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Her Outdoors: Who charged the blackberries?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Who charged the blackberries?

I feel a bit sorry for the blackberry. Of course, I don’t mean the less hip cousin of the iPhone, but the very very humble berry of late summer. It is one of the easiest fruits to find in British hedgerows and parkland, yet – perhaps because of this ubiquity – they’re not the most [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 26 July 2014 at 8:34 pm

Her Outdoors: I am a gooseberry fool, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: I am a gooseberry fool

One of the plants I inherited when I took over Plot 35a last year was a gooseberry bush. It was quite straggly and had criss-crossing branches and as a result cropped poorly last summer. The handful of gooseberries it did produce, however, were red, not green, and I later found a faded label revealing it [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 19 July 2014 at 8:16 pm

Her outdoors: for fussy eaters, Her Outdoors

Her outdoors: for fussy eaters

My daughter, Girl Outdoors, turns four later this month. We are deep into birthday party season at the moment – it’s all birthday cakes, jellies, ice cream. I try and try and try to get her to eat more fruit and veg than normal to compensate, but it’s pretty difficult. Actually, she hardly eats any [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 5 July 2014 at 9:00 pm

Her Outdoors: Chateau Merrers, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Chateau Merrers

A silly label, I know. I don’t really have a Chateau with a vineyard, but I do have a grapevine and it is one of my life’s ambitions to make my own wine. When I was first offered an allotment in April last year, there were three choices of plot. Only one was completely overgrown [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 28 June 2014 at 7:46 pm

Her Outdoors: Where there is despair, let there be blueberries, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Where there is despair, let there be blueberries

My Dad, who is also an allotmenteer, said to me the other week: “The thing is about plants, they want to live.” I had been staring downcast at my asparagus beds, in their first season, where nothing was growing. It was the end of May, a time when asparagus – even in the first season [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 21 June 2014 at 7:34 pm

Her Outdoors: salad leaves and flowers, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: salad leaves and flowers

The people who had my plot before me created an intricate design, like an old-fashioned potager, that I have tried to stick to. I’ll admit it would have been easier to get a wheelbarrow down a central path with equal-sized beds either side. But this maze-like design makes it look bigger and is also more [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 4:55 pm

Her Outdoors: Bed-blockers, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Bed-blockers

It is the time of year when I wish I had more space: space on my front steps (which are now crowded with all 28 tomato plants, much to the joy/annoyance of the milkman/postman/Him Indoors), space in the mini-greenhouse and space at Plot 35a. Every week I transplant more seedlings to the allotment, only to [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 4:57 pm

Her Outdoors: Tomato catch-up II, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Tomato catch-up II

Back in February I wrote about getting my tomato plants outside in the middle of April. True to my word, I tentatively put three outside on the front steps last week, and this week I’ve released more into the outdoors. Here on the steps they will stay, because at the allotment they risk being struck [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 23 April 2014 at 5:02 pm

Her Outdoors: April flowers, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: April flowers

We were up in North Yorkshire at the weekend. Every morning, a heavy mist hung over the Howardian Hills, refusing to budge until well after lunch. In the morning, it was chilly enough for coats and fleeces, but when the sun broke through it felt as though there was a 10 degree increase in temperature. [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 2 April 2014 at 4:49 pm

Her Outdoors: planting potatoes, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: planting potatoes

I’ve been on holiday, but the allotment isn’t taking any down time at the moment – despite some very chilly days last week, buds are bursting on the fruit trees, the spring cabbages under nets are swelling and tiny radish seedlings are getting bigger by the day.
The weeds are also flourishing – my plot is [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Monday, 31 March 2014 at 9:31 am

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