Spring might be here in theory but it's been bloody cold and windy at the allotment! Lack of rain means the ground is rock hard but not a sign of any rain yet. Arctic weather has been forecast so I battled against the elements to cover the tender flowers on my blueberries and strawberries.
When my allotment neighbour, Dave, dons his helmet hat it's a sign that it really is cold and I'm not just being a wimp!
With the weather far too cold for me to venture far from a radiator I've been doing some more wood engravings.
This is the final print which is based on a view that caught my eye while out for a drive around the South Downs.
It's so much easier to create tones on a sketch than on a wood block.. but I'm working on it. I've got a way to go but I liked parts of this print and it's getting easier to work on a darkened wood block too.
September arrives all too quickly along with spiders everywhere (groan) and unwanted "gifts". (Doodled on my ipad using Tayasui Sketches).
So it’s been a strange allotment year - weather wise.
Wet, dry, windy, cold, wet, windy, sunny, wet, windy… just a day!
I took my carefully nurtured young plants to the allotment and they all died.
I sowed more seed at home again before planting them out at the allotment again.
I replanted more beans in a different spot on the allotment - they also died.. so I grew even more and these finally took off, a bit late but they're delicious..
The strawberries looked fantastic but then the rain got to them and they rotted.
Those that didn’t were eaten by slugs and snails before the wood lice got them.
The birds loved the red currants and the raspberries weren’t as good as last year - but on the plus side I won’t have to make more jam this year! Yeah!
Blight got most of the tomatoes and the ones that escaped are still green so it looks like there will be some green tomato chutney.
I managed to finally grow some aubergines and a cucumber (just the one and slightly nibbled but who cares?). The crystal apple cucumbers (my favourites) and the mini cucumbers haven't grown at all this year but I do have some globe artichokes which is a result.
So all in all a funny old growing year so far but there's still lots to do and of course I can start to plan for next year!
I was a bit surprised to see a young gull toddling around in the flat this afternoon! It took a while to gently persuade it to go back out into the garden. The agitated parents squawked loudly and dive bombed me while the youngster furiously flapped it's wings until it finally made it over the wall. Phew!
I put up with the foxes digging up the garden until one bit chunks out of my cat as she tried desperately to get in through the catflap. There are holes in the lawn, flower beds and the crushed plants everywhere. The war is ongoing... I think I'm losing it though.
The rain and wind has kept me away from the allotment for the past few days so I’ve been doodling instead. I’m sure the bugs, slugs and snails are having a feast on my carefully nurtured seedlings as the sea of blue slug pellets will have all washed away by now. But hey ho it looks like I'll have a bumper crop of strawberries and watching the robin chicks nesting in my shed while an anxious parent swoops in and out is a delight.
At the moment I seem to have more wildlife on the plot than green stuff but it’s early days…
My mum loved crockery and in particular anything blue and white. She had masses of it everywhere. So when we sadly had to clear her flat last year it was a dilemma as to what to do with it all. We each took a few pieces we liked and passed on lots to various charity shops but there was so much left that we just couldn’t bear to thrown away as junk.
My sister Liz had a great idea based on something she’d seen and so she asked her friend Sarah if she’d make up 4 mosaic pieces, one for each of us. I picked up my piece at the weekend and I love it. It’s a lovely reminder of Joan and she would definitely have wanted one for herself!
Sarah has written an interesting piece about how she made the pieces on her blog and you can read it here.
Sarah also make great jewellery.
I'm a designer, teacher and printmaker. I'm also a gardener and allotment holder, so my blog might be a mix of stuff.