Roll up, Roll Up for the Greatest Allotment Show…

Last Sunday, 1st September was our allotment sites annual show. Held every year as a joint event with the NGS gardens for charity open day, however this year was to be a little bit different to previous years. All thanks to two of our plot holders featuring on no less than Gardeners World! It’s not the first time our plots have featured on television, Nigel Slater came and filmed for his Simple Suppers series, but that was sadly before our time. This time however the camera crews had came to film a special couple, George    & Serge who have a special allotment plot which won them an award of merit from the ‘Gardening against the odds’ award. Their plot is gorgeous, part English country garden, part Potager and part sculpture garden. It really is beautiful. So thanks to their feature on Gardner’s World (Friday 25th August) and an advertisement of the show by no less than Monty Don himself, the show was a hit, attracting some 700 visitors to see Serge & George, take in the exhibits, tour the site and enjoy homemade cake and teas.

Continue reading “Roll up, Roll Up for the Greatest Allotment Show…”

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Pinks & Purples with a touch of blue. Colours of plot 18a #2

First came the Hellebores, Pink and perky in the late winter murk

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Bountiful. A review of the season (so far…)

Forgive me, I’ve hardly blogged about the plot this summer. Recent weather aside (it’s a wet and windy Saturday afternoon as I write this), it’s a been a glorious summer and to be honest with you, we’ve just been so busy enjoying it down 18a. After a unseasonable cool start to the season full of worry whether we would ever get any kind of crop going, we approach the end of the growing season with a bumper crop of unexpected allotment loveliness. After a rather crappy first 6 months of 2013 for myself personally, the allotment and the abundance of nature there have helped me overcome my blues and banish my little rain clouds. So what’s been going on down 18a? Well let’s see…
Continue reading “Bountiful. A review of the season (so far…)”

Can we start again please? Starting the New Year over

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I originally started to draft this post in the new year but I’m ashamed to say I have been neglecting Crafty Garden Hoe of late. In fact 2013 has been pretty busy (started my Masters in Library & Information Studies in September) and crap year for us so far, death in the family, identity fraud and the threat of redundancy over my head means that blog posting has slipped to the wayside. Hopefully by posting this old draft I can get my blogging mojo back? Here goes…
Continue reading “Can we start again please? Starting the New Year over”

The Ups and Downs of Being a Throughly Modern Allotmenteer.

Hello. My name is Emma. I live and work in London. Rent a small one bedroom flat with my boyfriend. Like many people our age we do not own our own home and have no outdoor space. And we are allotment holders.

I’m pretty sure were not alone. Allotments have seen a massive boom in past decade. Everyone wants to grow their own. Waiting lists across the UK are fit to burst. Our site alone has a closed waiting list with a predicted wait of at least 5 years. Things are changing fast. Allotment tending is no longer the preserve of the retired gent. With their rows of leeks and tatties. Much to the initial confusion of the ‘old boys’, younger people are taking over the neglected plots. It’s not easy, many drop out. Those that stick at it, like ourselves are head over hills with allotmenteering.

Working fulltime, weekends and snatched post-work summer evenings are all the quality time we get with our plot. Weather, commuting, transport problems and family commitment all get in the way. On an ideal weekend during the lighter months we put in around 12 hours work down 18a a weekend. Continue reading “The Ups and Downs of Being a Throughly Modern Allotmenteer.”

My Year Of Bokashi Composting.

I originally started drafting this post a week or so ago but encountered some technical difficulties. Resulting in my loosing half the content! I was devastated, I’ve tried to piece together what I originally wrote but it’s never quite the same. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this be it blogging or back in our college or school days. However in a strange turn of events I found out this week that it’s International Compost Awareness Week now between the Sunday 6th and Sunday 12th of May, a perfect time to post my blog entry on my composting adventures. So read on and embrace composting!

Some Bokashi Bin contents.

I love composting. I’d even stretch to say I’m becoming mildly obsessed with it. We take it very seriously down at 18a. I come from a long line of compost enthusiasts. My brother and I used spend many a happy summers day clambering up our fathers grassy compost heap. I was always the King of the compost castle!

Living in a flat, before we got our allotment my composting instinct had been stifled somewhat. Despite our council, Haringey, collecting garden and kitchen scraps flat blocks are sadly exempt. So when we first got our allotment, composting was one of the first things we did. In total we have 3 Compost bins of various shapes and sizes. One council open bottomed ‘Dalek’ style and two repurposed black refuse bins (with holes drilled in). Out of all three the Dalek worked best. However soon after we really got going our composting efforts began to attract unwanted guests. Rats!! Continue reading “My Year Of Bokashi Composting.”

Sunshine & Showers. Well, Sort of.

In typical British Bank Holiday style this May Bank Holiday has been a bit of damp squib weather wise. Saturday and Sunday cool and showery and today, Monday, warmer but a soggy first half! Despite the weather we got lots done, in-between dashes to the shed to dodge passing showers.

Spent most of the drizzly unpleasant early afternoon in my shed potting on some seedlings peacefully listening to the birdsong. Watching our resident robin hopping around right outside the door! Both the pair come down though Mr Robin is more confident with us than Mrs Robin. She’s far more cautious and skittish. He’s getting quite tame, just as long as we don’t get too close he’s happy for us to work on HIS allotment plot! Continue reading “Sunshine & Showers. Well, Sort of.”