Friday, 27 February 2009

Carrots and Kids is Fixed!!!!!

Oh. My.
That was tricky.

Come and meet me  HERE. Please. It's all fixed.

I'm now blogging at And let's just gloss over how horrendous that all was (so horrendous I was on the verge of giving up my blog). Note it's .com and not (yeah, gloss, gloss, gloss).

I'll pour you a cup of coffee from my flask, cut you a slice of banana cake and we'll swap plans, moan about growing carrots, talk about the joy of gardening alongside our children and on our own and admire each other's plots all the while leaning on our spades......

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The Good Thing About Snow......

 The hated front garden. I do feel brave, showing you this!

There are many benefits to the snow. Mostly, it has to be said, if you are a child. I can honestly say it doesn't hold that much appeal for me. I try. We went for a snowy walk, the children made a snowman and a couple engaged in a snowball fight involving lots of children.

The view greeting me out of our front door

One thing I am grateful to the snow for is how it hides all my garden's imperfections. Which means, it covers it completely because we all know my garden has many faults (all of them laid squarely at my door).

One of the boring borders

So I'm enjoying the look of my patch while I can. I'm wearing my snow goggles. Then the thaw will start and it'll be back to reality....

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Gardening and Other Plans

Although it may not seem like it, I do have plans. Kind of. Oh, ok then, things I would quite like to do if I don't get sidetracked doing other things or if I can actually work out how to bring these things to fruition.

Many of my gardening plans involve spending money. Now there's a surprise! I'd rather they didn't, obviously, because that means they will all stay in my head instead of becoming a lovely reality.

However, the bones of our garden need shaking up a bit. Take the front garden. I dislike it intently. Every time I walk up the path I think "I hate this front garden" and, this may sound loopy, even if I don't articulate the thought it is still THERE. The feeling is as much part of me as....say, my eyelashes. I don't need to say to myself "I have eyelashes" to know that there they are.

So. It is becoming is quite stressful. I hate the wibbly hedge, the fact that we have no gate (it rotted and has never been replaced) and that it is a dumping ground for ladders and deliveries for Hubby's work.

I also intensly dislike the layout - path, grass and two boring borders under the windows. Yeah, I'm not proud of it.

Other gardening related ideas include deciding once and for all about moving this blog, posting more often and saving up for a macro lens, costing out the front garden's redesign and, gulp, save up for it.

Oh yes, and find a money tree to plant in the back garden.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Dear Blog.....

Don't worry, this isn't  a Dear John letter. It's more of a grovel, sorry-I-neglected-you type of note. Really, I am very sorry.

My head was turned by another. Plus, let's face it, it's been cold and dark and not really gardening weather. I know others have managed to lavish love and attention on their blogs but........what can I say? I'm a rubbish blog owner.

Still, I'm feeling the stirrings of spring. Yes, seriously. It could be just wishful thinking but really, we know She's on her way. First I spotted some daffodil plants sleepily poking their head up through the ground. And then I noticed it's getting darker, later.

I have big plans for the garden and allotment. Yeah, I know we've heard it all before. I wish I could say I had big plans for you, dear ole blog but as usual I shall just bumble along. I may do a bit of tweaking here and there.

So - here's to you and me and all the other sowers and growers and plant-heads and to spring.
We have much to look forward to.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I Think I know The Problem

Something's been vexing me a bit lately and that is the question of how I'm able to do all the things you're supposed to do at the correct time at the gardening club but am totally unable to do this at the allotment.

I've been wracking my brains to fnd out what the magic ingredient is at the club and so far have only come up with the fact that I'd be letting people down if I was as flaky at school as I am at the allotment.

So, could it be the weather? No, as far as I can tell the climate is not balmy at school. It is just as wet and cold there as here. Perhaps it just feels warmer, being surrounded by children chattering and other adults rather than the sound of silence, pheasants and my own thoughts.

Perhaps it's the inconvenience? Nope (again). I have to get in the car to go to both places. And lug stuff. And climb slippery steps.

Could it be the time factor as it's sometimes easier to get things done when you only have a small window of time to do them in? For me, it concentrates the mind and I'm better with a deadline. Hmmm, I don't think so, I don't have hours and hours to while away at the allotment. It is not a parrallel universe there where time stands still. I have as little time to spare there as I have everywhere.

