight for planting, I often wonder if it was ever used in a Victorian kitchen garden. But, my most treasured tool has to be my vintage Brades garden fork. Lightweight, sharp and beautifully smooth with age, each time I push it into the soil it emanates quality.
I snoop around car boot sales, garage clearance sales and have a flutter on ebay for my finds, I’ve found some real bargains too. This year I stumbled across a shop on Etsy via Julie’s blog Suburban Veg Plot and bought a rather beautiful hand fork and trowel set. My set arrived beautifully packaged in brown paper and garden twine (perfect for gifting) along with a packet of in season veg seeds (lovely touch). So, if you’re wondering what to spend your Christmas gift money on I highly recommend Julie’s shop, Ember Gate http://www.etsy.com/shop/EmberGate, she has some wonderful pieces.