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Her Outdoors: Do you have Britain’s best allotment?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Do you have Britain’s best allotment?

Why do people have allotments? Is it the joy of growing food? The escape from the daily grind? The urge to create something beautiful out of nature? Or – and in my experience this is usually in most cases – all three? And what about the competitive streak of many plot-holders? My competitive urges come [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 28 February 2015 at 8:50 pm

Her Outdoors: Are brassicas just a waste of space?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Are brassicas just a waste of space?

My Dad, a veteran of 30 years allotmenteering and who tends three plots in Liverpool, came to 35a the other day for a critical midwinter assessment. We stared at the patch where purple sprouting broccoli is supposed to be cropping in the next few weeks, and where there are a couple of very small cauliflower [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 4 February 2015 at 9:10 pm

Her Outdoors: Time to sow sweet peas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Time to sow sweet peas

For the first time in several years, I didn’t sow my sweet peas in November. Normally I would sow them indoors or outside in a cold frame to give them the winter to bulk up. In autumn 2012, in fact, I sowed them in pots outside in late October and they grew enough to be [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 15 January 2015 at 10:23 pm

Her Outdoors: 12th Night, 3 ways with a Christmas tree, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: 12th Night, 3 ways with a Christmas tree

I normally cannot wait to take down our Christmas tree after the big day itself. Along with all the clutter of wrapping paper, leftover food and empty wine bottles I just want to get rid of it once its purpose is served. By early January after two or three weeks in a centrally heated sitting [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 6 January 2015 at 9:45 am

Her Outdoors at Christmas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors at Christmas

Christmas is a time for many traditions and one of ours, on Christmas Eve, is to hurry around our local shops picking up all the food we’ve ordered, standing in line outside different stores. We are not the only ones. It is as if a madness has descended and we believe that, from the close [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 27 December 2014 at 8:00 pm

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

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