Archive for May, 2008

First we heard that Monty is taking a few weeks out from presenting BBC2’s ‘Gardeners World’ and then we hear that Monty has had a minor stroke and is stepping down from his role as lead presenter.

A statement from Monty Don himself shows the attitude which as placed him number 1 on our list of ‘celebrity gardeners’. Monty Don is a fighter. We admire how he has taken the decision to concentrate on his recovery. He will surely succeed.

“I am proud to have led GW for the past five years and have enjoyed every minute of sharing my passion with the programme’s viewers.

I intend to take some gardening leave for the rest of the summer to make a full recovery and so that I am ready to tackle new projects.”

Of course we wish him well and if you want to send him your best wishes you can email them to gwletters@bbc.co.uk. The Gardeners world site says that they will ensure that your messages are passed on to Monty.

So Gardeners World will be headed by another – i cant imagine who can fill Monty’s shoes. I find myself wandering out the room or flicking the remote when any of the other presenters come on.

Gardeners World has a tradition of having down to earth gardeners presenters – Jeff and Percy looked like they could handle a spade and did so regularly. I hope the new lead presenter is as passionate and as practically minded as the others.

We’ll check our diaries, we might have a slot on a Friday night at 8!

Best of luck to Monty


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How nice it it to hear we have been missed. Thank you.

Its been a busy time of late for the both of us, and unfortunately something had to be put to one side. That something sadly being our blog. But rest assured the allotment is still going strong.  We both started the RHS advanced course back in September, we took the first exam in February (soil science and plant propagation)…. It was hard going and seemed to take over our lives for a while. Glad to say we both passed. 3 more to go.  We are now working towards the next , but luckily this one is not so intense as its not theory based, its all on your practical ability.  We have a practical exam in September, so not as much of our time taken up now, so more time to get back to blogging.  Also we both have new jobs, gardening in historic gardens part time, which is a wonderful job and a great opportunity.  We have also set up on our own for 2/3 days a week. It took a while to come up with a name for our venture but after much deliberation we agreed on Gardening Angels.  That too is going well.

Its been hard cramming  everything in over the last few months,  the blog has gone down hill somewhat. The allotment is hanging on in there tho. I manage to squeeze in a couple of hours after work in the week and as much as possible on the weekend.  If you remember at first both keener and I practically lived at the allotment, now we are lucky to fit in a few hours, and boy don’t we know it when we talk to the other plot holders…”ooohh hello we haven’t seen you for a while, everything alright?” or “we don’t see you guys up here much now” I think they consider us part timers now, which we may be, but its all about how much we can get done in the short space of time we have for the allotment. We manage to cram in so much when we are both up there now, we work well as a team. We both spent 7 hours up there saturday tackling the weeds, mowing, re- edging paths, clearing out the shed and greenhouse and generally sprucing the place up a bit.  What a difference a day makes!  

Sunday was spent potting on seedlings, planting more potatoes ( Better late than never)

In our greenhouse we have, marigolds, calendula, chrysanthemum, purple kale, sprouts, broccoli, yellow tomatoes, leeks, spring onions, courgettes, melon, salsify, aubergine and more which right just now I cant remember.

I feel back on track now, and the allotment looks great again.

Top end of plot.

As you can see we have a lot of bare soil, we are lucky to have a free supply of manure, I only wish we had a constant supply of free time to pick the stuff up. We are preparing the soil by adding as much as we can. As we are adding it, its being gratefully and quickly eaten up by our crap soil.  We added tonnes of manure last year, but you wouldn’t think it when you see how bad the soil is when digging.  

Lower half of plot

Our shed…still not finished, still not rain/wind proof but provides us with a nice place to sit and shelter with a magnificent view over our plot with an amazing back drop of Bristol.  We still have out winding paths but they all need covering with wood chippings again. We were given a fruit cage which was great. Its a little old and needed some bodging. It isn’t big enough to cover all or the fruit so we have covered what we can and what is in most need of protection.

In the fruit cage we have cranberry, black currant, white currant, raspberries, yellow raspberries, strawberries and gooseberry.                                                                                                                            Outside the fruit cage we have an apple bush and blueberries and more strawberries.

Half of our herb bed

This is half of our herb bed which contains Rosemary, Lavender, Variegated Sage, Purple Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Apple Mint, Orange Mint, spearmint, Coriander, Fever few and my favorite Lawn Chamomile which we are training into a small lawn to surround a seating area in the middle of the bed ( raised ugly drain in picture)

Young allotmenteer checking out potatoes for blight.  So far no sign.

We may of gone a little over board with the Broad beans this year….hey anyone got any good Broad bean receipes?

I took these photos yesterday on my phone so they are not the best, nor do they dont show the whole plot and what we have growing. More will be added.  Its raining real bad here today so cant work or go to the allotment.  Im forced to stay in and paint my sons bedroom which is gonna be difficult with a head filled with allotment to do lists.

Thank you for your kind words



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