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Allotment – June 14th 2015

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This is what happens if you don’t get a chance to go to your allotment for nearly 2 weeks…..

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Weeds invade! They invade EVERYWHERE! and take over EVERYTHING!  There is nothing more soul destroying, it made me so sad.  It was one of those days where i didn’t even know where to start.  Most of my autumn garlic had rotted and died – I presume this is because the last few weeks have been really wet and really warm.  A bit survives so I really hope I’ll get a few bulbs.

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I did manage to get quite a lot cleared.  I had to rip out all my sweet peas because they were being swamped and choked by bind weed, and none of of my parsnip seeds that I had had sown under fleece have germinated so I dug out all the weeds from there too.

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I also managed to plant out my surprise Cucurbitales plants.  I had a horrid greenhouse disaster which left me with the patio covered with identical seedlings no longer with their appropriate plant tags. So, now I have squash, pumpkin, cucumber and snake gourds all muddled up and am playing the waiting game to find out what survived!  IMAG1875[1]I did manage to get all the compost from the old composters relocated though and finally tidied up the piles of leaf litter in to the grey bins.  Wasn’t quite so down in the dumps by the time I left…. hopefully it won’t get too weedy again over then next few days!!!

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Sunday 5th April 2015 – Garden

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I have had a complete bee in my bonnet this afternoon and decided that I would give the the beds in the garden a bit of an overhaul.  This has been quite an accomplishment as the only tools I have at home are a hand trowel and a pair of Poundland secateurs….  As you can imagine the secateurs aren’t particularly great but they cut thin stuff well enough so I was able to successfully massacre my scrawny bay tree.

All the beds are now weed and dog poop free which means that they need plants! YAY! However plants for my garden continue to pretty tricky to choose.  My neighbours have a massive holly tree growing just on their side of the fence and it creates a rain shadow over almost half of the main bed – not to mention the year round cascade of ridiculously spikey leaves.
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The roots make the bed really tricky too, obviously a tree has a lot of roots so hacking through them to get a plant in is quite hard work, and any water that does get to the bed gets quickly whisked away.

My curry plant is doing well though, and they look pretty so I think I’ll get myself a few more of those and maybe some more grasses.  I have some iris in the bed that I was given last summer so I am hoping for some flowers on those this year too.

In the plastic green house department I have some pretty happy seedlings and a couple of really awkward seeds who are still refusing to germinate.  The cold nights aren’t helping with that but hopefully they’ll start to warm up soon.
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Enough of my ramblings for today.

Happy gardening.

A x

Preserving – Rhubarb and Rosemary Jelly

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As there aren’t going to be many opportunities to use it this week I decided to use it to make a recipe out of my new Preserving by the Pint (by Marisa McClellan) book.

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The rhubarb and rosemary jelly looked yummy so I thought I’d give it a go.

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The recipe was really easy. You just had to stew the rhubarb until it was falling apart and then strain off the juice.

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Then it was time to boil the rhubarb and rosemary with the sugar until it was syrupy.

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And then finally I boiled it in the jars and now I have one and a half jars of yummy jelly. Admittedly the recipe had said it would make 3 of these jars but I’m happy with these as they’re clear and yummy!

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The book is definitely worth a look after your after small scale preserving.