Monday, 20 February 2012

My Allotment - Before & After

I took on an overgrown allotment (half plot) in May of last year and gradually began clearing and planting. Despite the mess I was lucky enough to inherit a shed and a lovely old plum tree.
This is a slow worm which I disturbed when I lifted an old carpet. I saw quite a few of these in the early summer. They particularly like compost heaps which provide warmth and food during the colder months and start to emerge in March. They're often mistaken for snakes but are in fact reptiles (legless lizards) and have protected status in Britain. They're great for the allotment as they eat slugs and snails.
 I also inherited a wasps nest in my compost heap so was careful not to disturb it in case they decided to attack me! In all the years I've gardened I've never been stung by a bee or wasp. It just seems to be the mosquitoes that take a fancy to me - even in the winter I still get bitten. I also found a pair of slow worms under the incinerator bin which, lucky for them, hadn't been used.
 My lovely old plum tree which provides me with shade to drink my tea and contemplate all the jobs I still need to do. Beats being at home doing housework....probably explains why my house is such a mess!
 Gradually clearing the weeds - looks like I've planted potatoes, tomatoes & onions in the distance.
 The french beans are in and beginning to climb. 
 What a difference a few months make. Things are starting to look very lush and productive.

 My first plums beginning to ripen.
 My grapevine. The grapes tasted quite nice once they had ripened but I need to thin the bunches out this year to get larger fruit and learn how to prune it.
 First of my potatoes. Although they went in a little late they produced a lovely crop.
 This is the half plot next to mine which I took over at the end of the summer. At one point the weeds were 3-4 feet high! I've inherited another shed, some lovely raised beds, rhubarb & a few raspberry canes so I'm not complaining.
 Nothing like the smell and taste of freshly picked, home-grown carrots!
 I absolutely adore beetroot and you really can't match the taste of home-grown.
 Sorting and drying runner bean seed for this years crop.
Well the start of another gardening year beckons. 
Watch this space.

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