Ladies and gentlegardeners, I ended up with a more exciting weekend than usual. My typical weekend is possibly similar to that of an 80 year old man, as it usually involves allotment on Saturday and a trip to the beach on Sunday if the weather’s good and I’m feeling up to it, or staying in and watching war films if not. On Saturday morning, I went along to the allotment, tried to photograph some Japanese wineberries, and noticed my hand was shaking, more than it usually does due to caffeine.
It took several attempts to get a photo that wasn’t just a blur. After I cut my allotmenteering short due to tiredness, and after a bit of a collapse while doing my supermarket shopping, I trotted over to my local medical professionals, who referred me to a hospital, in which I stayed overnight. I just have a thyroid that’s gone a bit mad, and after a bit of a scary night (I’ve never been a hospital patient before) I was released back into the wild with a lot of medication. It explains why I’ve been tired for quite a while, and I’m glad it’s a) diagnosed and b) very treatable. Might also explain me having a little nap on the allotment last week rather than doing any work.
Anyway, during my ‘recuperation’ (of which not much is needed really), I’ve been planning next year’s allotment. I’ve been meaning to get round to this for ages, but after I was a bit overenthusiastic with picking up bargain seeds at Wilkos, I thought I’d better work out what to do with them. As I’ve harped on about a lot before, I visit a local vegetable garden, the Roots and Shoots garden here in Alnwick, quite a bit to get inspiration. The other week they were selling grapes from the garden, which was a bit of a novelty – I doubt many people have eaten Northumbrian grapes before.
I really admired their sweet peas growing on obelisks. And one potential issue with my allotment is that I used roughly one-third of it to grow potatoes, which I don’t regret (heaven forbid), but it’s meant I’ve got a lot of space next year on which I can’t grow potatoes. So I thought I’d put these problems together and come up with something:
The plan involves EIGHT obelisks (the circles front left, if you can’t understand my artistic skills), which sounds like a lot, but I have the space. They might not be obelisks so much as ‘big bamboo sticks tied together at the top’, as proper garden obelisks seem a bit expensive, although I’m keeping an eye out to see if anyone’s giving any away. Four will be for sweet peas, and others for peas and beans. I already had three packets of sweet peas, two mixed and one blue, and bought some from a specialist website, Mattewman’s Sweet Peas (after some deliberation, I THINK I went for Mollie Rilstone). The peas will be more of the Lord Leicester from last year, provided I get very tall obelisks. I’m still deciding what kind of climbing beans to get.
I do have a couple of backup plans in case anything fails. I’ve never attempted sweet potatoes before and I don’t know if they’ll like Northumberland. And growing proper parsnips and carrots has always eluded me. I’m quite looking forward to the tomatoes, though. They’re the one thing I wish I’d grown this year too, since I eat a fair old amount of them.
So it’s going to be a busy winter, I hope, especially as I’ve got to make the paths a bit more path-like. In the meantime, I’m trying to work out how to make blackberry-infused gin.