Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!: January 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This morning I spent two hours at the plot. One hour digging....two buckets of white weed roots. Then I spent an hour moving the big bonfire pile to the bank against the fence....and the incinerator, so that I have the next bit I want to dig clear for work.

My neighbour plotter came to dig also and he was most concerned that I wasn't going to light the pile as a bonfire as it was so close to the fence......I assured him I wasn't. But I bet he worried for a good few minutes before saying anything ....! He shouldn't have....I don't get upset easily! I'd rather people said something before a big gaffe rather than wait until afterwards!!!!

Everywhere you looked at the plots this morning there was someone bending over digging. It was sunny and warm and a real delight to be there.

This afternoon I have to be at home for the dogs so I took the opportunity to finish moving the soil into this bed...and then moved all the strawberry plants from all over the garden to here. Then it had a good mulch with my own compost. It just wants some rain now to settle it all in and they'll be away. One of the plants has some strawberries on already. I snapped it but you can't really make them out in the photo so I have binned it.

The red bucket in front of the wormery is full of worm liquid. This is a very good fertiliser when diluted (1 to 10 I think) and I will soon be using it to water the beds in the tunnel and some of these beds...the strawberry one and the asparagus one alongside it.

I also cleaned the bed I took most of the strawberries from, spread some Farmura all over it, and laid clear plastic (with holes in ) all over it to deter the cats from digging it, to warm the soil, and to hopefully encourage weeds to germinate so that I can hoe them off before sowing. The bed will be a new Sq Ft bed this year.

Now I have to walk the dogs! Then I will get time to sit and ease my poor back!
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Photo a day.....31st January.

This is one of my favourite walks in Seaview.It goes from the Yacht Club to the Duver along the backs of the Million Pounds plus houses in Bluett Avenue. They have to maintain this wall walk and I am so glad they do.

It was always the first ritual of the walk along here mob-handed (about 40 of us used to come and stay) and see what had changed in the village in the year since we were last her. Almost nothing changed from year to year....that's why we like it.

I go along here about 3 times a week with the dogs....although not when the tide is right in as you get rather wet....which doesn't suit Lulu!

A sign at each end says "No cycling!" but we often have to stand aside for cyclists....I just assume they can't read....! Usually though they are very well spoken so I suppose they think Seaview is theirs! We tend to attract the posher elements of society as there is a very good yacht club in the village. A lot of stars and politicians also have holiday homes here.

In the winter though it is all ours!!!!!!
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I have just staggered home after a stint at the plot.
Today's efforts were
3 more buckets of white weeds
dug out 4 shrubs in the wrong place
set up and lit a bonfire for the white weed roots.

The bonfire is in an old coal hod that had a rotten bottom. I propped it on bricks to give a draught and it makes a good incinerator. I managed to burn quite a bit of the pile, and naughtily left it burning....but it is safe. There is loads more to do but I have made a start.

There were lots of plotters working away this is a real pleasure to be among such good company. We nattered a bit about this and that, and compared plots and progress. All in all a very good afternoon.

When I got home I found DH had walked the dogs so I have collapsed!

No photos.....a) it was very gloomy and dull, and b) I forgot the camera!, and c) it wouldn't have been very interesting as it is just more of the same!

Tomorrow I have to be here as DH has a hospital appointment on the Mainland. I will do some compost spreading in my Kitchen Garden and some more soil shifting into the new beds.

Photo a day.....30th January.

At Robin Hill Country Park in the middle of the island they often have special themed days. When we visited they had a sort of Steam Fair and I loved this one......!
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Monday, January 29, 2007

Photo a day.....29th January.

When we used to come here on holiday I used to wish we could stay in one of these. There were two of these old railway carriages converted into holiday lets along the front at the Duver (pronounced Duvver) at Seaview.

They were used until about 10 years ago (I think) then allowed to decay....and finally the site was bulldozed when the new sea wall work was done. I really miss them.

