Pottering, pootling and photographing the allotment

On a day when the sun shone and all was bright and twinkly. Cold but working with an autumnal sun on my back, enough to take the chill away, I finally got round to doing something I’ve wanted to do for AGES.  You see I’ve meant to show you some bigger pictures of the plot, less focus on the detail (pun intended) and as I’m clearing it for winter I think the photos will give you a better picture (pun not intended) of the lay of the land.

And so today’s post was born.

Let’s start from the beginning and as I wend my way up the path to my allotment this is the first sight.  Looking from the front but towards the left, the beds are nearly cleared for winter, you have to imagine what they will look like in Spring, planted up with beans and squash and all manner of veggies.

The view looking from the “front” of the plot down towards the shed and the oak tree. You can see the broken trellis on the right, which is meant to be supporting the oh-so-slow-to-grow grapevine. This winter will see a replacement with chestnut stakes a much more natural material and one that will withstand salty-windy sea air.

You can see Lavender plants, cut back for winter and behind them Chard and Spinach – great winter greens.

Now looking to our right from the front of the plot towards the greenhouse, you can just see the titchyBrussel Sprouts, netted for winter against marauding pigeons.

And in case you are wondering if anything is growing in the greenhouse, there are salads and lettuce for winter. I realise it’s a distinctly odd view, but I didn’t want to stand on and squish my salads !

Walking down the main path, which for some weird reason needs mowing, I thought the grass was meant to have stopped growing! I’m now standing under the oak tree at the back of the plot with the shed to my left. Just out of shot is a large fruit bed (raspberries, currants and strawberries) and in view is one of the leek beds and a soon to be large garlic bed.

What you have to remember is that a couple of months ago you really wouldn’t be able to see much for foliage of beans and peas, courgettes and beetroot.

Still standing at the back and looking up the main path (and east towards the early morning sun) you can see the veggie plot is split into two large beds, which have temporary paths in summer. To my right and out of view is a winter greens bed of Kales, cabbages and broccoli.

Standing in the middle of the path in the centre of the plot we have a view across my plot to the next plot down, at present a bamboo – officially named the Bloody Bamboo and a ridiculous evergreen, also known as the Ridiculous Evergreen blocking the view a bit.

But never mind that, this view is about to change, and soon……

So there you go we have Promenade Plantings Allotment, warts and all, reasonably tidy for winter, but still plenty of work to do like cutting back the brambles that edge the back of the plot, remember they are my freebies, grown as a hedge/fence and I get to pick the benefits. and make things like Creme De Mures.

These views all lead me onto an idea I’ve had, or rather an idea I’m borrowing and hopefully putting to good use. You see my friend Miss Celi of the Farmy fame and Miss Marie of lil’angel fame both take a daily view of their farm and garden respectively. Now there is no way I could manage to take a daily view, life is too full for that, but I was thinking about a weekly view, so we can see the changes on the plot as the seasons progress. I think it would be a bit of fun.

As to the exact view, I’m undecided whether it should be the view down the main path or the view from the chairs (soon to be a patio … sweetie dahlings) across the plot. I think I may need to play around a bit, I’ll definitely need to use the wide angled lens so we get a broader picture.

If you are new or newish to my blog and are wondering what on earth an allotment is or what I mean when I talk about my plot, or just wondering how big is the veggie garden then follow these links (A wander aroun an English Allotment, The Shed and A Sociable Gardener)  – they all have soeme lovely photos taken on the allotments) they will fill in some gaps and you never know you might enjoy the wander around

In the meantime here is a little look back over the last few months, and you’ll see what I mean about the veggies obscuring my view and just how bare it all looks now in Autumn.

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    • Hi Glenda, I’m pleased you have a better picture, as I realise the word allotment doesn’t always translate easily, that’s the beauty of photos !

    • Yes the sun is much lower in the sky, and with the clocks havong gone back it’s getting cooler and darker….. brrrr! But as long as the sun is shining I’m happy Mandy 🙂

  • what a gorgeous page, I love to see the Big Picture and welcome to ‘The View Club’!!, excellent, what fun and what a decision!! c

  • Pootling is such a good word. Your allotments are certainly more generous than our community gardens.

    • It’s a favourite word of mine, my frined Gilly used to use it, and I adopted it Alice. From what I know the community gardens are generally much smaller, but a patch of land is a patch of land no matter what the size 🙂

  • Hi Claire, What a great post! Lovely to see all of the photos from the summer, too. I really like the idea of weekly photo of the garden (just might adopt that idea!). Dana

    • Hi Dana, lovely to see you around 🙂 And the more the merrier, Celia has given it a name “The View Club” 🙂 I’ll look forward to seeing what view you choose – I know you have a few lovely ones to chose from 🙂

  • It was a treat to get a special tour of your allotment Claire; it looks wonderfully prolific (even at this quiet time of the year) and I love the layout. Your greenhouse is a great size and has nice bones (I’m envious as we just have a plastic covered hoop house, not nearly so pleasing to the eye). You grow an amazing array of wonderful crops in a beautiful space.

