Today I thought I'd go to the allotment, but then it rained. But then I had an email saying that some of the sheds in the plots around mine had been broken into. And then the sun came out. So off I went...
My shed is right at the end of this path.
The view across to the park. Sometimes I miss having a little pre-school boy with me, and I sigh a little sigh.
Here we are, my plot. And all looks well.
Fortunately my shed hadn't been touched. It has an odd door that looks like it used to be a door to somewhere else. And the keyhole looks like it's upside down and the lock turns in the opposite way to that which you would expect. I suspect it may have previously been a portal to an alternative reality. The shed's fairly solid and doesn't have any windows, and I think all of these things are in it's favour when it comes to break-ins. They don't make them like this at B&Q.
A quick look at my plot. Not a thing of beauty at the moment. And no things at all to pick. Could do better.
This is a whole garlic bulb that got left in the ground last year. I haven't had the heart to pull it up, it's trying so hard. But I don't imagine the new bulbs will be very big. I think I might keep it just to see what happens.
This is a plum tree on a neighbouring plot. Trees aren't allowed to be taller than 7' otherwise The Lady With The Clipboard sends you a stiff letter. When Gardener's Question Time came to our town, Bob Flowerdew suggested hanging glass bottles on it to make it a sort of weeping plum. It always looks striking.
I like looking out for quirky things at the allotments. There used to be a plot with lots of sculpture made from recycled bits and bobs. Wonderful it was. This shed is fantastic. Look at that window. How I love re-using.
I stumbled across a big crop of raspberries on my way out. Masses of them. In December! No-one appeared to be picking them. Such a shame. If the littlest boy had been with me he would have helped himself to one or two. I try and stop him and I explain he can't have things from other plots, but you know, small boys and temptation.
This is the view from the bottom of the site back up towards the high street. The yellow house on the right is up for sale, and I kind of wish it was mine, even though it's on a main road. It would be so handy for the allotments, no? I saw Kirsty Allsop standing outside it the week before last, with a couple and a camera crew. I had to resist the urge to rush up to her and show her a craft project. Or take her down to the allotment and show her my exciting garlic. You'll be happy to hear I played it cool and retained my dignity. Of which there actually isn't much, but still.
The site wheelbarrows are kept leaning against this wall by the gate. Several of them were painted red for the summer carnival - "The Red Barrows". I don't know how they went down, we're always on holiday when the carnival happens.
It was only a flying allotment visit, on my way to Tesco. I'm well aware of the irony of going there to buy the family vegetables on my way back from the allotment. But let's not dwell on that. As I said, I shall try harder next year.
While I was in the splendid Tesco store, I spotted these.
Rustic parsnips! I was so excited, I've only ever had ordinary ones before. Although to the untrained eye they do look quite similar. Apologies for the poor photo, but it was all I could do to take my camera out in the middle of my local store (where there is always someone I know lurking nearby when I'm buying chips, ice-cream and cake). I managed a quick snap, but standing around changing camera settings was a chutzpah too far. I wouldn't want people to think I'm odd or anything.
I didn't buy the parsnips, as it happens. But I shall try growing some next year. If I can just find some properly rustic seeds.
Good job with the little ones' room, I hope he liked the change. Funny you mention that he might have cried because that's just the kind of reaction my daughter might have. These two sound so much alike, I would be interested to see them together, though they might just spend the time crying. I really enjoy seeing your allotment. The door is so interesting, you're right that you can't get one like that in the home store. The handle almost reminds me of an old car-door handle? I don't know whether English cars had handles like that. I've only eaten parsnips once or twice; I think I roasted them with carrots and potatoes to eat with roasted meat or chicken. I liked them, they were very earthy. Last week, I actually found myself explaining my purchases to the cashier in the grocery store. I was buying a lot of candy, most of it as gifts for other people, but I had my kids with me and I didn't want the cashier to think I let them eat so much candy. She laughed and told me I was "cute." That's all well and good, but I was completely serious and very ashamed of myself and I could not leave there knowing she might be under the impression that I was taking them home to force-feed them cordial cherries and candy canes.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean, about feeling the need to explain what you're buying! Parsnips are delicious aren't they, especially roasted. We always have them on Christmas Day. I'm sure our littlest people would have a high old time together, provided they weren't being overemotional!Delete
The plot looks very tidy CJ, ready for you to start on it again next year, I'm glad the shed wasn't broken into.ReplyDelete
Sow seeds, spend weeks waiting, watering and expending TLC, plant out. Mice eat the lot. Go to supermarket and buy veg. Such is life.
