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Her Outdoors: Purple Patch, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Purple Patch

The Government may insist winter doesn’t start until December 21st (which is why they can have an Autumn Statement this month) but winter has definitely arrived everywhere else outside Westminster. On Sunday night we had our coldest night in London all year – in fact last winter was so mild I think it might have [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 9 December 2014 at 4:54 pm

Her Outdoors: Boundary commission, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Boundary commission

Round our neck of the woods, everyone seems to be having a basement fix-up or a loft conversion. The reason I know this is because on every block on every street there is a skip containing a lot of junk of little use to anyone – apart from, if you’re renovating your beds at your [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 3 December 2014 at 10:21 pm

Her Outdoors: In the frame, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: In the frame

It would be tempting, as autumn slips into winter, to do a tidy up of the plot, a bit of digging of beds, and then leave it until spring. In London, the last two weeks have changed Plot 35a significantly, again. In the first week of November, when I spent a week doing my autumn [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 29 November 2014 at 10:08 pm

Her Outdoors: How To Train Your Damson, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: How To Train Your Damson

Despite the dark and the wet, November is still a month of possibilities. Yeah, so it’s not April with all its blossom, or August with its abundance, but this month is the time to pause and reflect, stepping back and planning what to grow next year. Most exciting of all, it is the start of [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 16 November 2014 at 7:02 pm

Her Outdoors: Sowing broad beans, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Sowing broad beans

I’ve just had a week’s holiday, and spent most of it getting my plot whipped into shape for the winter. At this time of year, there’s a lot of clearing up to do – raking up leaves to make leaf mould, tearing out the last of the spent runner and climbing bean plants to put [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 12 November 2014 at 3:07 pm

Her Outdoors: A line drawn in the soil, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: A line drawn in the soil

It is easy to lose yourself in your own plot. With your nose to the soil, trowel in hand, sowing a line of broad beans, or staring at your compost heap wondering if it needs more green or brown waste, it can be a very insular experience.
But allotments are also about community: sharing tips about [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 2 November 2014 at 11:22 am

Her Outdoors: Herb Outdoors special 1. Lemon Verbena, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Herb Outdoors special 1. Lemon Verbena

I have an ongoing dilemma about where to keep my herbs growing. Ok, this isn’t the biggest of dilemmas, but as gardening is always about trying to overcome nature, it is always good to have a debate with yourself. The best place for herbs, really, is close to your back door (or front door, in [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 26 October 2014 at 9:38 am

Her Outdoors: this beet’s everything, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: this beet’s everything

The evenings are getting darker, and the seed catalogues are coming through my door at least once a week now. I have to stop myself from over-ordering seeds that I already have. My seeds are organised into drawers, in a slightly obsessive Monica from Friends style, first into plant groups – like roots, brassicas, leaves [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 18 October 2014 at 8:33 pm

Her Outdoors: Time to plant garlic, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Time to plant garlic

The difference between the start of the month, when the days were bright and sunny and a languid Indian Summer warmth hung over Plot 35a, and now, with wind, rain, thunder, lightning, has drastically changed my allotment. Suddenly, as if overnight, foliage has begun to shrink away. Leaves falling off trees and the grapevine has [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 14 October 2014 at 11:32 am

Her Outdoors: Harvest, interrupted, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Harvest, interrupted

A little delay in publishing this, as it’s been party conference season. So, while my allotment is full of harvest, I’ve been travelling to Manchester, Birmingham and, this coming week, Glasgow to sit inside hotels and conference halls with politicians instead of picking grapes and the last of the runner beans and raking leaves. I [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 4 October 2014 at 7:43 pm

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