mirrorshard: (The Book of Rainbows)
2014-10-19 07:41 pm

All to do - all to do!

Greenhouse

Our new greenhouse! It has a few panes missing, but a friendly neighbour on the allotment site has donated us some replacement panes (the right size, at that) and it will all be lovely when we've cleaned it up a bit. The picture links through to a set of photos, showing all the salient features of our allotment. We have a large and overgrown strawberry patch, a thicket of sage & fennel, two vegetable beds each 2x8m, a couple of square metres of raspberry canes, a group of currant bushes (red & black) and a little orchard with two apple trees, a pear tree, and a plum tree. The beds will take a bit of weeding, but not more than a few days' worth, and there's lots of long grass to cut.

We're planning on planting herbs & flowers in the orchard area, for a bit of companion planting to keep pests off the fruit. More flowers around the willow bower, and I'll have to strengthen it a bit more - there'll be enough withies and more coming off the top to add all the density we could ever want at the bottom, and we'll put in a loveseat and probably some solar-powered fairy lights. I'll have to experiment a bit with willow weaving, but in a few years it should have enough strength in it to keep off most of the rain, and to put in a shelf for a cup of tea.

Next job, establishing a new compost heap - the last tenant's heap has rotted down very nicely indeed - and filling it with weeds. After that, hedging! The site's got some lovely thorn hedges, and it's our responsibility to keep the hedge at the front of our own plot trimmed - it's been neglected almost as much as the willow has. When that's done, we can start working out how to remove the Enormous and Almost Certainly Verminous Sofa from the shed, and start clearing that up.
mirrorshard: Grass stalks against a summer sky (Summer grass)
2014-10-14 05:08 pm

Seeds

Right, so we have (will have contingent on viewing and accepting, etc., but we will) an allotment, less than a hundred yards from our house. So now it's time for me to start making a list of plants I want to grow in it. I'm assuming that we won't have anything resembling a greenhouse, so some of these will be aspirational at best, but nevertheless I am going to list them, and in a few years' time with any luck I'll have tried the lot. Someone did suggest putting the wishlist up so we could be sent presents of seeds - if you do fancy that, we will be utterly delighted, but it isn't in the slightest necessary. (NB: I like turnips and Florence fennel, but Elly doesn't, and Brussels sprouts are low priority for both of us, so seeds for those would probably get passed on to someone else who'd eat the results. Same for chillies.)

I'm using The Real Seed Co. here, since [personal profile] kht originally put me on to them and they've done wonderfully in the past, but interesting seeds from any source are good. If anyone localish fancies going in on an order, their packets are large and plentiful, so it'd be very possible to split them between us.

For herbs and flowers, Thomas Etty have a much larger variety.

Beans: I have some 'Trail of Tears' beans, but some Cosse Violette stringless beans would also be good. I have some 'Wizard' field beans as well, which are supposed to be very cold-hardy.
Peas: I have some 'Serpette Guilloteau' peas, but it would be lovely to grow the 'Golden Sweet' mangetout peas too.
Squash: I'm looking at all the lovely varieties there and goodness, how does anyone narrow it down.
Cucumbers: Given the amount of cucumber we eat, growing our own is a priority. Edible skin is good, because I get annoyed with peeling things. Exploding cucumbers are probably not ideal, given wildlife and children. Neither of us are gherkin people.
Lettuce & salad greens: yessssss. Some seed, more always good. Rocket.
Tomatoes: ditto, all down the line, but concentrating on eating varieties rather than cooking varieties.
Peppers: sweet peppers yes, chillis no, because I can't be doing with the heat (can't taste anything else) and wouldn't want to risk them crossing into the sweet peppers.
Root vegetables: Interestingly coloured carrots, parsnips, and Hamburg parsley.
Potatoes, of course.
Melons: I would dearly love to grow melons, and it does seem to suggest that they can do OK outdoors. I would grow Prescott Fond Blanc for the look of them alone.
Kale: I have a fondness for Thousand-Heads because Soyer talks about it, but other varieties are also very nice indeed.
Leeks: I've never met a leek variety I didn't like, see. A combination of Jaune de Poitou and Bleu de Solaise looks like a very good idea indeed.
Broccoli: Green heading Calabrese & purple sprouting.

Herbs: Generally, my attitude to herbs is "the more the better" and I'd love to have as many as possible in the kitchen garden (the knotweed will still let us put herb plants in, I'm just reluctant to do actual vegetables next to it) and on the windowsills.

Soft fruit: We are Extremely Keen on growing a great number of raspberries, and I'm also keen on gooseberries. If the management like fruit trees, putting in a Mirabelle would be a very good thing - if not, we may do that in our own garden.

Flowers: We're both very keen on things which will attract and feed bees, and on British wildflowers.

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