New Season | Introduction

It’s been a freakishly mild, wet winter – in fact the warmest since records began in 1659! This explains the confused flowers and trees that don’t know if its winter or Spring. We’ve had daffodils flowering together with snowdrops and crocuses as early as February, and even the cherry blossom is in bloom despite the late cold snap.

I’m excited for a new growing season, which will be my second year at St. Ann’s Allotments in Nottingham, UK. So decided to start this blog to keep track of my progress, log observations, share useful tips and the mistakes I’ve learnt from, as a beginner gardener. I’m also a photographer, so expect to see lots of photograph of people I’ve met, the seedlings sprouting, and gallery posts of my plot – 152a where I’ll be growing all kinds of fruits, vegetables, flowers and shrubs.

I feel very lucky to have my allotment at the renowned site at St. Ann’s because it’s thought to be the biggest and oldest in all of Europe. It’s an incredibly beautiful space, with around 500 plots set over 75 acres of land, over a hill that’s right in the city centre – not that you would believe it. The Grade II listed site holds a lot of history and hidden treasures that I look forward to sharing.

How are things on my allotment now? Well it’s not very pretty as I’ve got a lots of odd-jobs to be done and wooden debris to remove. What’s kept me busy is all the digging! Not just turning over the soil, but preparing new areas from ground that was not preciously used. I’m going to have a lot more growing space than I did last year – since it was my first year I was busy clearing all the debris and weeds. But I’m feeling pretty organised and keen to get growing!

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Plot 152a | 27th February 2016.

 

4 thoughts on “New Season | Introduction

  1. Wow! Your allotment site sounds fantastic, the view must be lovely. Good luck with the site clearing, I too spent my first real growing season battling with weeds, brambles (lots and lots of brambles) and bits of debris but the satisfaction when you’ve got your plot just the way you imagined it is amazing! Looking forward to seeing how it comes along 😊

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    1. Hello J, thanks for stopping by. Wow, what an exciting time! I remember going on my allotment tour three years ago and pinning all my hopes on the plot I am very lucky to have. I was actually planning to write a blog post for useful tips when deciding on an allotment as there is a lot to consider. First of all you might like to think about the location. Think about all the heavy lifting and moving of gardening stuff you’ll be carting to and from your plot. Is it close to a car park? Does it have easy access (i.e. no steep hills etc)? You might want to be close to a water tap too if your allotment site has them.

      When it comes to the plot take a look at there perimeter. Does it have big trees or hedges? They could restrict light to your plot, and take away a lot of water from the ground. They will also required regular pruning to prevent them from getting overgrown. My plot has a lot of trees and although the don’t restrict much light, I do have to cut back a lot of ivy every year and either burn it or take to a recycling centre. On the plus side, it does mean I have a lot of privacy.

      If you get the chance, take a look at the position of the sun and see which direction your plot faces. This will help you get an idea of how the light and shadows fall on your plot and will dictate where and what you can plant in certain areas. Also, have a look to see what your plot already has to offer. Fruit trees, a shed or a pond maybe?

      Another biggy is how overgrown/big the plot is. If you find the plots on offer are in a good condition then you’re lucky! I took on my plot knowing it would be a huge challenge to makeover by myself but I was prepared to take it on. It is sadly all too common for new allotment holders to give up on their plots because they don’t have the time or energy to overhall a big, overgrown plot. I did mine bit-by-bit and didn’t let it defeat me!

      With all that said, you might just get a gut feeling and know that ‘THIS IS THE ONE’ so don’t take my advice too seriously. Enjoy the tour, take in as much as you can and don’t feel rushed to make a decision if you aren’t completely happy.

      Sorry for the note-form essay! Good luck and let me know how you get on!
      I look forward to hearing from you, Katrina.

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      1. Katrina thank you for taking the time to reply. I am going to see the allotments tonight (or as many as I can manage before night sets it) and I will take your list with me. Hopefully one of the few will be right for me, if not then I suppose it’s just another learning curve.
        ~ J

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