When we were moving to the island and had our home up for sale in Kent, one of the prospective purchasers was intrigued to think we were coming to Seaview as he had had his holidays here in one of these railway carriages as a child! Small world!

When I scanned the photo and was messing about with the editing I tried it in sepia and was almost tempted to post it like that....only I thought you might get the idea that it was an old postcard!
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Photo a day.....28th January.

At Havenstreet (lovely name) on the Isle of Wight some enthusiasts have resurrected part of the old Island railway network and the station buildings. This makes for a very good day out when holidaying here.

At one end of the resurrected line it joins the regular service which runs from Ryde Pierhead to you can even get to this attraction using public transport from the mainland. It makes for a very good day trip outing.
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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Photo a day.....27th January.

Here is a picture of the inside of Spit Bank Fort in the Solent. We visited this fort some years ago when on holiday here. Other than making some living quarters for them selves the couple who own it haven't altered it at all. In fact they have restored it to be a Victorian Garrison. It is very interesting and well well worth a visit!

This photo is a scan of a I hope it is up to scratch as photos go!
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At last I got to the plot!!!!!

It was sunny and warm this afternoon so I spent another couple of hours there. This is a view from the road down to the plot is by the flats on the right, under the big tree. You can see it was a lovely day. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there.

I don't understand what has happened to me. I used to loathe weeding when I was a child. We had to earn our pocket money in those days and I hated it if it was a digging week. I LOVE it now.

Today I did the usual three buckets of white weed roots then came home to walk the dogs.

Whilst I was there the weather changed a lot. The second picture shows how dull it got, and how much I dug! I have not quite completed my swathe across the garden....but almost.

When I arrived I found that my neighbour at the plot had left me a large clump of flat leaved parsley which is now nicely ensconced in the herb patch.

The rhubarb crowns are all sprouting now....but there is no show yet on the raspberry canes or the gooseberry.

Tomorrow I hope to go and do the very necessary bonfire of the white weed roots....there is a huge heap now....more than a cubic yard.
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Photo a day....26th January.

This is a picture from 1991 of the kids when we used to come here on holiday. Crab fishing from the rocks at Seaview at high tide was a must at some point each year. Here you can see them inspecting the catch!
Our son and his cousins shown here are all in their twenties time flies!
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Photo a day......25th January.

Here is another view of the gardens shown yesterday. The building at the back is hiding the putting green from view, and alongside it to the right is the kiosk!

(It is much too cold to do any gardening or photography today. We had a frost this morning....and had to scrape the car windscreen for the second time this winter.....dreadful!!!!!)
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Photo a day....24th January.

This is a view through the public gardens in Ventnor. They stretch along the left hand side of the road when you are heading out of Ventnor along the coast road to the Botanic Gardens.
These gardens are a delightful little amenity for the local very big Edwardian all flats or small hotels.
At the other end of the gardens is a small pitch and putt course with a little snack kiosk that does proper tea in cups.
Behind the row of trees at the back of the picture is a small hill then the sea wall walk. The gardens make a good place for fresh air when it is windy by the sea. I love is like going back a century being in this place.
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Photo a day.....23rd January.

This beach used to be a favourite Saturday evening dog walking spot for us....until Lulu decided she didn't like beaches anymore and started going up the slightly more accessible bits of the cliffs at the back where we couldn't follow her!
It is at the top of Sandown Bay. The high point at the back of the photo is Culver Down (where the poppies were....previous photo!)
This beach is a favourite with fossil hunters as after bad weather the red rock at the back of the beach usually has a minor rockfall, revealing more fossils. We often see whole families hunting for them with little hammers.
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Photo a day....22nd January.

Here is the second photo in the Cruise ships sequence (!). This is the Queen Mary. By taking it between the forts as before I was hoping to get an idea of the comparative size.
I'd love to go on her!

