Archive for November, 2013

Four weeks and one and a bit days on from becoming an allotmenteer! And a tad nearer to creating a beautiful growing space ๐Ÿ˜‰

The end of the first month - Plot 29 begins to take shape!

The end of the first month – Plot 29 begins to take shape!

I’ve been snowed under with making things for Christmas for weeks now – my nerves are frazzled, the sewing machine sits red hot for most of the day and the folks at the local Post Office have hinted at the fact that they may well start charging me rent as I spend so much time there! Yet still I’ve managed to steal moments now and then to wander up to Plot 29 to de-stress and generally chill out and take a breather.

Not that the job’s been that easy – I’ve dug, weeded, built a few bonfires to burn some of the rubbish, humped tyres here, there and everywhere before eventually giving them their final resting place, created pathways, dry stone walls and given the inside of the shed a bit of a makeover (that deserves a post all by itself, methinks). I’ve also had an unexpected harvest of potatoes and beetroot and managed to unearth some raspberry canes which I’ve replanted in the hope of them growing on to create a fruit filled hedge next year………. Oooooh! And I’ve planted two different types of onions and two lots of garlic; I have DEFINITELY been one busy, busy bee!!!!!!

Raised beds are starting to go in ready for soft fruit, rhubarb etc - The two canes mark the entrance for a polytunnel that's going to be erected next spring to house, amongst other things, chillis and exotic stuff!

Raised beds are starting to go in ready for soft fruit, rhubarb etc – The two canes mark the entrance for a polytunnel that’s going to be erected next spring to house, amongst other things, chillis and exotic stuff!

How apt! In Hebrew, my name means ‘bee’ – Queen Bee, in fact. Apparently, ‘People with this name have a deep inner desire to create and express themselves, often in public speaking, acting, writing or singing. They also yearn to have beauty around them in their home and work environment. Theyย are competent, practical, and often obtain great power and wealth. They tend to be successful in business and commercial affairs, and are able to achieve great material dreams’. I’ll go along with that! The power and wealth elements need a bit of working on…….. and maybe the success in business and commercial affairs – But definitely the rest of it seems to fit the bill, lol.

Bees like flowers too! Wonder if that's why I have such an obsession with all things floral.....?

Bees like flowers too! Wonder if that’s why I have such an obsession with all things floral…..?

Anywhoo! One completely unexpected outcome of all my hard work has been the fact that I’ve dropped at least a dress size through all the physical labour involved – Lugging around stones and house bricks from one end of the plot to the other might have seemed a bit tedious at times – But the effort has been worth it on so many levels!

It's burned up quite a few calories when creating things such as the grand entrance to Plot 29 - Hadn't considered this until my jeans no longer fit as they've become a whole lot looser and baggier over the last few weeks ;)

It’s burned up quite a few calories when creating things such as the grand entrance to Plot 29 – Hadn’t considered this until my jeans no longer fit as they’ve become a whole lot looser and baggier over the last few weeks ๐Ÿ˜‰

There’s obviously still loads to do – Tons more digging and weeding, lots more pathways and a seating area to create, setting up some raised beds for rhubarb, globe artichokes and soft fruit bushes, planting an ‘orchard’ area, manuring the spot designated for a polytunnel that’s currently blocking the access into one of the garden sheds back at Bully Bus HQ, painting the fence and the shed aka Zen Den and putting up some nesting boxes and bug hotels for the local beasties. And speaking of our furred, feathered and invertebrate friends……….

This tiny little field mouse popped out of the undergrowth to sunbathe and watch the general proceedings at Plot 29 - He was a real cutie!

This tiny little field mouse popped out of the undergrowth to sunbathe and watch the general proceedings at Plot 29 – He was a real cutie!

Red Kites fly overhead, a little mouse has paid a visit to check on my progress so far and apparently there’s an allotment fox that does the rounds when the sun comes out. It’s definitely a nice little haven to get away from it all – No matter how busy I may be when I consider the 101 jobs that still need tackling.

It’s been a great first month as an allotmenteer – Roll on December, the Midwinter Solstice and the next set of challenges !!!!!! I’m ready for ya!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well I’ve officially owned an allotment for a week now! And I’d love to say that I’ve been able to go there every day and get a little bit done but the truth is that the weather’s been vile and I’ve been snowed under with making Christmas decorations – So progress has been slow to say the least.

