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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

Her Outdoors: Hello Autumn, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Hello Autumn

After the stunning kitchen garden at my Aunty Liz and Uncle Tom’s Baltic-side bolthole in Finland last week, back to a bump in Blighty and the overgrown paths at Plot 35a. Actually, I only left the plot for a week, not two as I usually do for a summer holiday, and popped up there before [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 2 September 2014 at 11:01 pm

Her Outdoors: Finland edition, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Finland edition

While the British allotment-holder struts and frets from March to October, in Finland it is, as you can imagine, entirely different. Snow covers the ground from late autumn to mid-spring, and nothing can be sown into the soil, still frozen in April, until well into May. The season is short, but intense – as I [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 8:30 pm

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

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