It is much too windy to go digging today. I walked the dogs this afternoon and was exhausted by the wind.....that was enough fresh air for one day thanks!!!!!
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Photo for Sheila of the lone windsurfer on the very windy Solent yesterday. I spotted him when I was walking the dogs along the front. Not a good photo as it was after 3.30pm and the light is not good that late at this time of year.
A one point he was way off in the distance, but the photo doesn't do him justice. Here he is just setting off.
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Photo a day......21st January.

Living so near the Solent we often see the Cruise ships departing on Sunday evenings. This is the QE2 passing along the navigable channel between the two forts off Seaview.

(Tomorrow I will post a photo of the Queen Mary from almost the same viewpoint. You will get an idea of their relative sizes from the size of the forts and the distance between!)

Large crowds of holiday makers gather here to watch the famous ones go through.
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Here is the hauling road leading down to the allotments. It sweeps right for a short distance uphill, then continues parallel to this one right to the other end of the allotments.

In the background you can make out the roofs of the holiday bungalows we used to come to every year at Whitsun....mob handed. We used to come with our huge extended family and "take over". One year we had 11 of the bungalows! They are all coming again this year but we will sleep in our own beds! Mind you the holiday camp is a good one.....just bungalows and a shop.....and 200 yards to the beach. What more could you want?

I just did my usual 1 1/2 hour stint at the plot and achieved the three buckets of white weed roots haul which I like to aim for. This picture shows how near I am to completing a complete swathe right across the top of the plot. When we have had the bonfire I'll be able to start the next swathe!

I got my seed potatoes this morning....which I will set to chit later. I have saved lots of egg boxes for this.

I bought.....
10 tubers of Rocket (First Early)
10 tubers of Red Duke of York (First Early)
10 tubers of Nicola (Second Early)
and 3 kg of Desiree (Maincrop). I understand there is no hurry to dig these up when ripe as they can be left until much later in the year. In fact I reckon that we could leave them until we need them here on the IOW as I was forever digging up perfectly edible left-behind Desiree potatoes on my old plot as late as April.
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Photo a day......20th January.
Here is the picture taken a bit further along the same beach as yesterday...Priory Bay.
I don't think it will look like that this morning as we have high winds again and lashing rain.....!
This is my favorite Island beach. In the summer it almost feels like a tropical island beach as there is no civilisation to be seen from here except the deserted fort.
Another bonus for me, as I can't actually sit in the sun for long, is that there is always shade at the back of the beach where I can sit, knit and read! And it's not one of the beaches we can't walk the dogs on between May and September.
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Friday, January 19, 2007

Went to the plot this afternoon to dig!. The spot I'm digging at the moment is the far LH corner of the plot...the bit behind the heap of white weed roots waiting to be burnt. I snapped this bit the other day and even though I did two more bucketsful of white roots it doesn't look much different. So I thought you'd like an update on the progress. You can get an idea of the state of the whole plot from these pictures.
The blue tarpaulin is over my manure heap....held down by the greenhouse frame the other plotters will be taking away soon.
I think I have dug about a tenth of the plot so far. I am trying to do it properly and get out all the roots as I go....but I bet I'm missing lots.
In the lower photo you can see the bricked round area into which I moved the herbs from all over the plot. They seem to have taken and look healthy.
The nearer bit to the camera on the lower photo is where I am going to put the squashes and pumpkin this year...I won't get to that for a while but it doesn't matter.

In the background on this side you can see the fruit bed. The raspberry canes and gooseberry bush are well as the rhubarb crowns I got from eBay and the one I picked up from the site entrance where people leave their surplus. One of the crowns is already sprouting, as s the gleaned one.
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Photo a day.....19th January.

This is the beach closest to home. It is called Priory Bay. We walk down our road to sea level, through an alleyway, then over some rocks and we're there. (As you can see.....Lulu used to enjoy the beach!)

This beach is very private.....there are no buildings there, no cars can get there, no ice cream vans......nothing.

