Her Outdoors: You say tomato, I say how many?

In early September it feels like we are still clinging onto summer. By late September, after the autumnal equinox, it feels like a headlong rush towards winter. It doesn’t matter if there’s an Indian Summer (and I thought one was promised for this weekend), if the sun beats down at lunchtime and makes you hang [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 26 September 2015 at 6:50 pm

Her Outdoors: Harvest time, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Harvest time

September brings a sense of freedom to the plot. I went down to Plot 35a after yet another downpour, when the grass was still glistening wet but the sun had been out long enough to dry the rain off the grapes, which are starting to turn from green to purple. Growth is starting to slow, [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 5 September 2015 at 9:00 pm

Her Outdoors: The best allotment in Britain, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: The best allotment in Britain

Back in February I was delighted to be asked to be one of the judges in the first year of Britain’s Best Allotment competition, sponsored by Hippo. Anyone who has an allotment will know how much work it takes to keep a plot ticking over with veg and fruit throughout the season, as well as [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 8:53 am

Her Outdoors: Currant thinking, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Currant thinking

The redcurrants and blackcurrants at Plot 35a have finished for this year, but the whitecurrants, which are in their first year, glimmer through the leaves of their bush like pearls and are soon ready for picking.
We’ve spent the last couple of weekends up in North Yorkshire, at Him Indoors’ family’s house, where the season is [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 6:34 pm

Her Outdoors: August is here, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: August is here

Last weekend I put down my Japanese razor hoe and went to judge other people’s plots in the finals of Britain’s Best Allotment. The results will be revealed during National Allotment Week next week, so I can’t say too much here, apart from thanking the lovely people who invited me and my fellow judges onto [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 1 August 2015 at 7:59 pm

Her Outdoors: L is for leek, C is for cucumber, G is for garlic, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: L is for leek, C is for cucumber, G is for garlic

In my last post I wrote about picking the last of the peas and broad beans from the central bed and removing the spent plants. Normally I would cut the plants down to the ground and leave the root systems in place because legumes, particularly the broad beans, develop nodules on the roots of mature [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 23 July 2015 at 7:39 pm

Her Outdoors: A squash and some peas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: A squash and some peas

In gardening, some things are perfectly named – runner beans can run away up the bean poles, say, and there are a whole host of diseases and disorders which have does-what-it-says-on-the-tin names: scab, brown rot and bitter pit alone in apples… But the squash, the autumnal cousin of the courgette, the fancier sister of the [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 8 July 2015 at 10:30 pm

Her Outdoors: Jane and the Giant Peach, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Jane and the Giant Peach

I have been watering my plot for nearly an hour, first thing in the morning or late in the evening, just before it gets too dark to see my way back to the allotment gate, to prevent this heat destroying my months of hard work. My vegetables and fruit bushes are teeming with crops now, [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 7:29 am

Her Outdoors: Jeanne de Vegette, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Jeanne de Vegette

I have recently rediscovered one of my favourite films from childhood, Jean de Florette. It is one of the greatest-ever in the French language. Directed by Claude Berri, from the original Marcel Pagnol film and novel, about Provencal farmers and a tussle over land and water. A peasant farmer who wants to grow carnations has [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 14 June 2015 at 10:35 pm

Her Outdoors: Rocket Boost, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Rocket Boost

I found myself down at Plot 35a this week at 10pm, with just enough light left to see what I was watering. My plot neighbour was also there, catching up on some weeding. We chatted about how the June evenings give us the gift of allotment time, which is just as well as we are [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 11 June 2015 at 4:13 pm

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