tuckshop gardener

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Allotment Heavy clay heavy mud

Posted: 14/01/2013 at 10:08

I have the same conditions - nothing for it but to wait for things to dry out a whole lot more - the plastic suggested above will help with that.  I'm just doing pruning jobs while I'm waiting.  

I've also found that making raised bedsabout 3ft by 10-12ft  (without wooden sides) by heaping up soil from the paths has helped with drainage for planting areas. It also means  I can access the beds from the paths without treading the soil, so I can start turning them a little earlier than I'd be able to otherwise.  I don't do the wooden edging because I don't want to harbour slugs and snails and it also means I can re-organise the plot as I see fit and this keeps things flexible.  the weeds do creep up the sides though, which is a pain!

Old Rose

Posted: 23/10/2012 at 14:38

I inherited a gorgeous red rose with my allotment.  I was always a bit stuck up about hybrid teas before I met this one.  Mine is 'Alec's Red' - dark green leaves, vigourous and upright with fantastically scented large blooms (more turkish delight than musk though). It's one of my favourites for cutting. Can't currently upload a pic but will try to add one later.

How much can a dahlia take?

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 21:47

My dahlias suffered the same terrible chomping this year, but one is still trying valiantly to flower.  The others just protrude their gnashed stumps to mock my determination not to use slug pellets.  Even my resolve is weakening, but I'll give the egg shells a whirl next year and pray for a drier year...

When I have previously tried, in a negligent kind of way, to lift and store dahlias over winter, I tend to find that they rot away, so I plan to leave mine in the ground, mulch their ragged stumps well and hope for the best.  I'm also going to sow some from seed next year to have some cheap and cheerful flowers for cutting.

New Home -Blank plot

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 21:40

Start by looking at lots of pictures, and think about what floats your boat as a gardener/householder.  Collect lots of ideas and then start making lots of lists.  Be realistic about how much time you want to spend working in the garden - high maintenance is my idea of heaven, but I realise that is not shared by everyone.

Very envious of such a pristine dreaming space to work on!!

Also, look at other gardens around yours - what kind of plants seem to be growing well?  That will give you an inkling of soil type, as will doing some soil tests, and this will help you consider what plants to include/discount from your daydreams.

what decade is your garden?

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 21:34

From invoices I inherited with the house, and from my own engagement of tree surgeons here, I think my current garden was once a 1970s conifer forest!  (you can see it now on my blog - they have all been vanquished). 

I know I left my blue stained fence behind at my London flat in the 1990s, a reminder of that decade.

If ground elder is connected with an era, then that's the one that lingers in my plot....

Damson Crop for 2012

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 22:32

I have three trees, two had fruit which stayed hard for ages and then some of it just shrivelled up, one tree didn't fruit at all.  Did get enough to make damson gin and a batch of jam, so judging from the comments above, it looks like I had a pretty good crop as far as 2012 goes.  Here's hoping for a bumper harvest in 2013 (and a summer would be nice too while we're at it).

Talkback: Growing veg in shade

Posted: 23/02/2012 at 19:06
Crimson flowered broad beans are great - not heavy croppers and don't like too much shade, but in a north facing garden, in a mixed border, they did pretty well last year and the flowers are lovely.

Agree with Smauel and Pink Heather about Sorrel - try blood veined sorrel too as its foliage is really attractive. Also, lettuces as alternatives to all that weird yellowy heuchera plant - at least you can eat lettuces and can get some really pretty ones like green or red salad bowl. Red mustard is also a nice salad crops with pretty leaves.

I grow a lot of globe artichokes in my garden too - they are supposed to want a lot of sunshine, but they seem to do OK in my north facing plot where they get some sunshine, seem to come back happily each year, but are now getting ready for replacing. They do much better than cardoons and I think they are nicer looking too - more dramatic foliage. They are architectural, growing so tall, and left to stand over the winter, the flower heads look spectacular when covered with frost. Edible, ornamental, add height to your border.... what more could you ask for?


Posted: 10/02/2012 at 21:37

I tried Prairie Fire, which I think was a dwarf one - quite small, hot fruits but loads of them.  So many, in fact, that I ended up using the glut to make Christmas decorations with dried ones!

Work in Progress

Posted: 29/01/2012 at 22:32

I loved looking at all your photos and they make me want to do things with all the bits of pear and apple tree that are knocking around my garden after a mega pruning session...  I don't think I could reach your standards, but it makes me think it would be fun to see what what can be done.  Lovely stuff! Thanks for sharing.

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