    My husband’s parents had an allotment in Eastbourne in the sixties and would cycle there from home and work. Do you have far to go to your patch?

    • I’d love to have a hoop house, aswell as the greenhouse, I could literally extend my seasons so much….
      And what a great story about your grandparents, cycling to their allotment, I’m sure they grew some great food,
      Mine is about a 15 minute walk from the house – I consider it a warm up as it’s uphill going there and downhill going back. Which is definitely the right way round as I come back tired from working or am carrying bags !
      Hope you have a super week 🙂

    • Ahhhh the grass, yes I edge it to keep it under control, and I sort of create a mini trench down the sides in autumn/winter to clear it. I heard some wise words from a fellow allotmenteer to “keep on top of the weeds” or they’ll get on top of you! Wise words 🙂

  • Oh I adore the tour of the allotment in the fall! I very much enjoyed the view!

  • What a great post! This was quite an eye-opener, Claire. You’ve got quite a large bit of land to play in — and you certainly do make good use of it. Loved the slideshow, too. It will all be back in but a few months, though getting from point A to B may be a little trying.

    • Trying is one way of describing it John, there are always jobs to do, the trick is to not let them “get” to you! Plenty of tea and coffee is called for, that and a hot bath afterwards to soak those muscles 🙂

  • Great idea Claire! It would be interesting, at the end of the year, to make an animation from your weekly pics. I had to look up pootling 🙂 good word!

    • I think looking back over the year with a slideshow would be fun, mind you it will becom very obvious that I don’t mow the grass very often 🙂

  • Although I still have a problem envisioning the layout, that’s my shortcoming not yours in describing it as I know you’ve done a great job. I need simple diagrams. 🙂 In any case it sounds like quite the endeavour and a LOT of work is involved though I know you love it. Best of luck in the new year with the plans you’re making.

    • Hi Lynda, we all have plants that we long to grow don’t we – my list is VERY long 🙂 But living in such a temperate climate does have its benefits !

  • Thanks for the tour! You really do have quite a lot still growing for this time of year.

    I try to remember to take a photo of my plot from the same angle each day that I go over to the garden. I love to look through them once in a while and see the progress. Now you’ve got me thinking, it would be fun to add a page to my blog with a slideshow of them.

    • The photos would be great to see, I know I’d love to see the progress ! And it looks like there are a few us playing now 🙂
      I can’t quite decide on which angle to take it from, I’ll play around a bit I think.

  • Hi, Claire,
    I had to go to the web to get “pootling” translated – to travel in relaxed manner, a Brit term for sure! I will start using it and telling my friends what it means if they furrow their brows. Your spinach and chard make our mouths water. Thanks for the delicious photos!

    • Hi Shenandoah and thanks. It’s afunny word isn’ it, I picked up from a friend at its sort of stuck 🙂 I think it suit sthi stime of year, when th epace isn’t quite as hectic as it is in early spring /summer .

  • That’s look like a huge allotment, to be able to have a green house and a shed, how large is the plot? You have a good variety of lettuce growing in greenhouse.

    • Hi Norma, my plot is measured in Rods. Here’s the calculation (hope it helps!)
      A Rod is 5.5 yards, squared it is 30.25 sq yards.
      10 Rods is 302.5 sq yards or 2,722.5 sq feet or 253 sq metres.
      I have 8 Rods, so my plot is 242 sq yards or 222 sq metres.
      I love fresh homegrown salads, sadly I lost quite a few to slugs, but I’m happy to have what is left!

    • I think allotments are generally much bigger than community garden plots, but at the end of the day it’s somewhere to grow fruit and flowers, veggies and salads. and sometimes just to sit 🙂

  • Now: when I get around to it soonest – comparison time, ’cause you surely have everything beautifully mapped out: this lady will look, make some plans and learn – thank you!!

    • My pleasure and thank you ! At some point over winter I get a piece of paper and a pencil and try and map out what I want to grow, it useually gets ignored come planting time as I change my “plans” when I’m actually gardening 🙂 The thought of planning is nice though 🙂

  • Such a pleasure. Clair, viewing your plot of land from a step back, so to speak. It looks like a wonderful place to be… and I look forward to seeing your patio and chairs, knowing that this place is a second home to you.

    • Perfect words Shimon “second home” . we have a few paving slabs that were dug up from our garden and I plan to take them to the allotment, the trouble is that I will need to do a lot of levelling, but once it is done it wil be done, and I’ll be able to sip my tea in comfort and style !

