Author Archives: Roland

Movements

Kelvinside Allotments
Variety increases
Have been to annual Scottish Allotment and Garden Society Conference and yesterday to the Allotments above. The latter has such a different, non-territorial feel about it then our allotment site. There are no fences, hedges or other boundaries with neighbouring plots but also only small huts and greenhouses while ours has big huts and greenhouses on many plots, but also fences and often poorly maintained hedges. The openness there is certainly refreshing.
SAGS was very good overall. Do think I will get a wormery and will stop using peat based compost. Did not know it is only widely used since the 50ies and not actually very good as a soil improver. 58% is in the stuff I used and will finish. Need a source for manure and possibly some supplement for future homemade compost.
Saw the wonderful Hailey Beavis again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3DVQw5mWhw
The whole gig on my (Strontoiler) videos.
Made some decisions regarding sustainability. Despite learning how and planning to one day live sustainably, which for me means carbon neutral and self sustaining with regards to food and energy, I will for now not force austerity or unnecessary work on myself. This especially as I increasingly see the debate as a class issue.
The plot is doing great. The good weather since the third week of May is helping things along. To now get fresh vegetables as well as the salad which gets ever more varied in taste and colour is satisfying. Put in some cauliflower, curly kale and a couple of poorly looking sprouts. Not much more to come and the last bed is almost dug.
A super full moon tonight beeing 10% nearer the earth. Sadly still cloudy here.

Memories

After the watering with the hose and the raking in of bagged compost having yet another transgenerational deja vu, feeling like my grandfather by sponsoring a teenager in the garden. She is doing very well so far and promisingly enjoyed her first dig.
Weeded salad,onion and garlic beds and finally planted the leeks.

Changes

Looking back to November last year, a lot has been achieved towards the recovery of the plot.

Have sown (too late- in hope) the last winter vegetables. Once ready to plant out the remaining  bed should be prepared. Very much welcome the rain, nourishing the garden and until my return I’ll wonder if the barrels are full.

Sustainability

When in India so many years ago, I promised myself to care for water- like a New Years resolution soon broken. Spent a day doing running roof and gutter repairs, hopefully leading to 5 full barrels of water after the coming rains.
Felt quite guilty using the hose again on Saturday but considering the state of my shoulders find outside watering from mains acceptable, believing next season to be easier as bed preparation hopefully starts 6 months earlier (autumn not spring).

 

Summer

The warm weather is doing wonders in the Garden. Most vegetables (22+, different varieties not counted) plus salads, tomatoes and some fruit are in place. Only leeks in a prepared bed as well as winter cabbages and Kale to be planted, once the bed around the green barrow above is cleared and dug. Flowers are also coming on in hanging baskets, with others still awaiting space to be found.
At home in the back garden the pouches now up for the third year and other small improvements making the view out back so much more pleasurable and aiding to make the back yard an inviting often used space by all the neighbours.

Objects


My new view from the hut having hung a long neglected (and for ever unfinished) sculpture and a few hanging baskets.
Objects in the garden giving glimpses of the gardener.
Thankfully I have a tollerance of chaos. Something the weeds are able to appreciate a bit to often.

Water

 a blossom in plot68 the bulbs planted last autumn with fading tulips in the back
 some of the frogs enjoying the sunshine
the first (male) courgette flower
The warm weather has arrived and supposed to stay for a wee while. The plot is doing great.
Recently planted out scorzonera, turnips, celeriac, swede and beetroot. The strawberries thicken, awaiting netting, first tomato flowers appearing as do wee yellow courgettes.  Had quite some help from friends, enabling me to plant leaks as well as broccoli tomorrow. 
We can eat salad daily now, however filled up all my barrels (6 large and 2 small) from the mains water supply and watered the plot while at it. Do need to repair the guttering and some roofs to enable a run into these and then into the barrels. Not having to pay for the amount of water one uses here in Scotland certainly discourages collection especially if in possession of a hosepipe which reaches to the mains. The temptation to reconnect the pipes already in place in my plot is also great.
Sustainability is a (personal) challenge coming with a price.

Generations

 
water
 stones
 and
sheep
Do like sheep although they still seem to outnumber people they replaced in the glens (the outrages highland clearances). At the cairn above Loch Nell parents I encouraged to visit with their kids discouraged them to crawl inside, where I used to do the opposite with mine 15 years ago. It was nice to see that the son managed to get in (for a photo :), while we got comfortable on the blanket and set up the music. 
The garden is doing good needing weeding, digging, planting but getting only as much attention as absolutely necessary due to ongoing pain. Do not like the questions this raises.

Awakening

The spring has finally arrived and everything is moving apart from the writer who moved too much and tries to slow down, despite still having to dig the cabbage patch. However, pleased with the progress so far, with the allotment supplying the majority of our salad, some peas flowering and almost being able to see the tomatoes growing. Most potatoes are showing as do the jerusalem artichokes. Some beans, spring cabbages, kohlrabi and flowers are also planted outside. Ever the worrier got a 1,9×1,25×1,9m(hight) plastic greenhouse today, expanding the tomato growing space.
Very pleased to attract gold finches now, surely the most beautiful birds around here. Above pictures are a departure from the phone (nokia808) pics published so far and are a return to nikon albeit with a tamron 18-270mm lense (the goldfinch taken from inside the greenhouse).