GOT IT! I think I have the answer.......but I need to do some "research" first. No good knowing what the problem is if I don't know how to fix it....

Monday, 24 November 2008

Winter Gardening Club

 It's mighty chilly out there but my merry band of green-fingered imps rose to the challenge of coming to today's gardening club. They are all so enthusiastic and it's joy to be with them.

Here's a recap of what we've done this term. We started two-three weeks late and one session was cancelled due to weather and another because of a poorly toddler (mine).

 But we've got lots done, everything, in fact, that I had planned. Oh, ok, maybe not the broad beans but that's because I wasn't entirely sure where to put them. And I must be getting better because I didn't refer to my bible once!

So here's what we did:
  • Sowed sweet peas in loo rolls and when those ran out into coir pots that someone kindly donated. We got through at least two packets which are now all coming up in the grow house. The children were very enthusiastic about this activity.
  • Cleared the beds, weeded and sowed green manure on one and covered another in well rotted horse manure. They weren't so keen on the latter task, I have to say.
  • Sowed garlic, one packet in our "winter veg bed" and one head I bought at a supermarket. We sowed those ones in little pots as a kind of experiment to see which do the best.
  • Sowed shallots in the ground. These are already shooting up. We followed this up another week by planting another two rows, mainly to fill the bed. It also contains a couple of cabbages, leeks and garlic.
  • We planted hyacinth bulbs in individual pots and these are now housed in the cold, dark boiler room. We also planted some paperwhites and other narcissi in pots and green shoots are emerging in the grow house. Gotta love that grow house!
  • We made a new flower bed and planted daffs and lillies in these. Some red and white striped tulips went into a pot.
  • The free Morrison salad seeds were planted in a large pot and they are all coming up. 

Today we concentrated on looking after the wildlife so we went for a short hunt around the school grounds (it's a small school) for logs to pile up on one side of the garden to make a home for any hedgehogs or toads. I'm not sure if any will check into our critter hotel but it was a nice thing to do, a thank you if you like to the wildlife.

I also whizzed into a local diy centre before the session started and bought some peanuts, fat balls and other bird seed which we strung around the trees and fence bordering the garden. The children were delighted by a curious robin who will hopefully be joined by other feathered friends.

Have to say, feel a litttle bit anxious about the new term as I'm not entirely sure what we're going to do. As ever, I'm always open to (cheap) suggestions. I've asked for Alys' book for Christmas so maybe I'll get a few ideas from there. I'm also (really, just thought of this) going to send off for lots of seed catalogues and get them to do some cutting and sticking on the first session to give me an idea of flowers and veggies they may like to plant.........hmmm it's hard to say who enjoys this club more!

Friday, 14 November 2008


I always thought, before I really got into gardening, that all gardeners did in the darker months was huddle with seed catalogues and dream.

Now I know differently. I'm still planning and dreaming but there's a fair bit to do. And this weekend looks (touch wood and whistle) as though it's going to be dry!

My first job is to get out into the front garden and plant my tulips which I succumbed to at Chelsea. They arrived a while ago but....y'know how it is at Carrots. However, as ever, nothing is quite as simple as just popping in some bulbs. Nope. I have plans to redesign this very boring, uninspiring space but that involves a fair bit of Hubby's time and some money (naturally).

I shall probably get shot for writing this, there is probably an unwritten gardening law that I'm about to break, but I want to replace our hedge with.......a fence. There, said it. The hedge is really awful, it bows out, is not straight and despite regular trims just grows up and up and I don't want something that high.

I'd like a rustic type fence, something quite low and which I could grow things up on both sides. We're also going to move the gate so you enter the garden from the other side. I know we could replace the hedge with another one but I have little people and a dog that need to be kept in a secure garden from the get go.

There is probably another solution that involves less work and less money but I have neither the imagination or knowledge to come up with it!

But what has this got to do with my tulips? I'm going to make a big, curvy border on one side of the new path and the tulips shall go in there. Or rather, will once the work's done. My plan is currently languishing at number 32 on my Top 40 of Things That We Need To Do Now. So until it occupies the number one slot I shall just plant the bulbs in tubs and containers.

And don't get me started on the back garden........