Sunday, 26 May 2013

So This Allotment Thingy

I've been guilty of fair weather gardening and as a result we were heading back towards where we were in October on day 1 of our allotment experience with the weeds. The speed the dandelions took over wasn't anticipated (yes I know I'm naive).  Then I noticed some other things coming up and innocently I put a photo of them onto a Facebook group page about allotments because I like to know what stuff is. The verdict was hogweed - nasty stuff which causes awful burns if the sap gets you. 

I decided the only way forward was a chemical route with a product which can be planted onto after just a week. Yes I know! I can hear the lectures forming about chemicals in the garden. I honestly didn't have another clue what to do. My phone has spent more time connected to google recently than anything else. Anyway it seems to be slowly working. 

I bought a battery strimmer yesterday. Bargain price in Homebase with an extra 15% off this weekend too. It wasn't a decision taken lightly I can tell you but I think it will make such a difference to the plot. Going to try it out tomorrow. 

So where are we at:

The bulbs we planted have started coming through and flowering. I've planted anemone de Caen so many times in pots over the years at home with no success at all so it was nice to see them coming up. 

Grape hyacinths are showing their heads

I've got 4 veg beds sorted out so far. The top one has a couple of wigwams ready for runner beans and some Monte Cristo French beans I have been lucky enough to trial before they go on sale. They have been growing at home so will be hardened off this week and I will probably plant them next week.

The next bed has some broad beans my mum grew for us. They've been in about 5 weeks now and have started flowering now.

The third one has some meteor peas planted a few weeks ago and some asparagus I bought yesterday for 20p from Homebase. For 20p I'm taking a chance on it even though it is late to plant it. 

The last one I've got ready I planted with carrots and beetroot today, I also put some marigolds and nasturtiums in to see if the companion planting thing works. 

This is the view looking up at the four beds (rustic rather than messy lol)

Unfortunately this is the view looking down from those beds. Lots of work to do before the brassicas, sweetcorn and other bits and bobs I've got growing at home can go in. 

Sometimes I go there and think its all way too much and I'll never get there but then I remember how bad the weeds were when we first got it in October and slowly we actually are getting there. The council gave us the first year and a half rent free because it was overgrown so it is still early days. Hopefully the strimmer will make a difference. I have read somewhere that weeds don't like to grow close to sunflowers so I might grow a few of those. 

My apple blossom is guaranteed to cheer me up 

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Robin's Nest - Growing A Snowman

I recently applied to be an international layout member for The Robin's Nest  design team. As part of that application process the requirement was to create a project and upload it on 20th May.
For my layout I chose a photo from this March of my youngest at the allotment making a snowman.  Absolutely crazy that at the time when we should be planting crops we are growing a snowman.
So here is the project:
and the step by step
I started with a sheet of off white cardstock and used a glass beads texture gel through a Dylusions stencil.  I love this gel. The glass beads give an amazing effect but it is hard to pick it up with a camera.

Once it had dried I used some mists randomly.

I mounted my photo onto some Prima patterned paper and inked the edges. I added some Websters Pages ribbons

I made some flowers from some old book pages and sprayed them with the same inks I used over the texture gel.  I added some Candi dots in random places, some Prima flowers and a butterfly.  I also used a grey ink pad in the top left hand corner to create an area for my title.

A close up of the book print flowers

A close up of the misted texture gel

and the Prima flowers and butterfly.
The Robin's Nest also have a blog called Chattering Robins where all their lovely design team work is displayed. 
Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Apple Blossom

I'm chuffed to bits that one of our apple trees at the allotment has blessed us with some blossom in the very first year of planting.

 I don't care whether we get any apples this year or not. I'm just SO HAPPY that it has blossomed. Nothing except a few leaves was expected for at least a couple of years. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Punky Scraps May

Time for the Punky Scraps May challenge.  Full details are at Punky Central and here is my take on it:

I chose a black and white picture so it didn't distract from the pops of colour the challenge dictated.