Monday, 7 May 2012

Allotment update

What do you think of Lulu?  I think she's just a little bit great - Small is convinced that she's a fairy.  She sits and keeps watch over the big concrete raised beds at the entrance to the allotments and I love the fact that since I last visited the allotment, someone has been in and given her a full makeover.  She's got her summer frock on, clearly.
My allotment partner, Mrs Hen, and I managed to get a rare couple of hours together at the plot on Sunday, which was great.  It had been a while since I'd been able to get down there and not only was I feeling guilty, but I was slightly worried that the entire area may have been over-run by rhubarb (it's a good job I love the stuff - it's positively rampant!)  I have actually found the most amazing recipe for rhubarb and vanilla jam, which I'm planning to share with you in my next (and, coincidentally, my hundredth) post.  Get your jam pans at the ready gals, it's a winner!
I thought I'd share some photos of what's appearing on our patch with you, to prove that, against all the odds, things are indeed growing:
Comfrey, which is an excellent green manure.
Fennel, which is delicious with fish.
Redcurrants - mmmm, puddings...
And peas (ugh, revolting little balls of green) - the best thing about these is that they are grown up twiggy peasticks.  Was there ever a better name for a piece of gardening paraphernalia?
We also have blackcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries in the fruit section - and cabbages, broccoli, potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, beetroot, chard, runner beans and borlotti beans in the veggie section.  Obviously we've had to plant some flowers too, so we've got sweetpeas, marigolds, nasturtiums and calendula.  If any of this actually makes it on to my plate, I will not only be extremely proud, I will be more than a little amazed.  I am a rank amateur when it comes to gardening - my ineptitude is matched only by my enthusiasm (I cling to the thought that Mrs Hen knows what she's doing, or at the very least that she has a book that will tell us what to do).  The man who has the plot at the bottom of ours clearly recognises this as he saunters casually up to us every time he sees us and then proceeds to tell us what we've done wrong since he last saw us.  He then tells us how we should be doing it and how it won't work unless we follow his advice to the letter.  Mrs Hen is cracking, I definitely heard her muttering about the possibility of there being a body under her patio very soon.
And then, in an amazing spurt of outdoorsy eagerness, I actually cycled to the allotment today (pause for proud swelling of chest and slight wince at sore bum).  My 'to do list' went something like this:
drop off tall canes for beans
water cabbages
dig over bean bed ready for planting
spread wee all over shed floor (note to self: check for holes in plastic bag really thoroughly before relieving oneself in said bag and especially don't open shed door to dump bag of wee on ground while your trousers are still round your knees.) x
PS - to those of you who may be thinking that weeing in your shed is odd and wrong, I ask this question: 'why else would there already have been a latch on the inside of the shed door?'  Hey??


  1. Oh Emily! This is all absolutely WONDERFUL! Swoon! Lulu is fantastic; I simply adore her excentric demeanour although I suppose scarecrows are by nature rather excentric generally, perhaps?

    Yes please to the jam recipe; hurry please! I have an amazing rhubarb and orange fool recipe if ever you are interested.

    I have only one quibble here: how the hell can you NOT like peas? ;-)


  2. Oh my goodness....cycling and gardening!! well done...i am impressed!
    What a beauty Lulu is, she deffo looks like a fairy to me too.
    I am waiting for a dry spell so that i can get outside longer that 5 mins :o)
    yes please fo the jam recipe
    have a lovely week
    love jooles x

  3. Lulu is just lovely. I like the way she watches over all of your gardens. Garden the way you want to, life its too short to get upset by a garden.

  4. Emily, I agree with small, Lulu is a fairy! What an amazing allotment you have (whatever the mean man next to your plot says!). Thank you so much for the weeing in the shed annecdote - brilliant!

  5. Ha ha haaaaaaa! How the hell did you wee in a bag? Did you sort of hold the handles like a sling one in front and one at the back? Oh so funny. I think I need a re-enactment photo (with trousers up where they should be though)...

    ....I started writing this comment yesterday but got called away by the kids. Only just got back to it!

    I'm trying to make a linked joke between the wee on the floor and the twiggy peasticks but my tired head wont work.


  6. Gosh, I am impressed....cycling, veggies.....weeing in bags....

    You are a lady of great class....nuff said!

    Oh, actually, I do have something else to add.....invest in a she-wee

  7. I can't help but be in awe of a woman who wees in bags!

  8. You tell us all of that awesome stuff in your post and then casually mention that you peed in a bag in the shed. Ha!!!! Seriously impressed with your courage!! Reminds me of a friend of mine who had a very hot man over for his first ever night at her flat. He spent ages in the bathroom during which she had an urgent need to relieve herself - to the point where she felt quite ill. So she was forced to poo in a plastic bag in the spare room. Obviously she was mortified but let this little story slip (when tipsy) at a work's night out and the next day found a melted, mashed up Mars Bar in a plastic bag in her desk drawer. Ha ha!! Bless her - she is sooo stylish and cool, you just wouldn't believe what some of you nice girls will do. :-)

    Ok, so I have my jam pan out and my extraordinarily long wooden spoon. Bring on the rhubarb jam!

    Nicki xx

    Nicki xx

  9. All looking fab at the allotment, can't wait to see what progress has been made over the next few months. Sounds like you will be making jam, pickling and all sorts to get the most out of your home grown produce. Now tell me, what do you do to your rhubarb to make it grow so well? Mine has grown a bit but there isn't much there - certainly not enough to make even half quantities of your delicious looking rhubarb and vanilla jam. Any advice gratefully received. xxx

  10. Lulu is amazing! She certainly is a stylish gal. Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for following. I adore making new friends. Connie :)

  11. Oh my goodness. I was reading along all interested in the allotments (we don't have those in the US) and looking at the photos and then come up on your "little wee in the shed". I am laughing so hard, I need to go have a wee myself. Thanks for making me laugh today. I'm going to enjoy your blog.

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