    • As much as I love my allotment, and have learnt heaps from having it and met some wonderful people I’d love to have a bigger garden at home !

  • I just love to see the “evolution” of the allotment images….the dots of flowers among the vegetables is so pretty. And your greenhouse is wonderful! A fresh salad would be so tasty–:) I juste “ate up” your post this morning–sorry for the pun! I have not seen the sun in 5 days and I’m getting a bit crazy!

    • Puns are welcome Stacy 🙂 I like the word evolution, to see it evolving throughout the seasons will be fun, how about a weekly shot from your gorgeous plot?
      and yuck to not seeing the sun for 5 days, we had a spate of gey cloud and a lot of rain a week or so ago, and like you it started to really drive me nuts! Stuck indoors and no sunshine to lighten my day was tough!

  • Claire …. what a massive garden you have – admire you, but I don’t envy you. Amazing work you put in or lay down here. Love your working story and taking us through all the hard labor. Sure we will be enjoying next years result and fruits from it too.

  • A greenhouse!! What a wonderful surprise that was!
    Your allotment posts have all been wonderful, but this one really showed the full scope of things. You use your space so well. 🙂
    I have a question about winter climate…do you get as much snow as we got in Massachusetts? New England winters can bring 4-8inches of snow several times a month (which accumulates to feet fairly quickly in years the storms start early) I’m wondering how often you get up to the greenhouse and if the trudge involves slogging thru the white stuff! 😉
    Great post!

    • The greenhouse is a treat, it extends my seasons so I can easily grow salads in winter, and use it in Spring to start seedlings off oh and hopefully grow decent tomatoes in summer!

      OK the weather here is pretty mild, think temperate, we do get snow, but not often, in fact it’s more of a rarity than the norm. And if it does snow it doesn’t usually last very long, nor is it very deep – only occiasionally. But I do have some great shots from a few years ago when it snowed a lot and there were no trains, airports were closed (we had a flight to catch!!) and we went to the plot, and yomped through the snow – it was magic !!
      From what you say and the little I know, the winter weather in the likes of Massachusetts is much colder. You also have to remember I live on the south coast so our winters are much milder than say parts of Scotland!
      When I look at the hardiness zones where I am we are zone 8/9 – quite mild I think……. well not in comparison to Florida 🙂 So if I want snow I go to the alps 🙂

      And now having said how mild it normally is I’m just waiting to be proved worng 😉

  • Where do I start? The slideshow, wonderful! Some really beautiful photos in there!! I’ve often thought the garden has to be one of the most richly photogenic places in all creation…and you and your camera do so well capturing its ever-changing beauty. Love the idea of a weekly view of your garden. And I loved most of all seeing the bigger picture, where it is that Claire breathes deep, draws her inspiration and gets her boots muddy. Thanks for this beautiful look into your life!

    • As Shimon said, it’s my second home, and now you have added the words “breathing deep and inspiration” it all adds up! Thank you for your kind and generous words Spree, hopefully I’ll be getting my boots muddy tomorrow!!

  • The idea of once a week is a good idea, but I know I would never keep up with the routine, even in my tiny garden. It was really nice to see the seasonal views. It gives a greater picture of all that you have there.

    • I think it will prove a bit of a challenge to me, but if I say it on here, then I will make myself do it. But having said that there will be some weeks missing as we’ll be away. But I think ultimately the ability to look back from a certain point, to see the changes will prove pleasurable.

  • Interesting to see the views of your allotment and compare it with my garden (in terms of greenery). Looks like you’ve got some good stuff growing. The idea of a weekly shot sounds a good one.

  • I really enjoyed walking around the allotment, Claire! It is beautiful in every stage. I loved seeing the salad greens growing in the greenhouse. I didn’t recall the greenhouse, and wondered how you had so much to offer year-round. It’s great! And I really love the idea of the daily shot! I have enjoyed Celi’s very much, and think that wherever you place yourself it will be fun! Good call on that. Have a great weekend, Claire. oxo

    • Thank you Debra, I’ve had the greenhouse for 2 years now, and am slowly getting into greenhouse growing, I still don’t make great use of it, but am learning. The problem I have is that I don’t visit every day so whatever I grow in there has to be fairly resiliant to neglect !!

  • What a great idea this was. I loved following along while you showed us the big picture. amazing what change a few days and even more, a few weeks, can bring! Love your idea of a weekly view.

    • Thank you Inger, it was a great moment when we put it up! I’m still very much learning about gardening and greenhouses, but I do get some extras like salads because of it 🙂

  • Enjoyed your post and photos of your allotment! Greenhouses are fabulous 🙂 my brother is thinking of building one.

    • Hi Tj, the greenhouse really has extended my gardening, I’m still very much on a ‘learning curve’ but the one thing I do know is I would love to have another !!

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