However, I have managed to grab a few moments on the plot over the last few days and started off the general clearing up of the site by making piles of assorted stuff – House bricks, rubble, stones and bits of old greenhouse glass.

Piles of bricks, rubble and stones - OK, so it doesn't look that much different but I feel better for making a start ;)

Piles of bricks, rubble and stones – OK, so it doesn’t look that much different but I feel better for making a start ๐Ÿ˜‰

All the tyres have been moved to the other end of the plot – Originally I thought there were ten but it turns out I’ve got thirteen of them to incorporate into my planting scheme!

Good grief! I really don't know what I'm going to do  with quite so many tyres!!!!!!!

Good grief! I really don’t know what I’m going to do with quite so many tyres!!!!!!!

And I’ve started on the digging and weeding – removing all the bindweed and carefully digging the roots up ready to put on the bonfire once we get a spell of dry weather. I’ve also brought some Yucca plants from the Bully Bus garden to put near the fence as a deterrent for anyone attempting to climb over – Apparently this does happen from time to time so I’m resorting to the use of spiky/thorny/spiny plants as a natural barrier. Once I get round to painting the fence with some wood preservative I’ll be planting a mixture of Hawthorn and Pyracanthra there too – As they grow they’ll provide somewhere for the birds to nest,ย flowers and scent in Spring, berries in the Autumn and hopefully put off would be plot plunderers all the year round!

In a few years time this fence will hopefully be clad in a spiky, thorny mass of Hawthorn and Pyracanthra (Firethorn).

In a few years time this fence will hopefully be clad in a spiky, thorny mass of Hawthorn and Pyracanthra (Firethorn).

Whilst the sun was making a brief appearance I had a little wander round the site to look at other people’s plots for inspiration and was immediately struck with shed envy. There are some marvellous constructions dotted around, cobbled together from old doors, window frames, bits of bus shelter etc along with your regular, run of the mill, factory produced offerings. Must admit I’ve already developed a bit of a soft spot for the quirkier side of the shed scene and am deeply envious of the myriad shelters surrounding me.

Sadly, I am currently shedless – If the heavens open and the rain pours down I’m set for a soaking………… But not for too long as a shed has definitely been pledged to me which I’ll be getting some time during the next few weeks….. and I can’t wait!!!! My very own spot in which to make a pot of tea, shelter from a deluge or just sit and listen to the birds singing and the bees buzzing – How lovely!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - The gorgeous shed that's been pledged to me ;)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – The gorgeous shed that’s been pledged to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Admittedly it looks like I may have my work cut out for me but I relish the challenge of turning this kindly donated structure into a cozy little retreat from the elements – And it provides a perfect opportunity for some crafting projects over the winter months in order to make the interior nice and welcoming as I’ll be needing the odd string of bunting, maybe a cushion or two and most definitely a crocheted blanket to wrap myself up in!

Maybe I should also make something nice as a means of saying thank you to my generous neighbour over the fence, a lovely man called Paul who’s also given me a spare water butt and offered to help sort out the foundations for the shed when it’s ready to be moved into its final resting place. Not forgetting the equally lovely neighbours on the other side of the opposite fence who’ve donated a compost bin and assorted plants to get me started on my way!

On reflection, maybe I’ve had a better first week than I originally thought………. things can only get better from now on and I’ll be planting in no time – Fingers crossed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fence cleared of bindweed and water butt and compost bin ready to be incorporated into the master plan!

Fence cleared of bindweed and water butt and compost bin ready to be incorporated into the master plan!

Let’s just hope the weather stays fair and the sun shines on us all in the forthcoming weeks. We can but hope………….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And the winner is…….

Posted: November 1, 2013 in The Garage

Today I got up extra early to begin the task of entering 269 names into an online name generator in order to pick a winner to receive this set of festive, fabric baubles:

Final VW Themed Xmas Decs

And I’m pleased to announce that the lucky individual that’s bagged this gorgeous VW themed selection is……… Dayv!!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to him! And a great big thanks to all those that entered the draw. Sorry you couldn’t all be winners but there’s more giveaways planned for the future; Next time it could be you ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great Friday everyone!