Beyond the rocks it sweeps round in an arc of beautiful clean sand. The beach is so deep we often find youngsters camp at the back of the beach overnight, above the usual tide-line.

The trees at the back of the photo mark the end of this bay and the beginning of the one where the fort is that we walk round in August. The Fort is out of sight to the left of the picture.

The sea is very shallow for quite a distance, so the sea warms up fast when the tide is in and it is sunny. We have seen kids paddling here in April!
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

It was rather windy here today!!!!!!!!! Actually 99mph was recorded at the Needles....but it wasn't that strong here. I watched the polytunnel take a further battering all day, but it has stood up least until dark, I haven't seen it since.

I walked the dogs through the Allotments during the Shed was still there, unmoved. In fact I couldn't see any damage anywhere. I expected a new crop of watering cans on my plot as we are the last before the fence, but people had obviously put them away before the winds came.

Tomorrow looks like it will be I may get to dig a bit more.

Photo a day.....18th January.

Here is a photo of Lulu in the same position as the statue I showed yesterday. The surroundings are less salubrious (we don't have a marble plinth here!) but otherwise I think she looks just as beautiful.
You can see she is unhappy to be on the table by the tail between the legs situation.......! Usually her "flag" is held high as she is a very happy little dog.
I don't know why she didn't want to be photographed up there as she is always having to be told to "Get down!"
Since this picture was taken she has been ill, had steroids, and developed a weight problem. She is almost back to this shape but not quite!
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Photo a day.....17th January
This beautiful statue is also at Osborne House. Queen Victoria must have had the same taste in dogs as we have.....! I think this is a greyhound' rather than a Whippet' but it is a beauty, isn't it?
The model was obviously healthy, you can see his ribs! Apparently you are supposed to be able to see two ribs on a Whippet. On my two you can't see any....and Lulu is actually a little overweight. We have a constant battle with her over food and have to buy very expensive stuff from the vet for her. Freddie has only a small appetite, so although he is very marginally overweight for a Whippet he is no trouble to keep at that size. He is a picky eater and always wants what she has, so won't eat until she has finished hers....then sighs and eats his. I think he has a very complex nature!
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Photo a day.....16th January.
As it is really miserable today, I thought I'd get some photos off my old computer. This is one of them. This is the flower of those palms I showed you the other day. It is about two feet across.....smells divine.....and each tree has 5 or 6 of them on....just like cheerleaders with their pompoms held at arms length! They flower in June.
This one is the pinkish version....most are white.
This one was taken at Osborne House on the terrace.
After the flower is dead there are lots of tiny white berries which the birds seem to find about now.
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Monday, January 15, 2007

I have just spent an hour writing an entry for this post...then Picasa Blogger wouldn't load it! So I have craftily saved it and am now editing it.

This morning was fine and not too windy, and I had to be at home with the dogs, so I decided to concentrate on my kitchen garden.

Firstly I put a good layer of home-made compost on the new asparagus bed...just this side of the tunnel. The plants were raised from seed this year. They are just beginning to show new growth....a bit spindly though. I realise that I won't be able to harvest these for a couple of years but I can wait.
In front of that is the bed I concentrated most on today. The photo shows the bed half full of soil. I am in the process of getting the excess spoil from behind the RH back beds. The old shrub border there comes right to the back of the beds and I can't walk round behind. So I had earmarked this soil for my new bed. This bed will be for the strawberry plants at present all over the garden and in pots. It will be a permanent fruit bed. I finished the work before I gave up and walked the dogs. Tomorrow I hope to get the strawberries moved, settled and mulched with compost.

