Archive for November, 2008

No gardening; just cat

Fat British ShorthairWanted to do some gardening today, but it’s pissing down as usual. If I set foot on the plot, I’d drown in mud like those poor bastards at Ypres.

So instead, I’m posting a picture of my beloved, overweight moggy. He was in a co-operative mood, and flashed me this obligingly winsome look at precisely the right moment.

It will be years before he poses again, so I thought I’d better make the most of it.

Posted on 30th November 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

You say tomato, I say bollocks

Last fuschia

I’m stuck indoors. Trying to decide how to write this post.

You see, I was going to admit to being too wet and wussy to freeze my arse off at the allotment. Then I realised that, to about half of you, this is gibberish. Translation: “I’m insufficiently masculine to freeze my ass off at the community garden.”

This is the trouble with an international web audience. If I mention my garden (Trans: back yard), some of you assume I’m the head groundsman at Kew.

Ditto aubergine (Trans: egg plant) and courgette (Trans: zucchini). If I publish a recipe involving either, one of you will phone me a doctor.

So I’m giving up. I’ll just flob out on the sofa (crash on the couch), crack a tinny (open a beer), let one rip (give vent to a flatulent impulse) and bash out another shed-load of bollocks (write a considerable quantity of, er, testicles).

You can work (figure) it out.

Posted on 22nd November 2008
Under: Rants, Uncategorized | 17 Comments »

Soilman’s allotment hibernation

Winter cauliflowersLove the look of these waxy, veined leaves. This is one of the enjoyable sights on the vegetable gardening winter scene.

It’s also the signal for me to wind down a bit – both on the allotment and on the blog. There’s not a lot to write about until Feb/March.

So I’ll turn up to rant from time to time. But mostly I’ll be hibernating until Spring, when I’ll surge back into feverish, panicky activity.

So until then, see you… sporadically.

Posted on 17th November 2008
Under: Brassicas | 5 Comments »

Does my back end look big in this?

View from the back of my allotment

Standing at the back of my plot, I feel like the guy bringing up the rear on a night march. There’s nothing behind me and it feels kind of freaky. 

They’ve started marking out plots, so I guess folks will move in soon. Hope so. I feel like everyone can see my arse right now.

Posted on 15th November 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Nibbled by night

Carrot eaten by something small and nasty

Wretched nibblers. They’ve moved from the decimated beetroot to the carrots.

Rats and/or mice are still the main suspects. Rabbits would have eaten the greenery, too.

It’s all very tiresome. My allotment isn’t meant to be a rodent welfare/drop-in centre. It never has been before. Whence this vexing rodent glut?

Posted on 12th November 2008
Under: Pests, Roots | 6 Comments »

The new plots

The new allotments

Looks pretty rough now. But this grotty, excavated terrain is due to host another 30-odd allotments.

All very exciting. But they’d better mark out the plots and get them allocated quickly; those bramble roots will be regrouping as I write…

Posted on 10th November 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Rose-tinted hindsight

Pink rose

No good reason for this photo. I took it at Wisley RHS garden in June, and recently came across it. Made me wistful for better days.

Days until Spring: 133

Days until Summer: Er, a hell of a lot more.


Posted on 8th November 2008
Under: Flowers | 2 Comments »

Deterring allotment theft

Winter cauliflowers Nasty weather we’re getting now. Meteorological and economic.

I’m figuring I should expect a bit of allotment theft next season. If folks are short of cash, they won’t resist vegetables growing openly on an allotment site.

So how to counter it? I’ve been toying with various options:

  • Booby-trapped carrots
  • Exploding manure – an allotment shit bomb
  • Asparagus mantraps

The other possibility is an option favoured by French wine buffs. Inject 1 in 10 cauliflowers with strychnine. Then leave signs warning thieves they’ll never know which one is deadly.

And pray you can remember.

Posted on 6th November 2008
Under: Rants, Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Clearing the bush for new allotments

Changing the allotmentAstonishing. Our allotment site is becoming posh!

Half the site’s always been unused and covered in brambles. Which was a pain, because they provided shelter for the rats and encroached on our plots all the time.

But no more. Apparently there are 60 people on our allotment waiting list. So the brambles are coming down.

It’s great. We’re going to get properly measured plots (gosh), proper roadways for cars (wow)… even a car park (gasp).

It’s all super. Except, of course, that most of those 60 wannabes won’t be here in 12 months. Nor will their replacements. Allotmenteering is harder than most folks realise.

And then the brambles will be back, I guess.

Posted on 4th November 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Weed it and weep

Couch grass

I cannot tell you how sick I am of weeding this part of my allotment. I’ve moaned in this blog about at least four major weeding sessions here this year.

But it needs another one.

The problem is the wilderness backing on to my plot. The brambles and couch are always threatening to encircle me in an evil flanking attack. I fight a desperate holding action 24/7.

However, good news: it looks as if the battle may shortly be won. There are exciting developments on our allotment site. Details shortly.

Posted on 2nd November 2008
Under: Weeds | 1 Comment »