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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: 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: 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: 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: 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

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