The right hand section of the garden.....8 deep raised for the crop rotation. What you see at the moment though is....
(back row...left to right)
Bed 1. The Sq Ft bed I planted up in the summer. Still harvesting, chard, beetroot, radish (winter), leeks, fennel.
Bed 2. The Sq Ft bed I planted in the autumn. Still harvesting, carrots, beetroots, mizuna, rocket, lambs lettuce, parsley, turnips.
Bed 3. Shallots in the back part (planted in showing 4 inches of leaves)....front half still empty.
Bed 4. Broad beans at the back......8 inches tall. Garlic at the front...all sprouted, 5"high. This bed doesn't get much sun in winter so I am pleased with the results.
Front row...left to right
Bed 5. Strawberries....about to be moved.
Bed 6. Empty except for some spinach in the corner.
Bed 7. Brassicas and a row of strawberries at this end. The Brussels are being harvested now, the broccoli is a bit shy of flowers but I am still hoping.
Bed 8. Newly made....still empty.

I have a lot of work still to do to the paths between the beds. I am throwing the stones gleaned from the beds whilst weeding. There are a lot of them. However the paths are still weedy. I intend to clear everything off the paths, weeds and stones, lay membrane, and then lay the cleaned stones.

You can also see the damage done to my tunnel gutter system. I have got some new tape and will re-install it when the weather makes a permanent improvement.

I split and potted up the Iceplant rescued from the plot yesterday and made 6 good sized plants from it. I'll lovingly tend these until they are ready to go in my yet to be realised front garden re-model. (We have to have more parking and I want to get rid of the lawn as I find it difficult to use the mower, and DH is reluctant.)

So, although I would have been glad to get to the plot today if it had been possible I am happy with my day's work.

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Photo a day......15th January.

Taken at 8.45am this morning....see what a lovely day we've got today!

This is a view from the other end of our road.....looking towards Portsmouth. You can see the Millennium Tower in the RH section of the might need to enlarge.

Sorry it's a bit can see Lulu pulling me at the bottom of the picture.

Is this a first? The Council workmen, at 8.45 in the morning on the 15th January 2007, were cutting the grass, and strimming the edges in the little gardens you can see at the bottom of the hill.

At the other side of the road on the other side of the little Green is the gate to our's not far!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Photo a day.....January 14th.

One of the things I didn't know about the Isle of Wight before we came was that Mimosa grows here very well as it is so mild. This one is especially early. We saw it last week on one of the very windy days (hence the blur) on our afternoon walk...the dogs and I.

I love mimosa and am heartened to think that I can have one at last (when I re-do the front garden). I fell in love with them when I was a teenager staying in Brittany one Easter in the 60's. I thought they were impossible in the UK...I did try to get one in no avail.

There is a huge one in a garden backing onto ours, but that one is not quite out yet. Really they shouldn't be out until February, but they are as confused as the rest of nature.

Three hours spent at the plot this afternoon produced this amount of progress. It is slow work because there are so many white roots. I dug out 3 buckets usual limit for a digging stint.
The sun was shining, the wind had dropped, and there were about 5 other plotters there too, which made it seem less lonely.

In the green carrier bag is an "Iceplant" which I dug up. I've brought it home. I'll split it up tomorrow, and pot the bits individually. I had always wanted Iceplant in my yet to be re-modelled front garden.....these'll do nicely!

On the hauling way, by the seat, someone had left some rhubarb crowns. People leave stuff they don't want by that seat...and if anyone needs it they just take it. I really wanted three crowns when I bought the two from I took one of them and dug it in my plot alongside the others. It is very healthy and sprouting I think I'll be able to pull a bit from that one this year. The others were much smaller and will take a while to get going.

The chap with the plot behind mine (behind the corrugated iron on the right of the photo) put in an appearance to check on his beans. We got acquainted! And then the lady with the next plot to me showed up for an hour to spread her muck and sort out her compost heap. That is her plot behind the tap. She is very pleasant and we had quite a natter whilst working.

My wind-up radio is a real success. I had Gardener's Question Time on before I had all in all a very pleasant afternoon.

Home for an evening's sewing...nothing on the "box" and a Caribbean cruise holiday looming for which I am making some linen shirts.
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