Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sad to say....

I'm afraid I am giving up this blog along with gardening!

I have been under par for the last six months - long and boring story - and have had to 'employ' someone to do my garden.  Those of you who garden can imagine what that's like!!

So it seems idiotic and a bit 'Lady Penelope' to report on what my gardener is doing........

Huge thanks to those who have travelled along with me and this epistle - its been great.

(Today I bought a magnolia Stellata (Leonard Messel)! not quite the size of the one above..... but one day .....)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fellow lotties

Anyone wondering if we are still chasing the powers that be to get more work done on the lotty this is the latest missive: 

Sorry for not getting back to you but I have now been moved to another Neighbourhood.  I will pass this on to your new Neighbourhood Co-ordinator along with an outline of where the project is up to.  The new Community Development worker starts in May so she will be also contacting you.

So I am afraid it is just a case of watch this space.................

Monday, 14 April 2014


Finally managed to get to the lotty and do some planting.  To be fair I am not in the best of health right now so everything is a struggle and physical hard work is low on the list.

Any way Ken and I tootled round and checked the site as usual, including the two sheds.  We had been told there was a leak in one over the winter but couldn't see which one so need to get to the bottom of that.  It will give us a reason to 'chase up' the powers that be.  We did try to get some answers about what will be done when but, as often with these things, there isn't anyone 'responsible' for it since Donna left.  Her boss got it dumped on her until it could be passed on - so you can see how that's working out.  We'll do our very best to crank it up again but I am not hugely hopeful.  These sort of things are great when you have a motivated and hard working person shoving it along.  We can't do much if anything ourselves as we aren't 'official' so we can't order and pay for the stuff to get done; all we can do is keep asking......

I had a similar experience with the Junior Lotty Club.  I prepared six months sets of projects/work sheets/kit and suggested prizes etc; I did three of them here before I went to Naples and set up a system for the others to happen and within a month it had died a death.

So, as far as I am concerned,  I am sad to say I am pretty much at the point of shoulder shrugging and just getting on with my own stuff.

If you remember at the close of the season we covered our plots with cardboard to keep the weeds down.  It worked just brilliantly.  This is what they looked like.

We just removed the concrete and bricks that held the cardboard down and the beds were immediately ready to plant up - not a weed in sight and no digging necessary.

I take that back we are still removing huge chunks of concrete.  We dug three pieces this size out of half of one bed.

I have no idea if it was just incredibly lazy on the constructors part or an attempt to save on volume of soil but it is beyond annoying.  Even if you have the most rudimentary understanding of growing things you must realise they don't grow through concrete!!

Incidentally all the concrete and bricks we used on the cardboard is stuff we dug out of the beds last year.

The rhubarb/strawberry bed just needed a bit of a tidy up.  They had spawned three extra plants which I have left in and two others had succumbed to the winter.  I replaced these with the runners I'd potted up in the autumn.

So, after doing that and removing the debris, this is ready to do its thing.

I am surprised to see flowers on some of the plants already.

I will be removing several thousand baby sycamores over the next few months - the beds were smothered in their seeds.

Last year I boned on about not knowing why folk make such a palaver about strawberry runners - pinning them down and cutting them off and potting them up etc.  I just take them off the mother plant and pot them up .  I take more than I need  - so instead of the six I thought I might want, I did ten.

Here they are stuffed round the side of the dustbin and utterly neglected for six months. Only one didn't make it, leaving me nine new plants.  Two of these replaced the lost ones at the lotty and I added in three more and the other four have gone into troughs in the greenhouse in the hope of getting some early strawberries (under glass).

There is little or nothing to see in beds A and B but they are planted!

B has three raspberry canes at the edge of the bed.  I know they are a tad pathetic but as they were under a pound from somewhere like Lidl - worth a shot.

The rest of B has the usual salad stuff - mixed leaves, radishes, spring onions.  I hope I will be putting in dwarf beans in a couple of weeks and maybe some spinach.

A has got my International Kidney spuds in it.  I have done a naughty and put potatoes in the same place as last year but it wasn't blight ridden and any way I've found this variety doesn't seem to get it even when growing cheek by jowl with those that do.  So I stuck to the one variety this year and will be munching on Jersey Royals in a few weeks time I hope.  They go on to make good mid size and then large potatoes too so they last the two of us all season.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Free plants from Gardeners World

Honestly, no catch, Gardeners World do these offers every so often - I have had them and a friend has too and they are just what they say they are.  

48 perennials for Free just pay cost of postage which is £5.65

Ideally you'll need to put them in pots to get to a decent size before planting out - but a real bargain if you do...............

(Thanks H for directing me to it)

Here's the link just click:   Free offer