Thanks, but unfortunately it's not quite as tidy on close inspection! You have beautifull summed up growing your own, I'm laughing. And yet we keep going. The triumph of hope over experience.Delete
Parsnips take a long time to germinate, sew 3 seeds every 2" in a shallow drill, when they are up thin to 1 and then later thin to every 4". I dig a little trench and put sharp sand and compost in before mixing the soil back. It gives them a nice growing medium and stops them forking when they meet an obstacle. I have some left over roasted ones to turn into bubble and squeak with some cabbage for dinner tonight. much tastier than using potato.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the tips Pam, I'll definitely be trying this next year. Bubble and squeak with parsnips sounds delicious, I love bubble and squeak anyway, so I shall try your version.Delete
ha ha rustic parsnips! I'm so glad Tesco worked with nature to grow those parsnips. I don't know what everyone else does though? Your plot is looking very tidy, so pleased your shed wasn't broken into. Can we see the finished room?! Julie xReplyDelete
Yes, you can only get them in Tesco I think! I've got a few things to add to the room, but I'll try and take a few photos when it's all done. Thanks for saying the plot looks tidy, it doesn't look quite as good close-up!Delete
I'd expect rustic parsnips to be strange shapes but maybe that is a step too far for supermarkets.ReplyDelete
So your site provides wheelbarrows - I;m surprised that they don't end up being taken for a walk
We're lucky that they seem to stay put on the whole. The thieves are after more portable (and less obvious) stuff it seems.Delete
I'm glad your little man likes his bedroom. It's always touch and go with kids. Your allotment is soo good (have I mentioned this before?!). When I was a student there was a storage cupboard in the living room of our tudent house. I can remember pretending to go to Narnia through it once. I may have been a tad worse for wear.....
Thanks Leanne. I'm laughing at the image of you trying to access Narnia through the storage cupboard. Happy days I think.Delete
I loved this wander around your allotment and a peek at some of the other things on the site. I am fascinated by how people recycle objects so I like the look of that shed, too. I wonder if your own shed does have a story behind it! And Rustic parsnips - how intriguing. They make my parsnips seem very ordinary - or perhaps that's what I'm growing and I didn't know it.ReplyDelete
Thanks Wendy, I love a little wander round as well. It would be interesting to know what my shed used to be and to see it being built. Maybe your parsnips are indeed rustic, it's impossible to tell.Delete
Glad to hear that your shed wasn't one of the ones which were broken in to. It does look quite quirky with its upside down keyhole. I love looking around allotment sites to see all the unconventional buildings made from recycled materials, people are so clever cobbling things together from bits and pieces.ReplyDelete
I like seeing clever things made from unwanted bits as well, so inspirational.Delete
A most enjoyable post with lots of terrific pictures. I bet that you were relieved to see that your shed was okay.ReplyDelete
I amazed at those raspberries. Your plot is looking good despite you saying that it's not a thing of beauty at the moment. Flighty xx
Thanks Flighty. I was relieved - I don't have anything of any value in the shed, but the damage would be really annoying. All of these nice comments are making me feel better about the plot!Delete
Do you think rustic is a euphemism for unwashed?
Yes! And small and slightly knobbly. You pay extra for all of that you know.Delete
Thanks for another lovely post! I have the suspicion that the combination of organic and rustic offers an excuse for not very straight and uneven in size... which is probably how nature intended anyway.ReplyDelete
Thank you Sandra. You're right about the parsnips, people have to be persuaded to tackle something that's not completely perfect.Delete
Another beautiful post. I'm happy the littlest liked his room. I'm sure you made it very homey for him. And I happy your shed wasn't one of the one's broken into. I loved the story about its lock and handle. I like to think of it as a portal to another world too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Devon. I knew you'd be on board with the portal thing!Delete
You make me smile. I love this post and the vision of you in the market trying to hide your chips and cake. When I am at the market with my hair pulled up and no make up on I run into everyone I know.ReplyDelete
It's always the way. And when I'm being admirable there's no-one around at all.Delete
Crossing things off The List is always a wonderful feeling:) It looks like the day turned into a beauty with the sun hitting those glass bottles in the tree. Beautiful! I also love the way you described the door to the shed. Seems so magical:) Hope you have a lovely weekend!ReplyDelete
Thanks Kari. I'm hoping for more crossing off this week!Delete
This is probably my favourite blog post of 2013 - Kirsty Allsop, a weeping plum, small boy bedrooms, rustic parsnips, and a Tardis with a fully functioning chameleon circuit - sorry, I mean a shed that used to be a portal to an alternative reality. Brilliant :o)ReplyDelete
Oh, thank you Allegra, that's so very nice of you to say. I'm glad you enjoyed it.Delete
What a brilliant post, so many funny witty things! Rustic parsnips, what will they come up with next........ReplyDelete
I'm keeping an eye out now, I'll let you know...Delete
Ha, rustic parsnips, brilliant! Does that just mean "a bit knobbly"? I loved the tour of your allotment, it's so fascinating to me, even when nothing is growing there. I'm glad your shed was ok. How very exciting to spy Kirstie Allsopp filming! I do like Kirstie, she wears great dresses. xReplyDelete
superb blog post - thoroughly enjoyable. xxxReplyDelete