A Dream of Spring

At some point over the last couple of months, I must have thought that changing career wasn’t enough to keep me occupied, and decided that I have ample time to also move house. I won’t be going far – in fact, I’ll be moving everything backwards and forwards by foot – but it’s a lot to do in a period that’s already pretty busy. That said, I’m currently in a transitional stage between frantically blogging about how busy I am and actually getting on with things, the latter stage perhaps being more productive. I’m currently on a coffee and doughnut break (and am pretending to be an American policeman).

Of course, what this means in terms of gardening is a slightly sad farewell to the balcony garden as we know it. Thankfully, it no longer looks like this:

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May 2014, when the balcony garden was dominated by delicious potatoes.

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August 2014, the point at which my colleagues gently reminded me that perhaps I should stop buying plants.

I’ve done very little to it over the winter except get rid of the plants that I’ve come to accept are dead, and after having had several stern words with myself, I’ve slightly cut down on the manic purchasing of new plants, although that might be more down to the season and general lack of plants in shops than anything else. A few promising things have appeared:

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(being honeysuckle, dwarf peas and the garlic chives kindly donated by a colleague over Christmas. Garlic chives are probably my favourite food I’ve discovered since I took up gardening).

I’ve factored in quite a bit of time to move what’s left of the balcony garden – a few of the larger containers will be challenging, but manageable. And the good news, of course, is that my new place will also have some kind of outdoor space! I think it’s slightly less than I have here, but on the plus side it gets much more sunlight, and is a little more secure (I’ve always been worried about theft of my beloved vegetables). So watch this space – and it might be a long space, because I’m having to prioritise certain other things in my life over gardening at the moment – but some day, there will be Balcony Garden 2, and it will be excellent.

Alllotment-wise, I had a Bad Allotment Day yesterday. Arrived, dug, didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, kept going for a couple of hours, and then left. It just wasn’t going as planned, which happens sometimes. I’ve decided I’m going to have to stagger my potato-planting plans. I’d originally wanted to set aside a weekend for happy potato planting, but I don’t really have spare weekends right now. I took a bit of a risk yesterday and planted the Shetland Blacks. I know. It’s a bit early, but they’d sprouted the most on my windowsill and are the hardiest ones I have, so should survive frost. And better to take the risk than face the alternative, which is to run out of time to plant everything and be left with unhappy homeless potatoes.

I doubt I will be short on potatoes even if they do fail. In addition to all the ones I mentioned in my last post, I bought some Carolus seed potatoes left over from a potato day I couldn’t attend in Shropshire (my family live fairly nearby and I was thinking of heading down to see them/gather potatoes, but was waylaid by life). Next weekend I’ll plant the Cara and Pink Fir Apple, followed by Ratte and Carolus the next weekend. A good third of my allotment will be potatified, but this is good, because a) I love potatoes and b) I can hopefully live off them if self-employment doesn’t go as planned.

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Sunset over the nearby allotments

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