Hello there! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? (Yes, sorry, it’s one of those posts…)
For the benefit of the occasional passing reader, I thought I’d just confirm what probably must be rather obvious already: Notes From the Allotment is currently dormant. I’m still growing my own fruit and veg, still working in horticulture at Ordsall Hall, still volunteering at RHS Bridgewater and Holly Mount Community Orchard. I just haven’t posted anything on here since June 2020 and I’m unlikely to be posting anything for the foreseeable future (although never say never).
There are several reasons why :
- I’ve been putting a lot of time, energy and writing effort into my other horticulturally-themed blog, Orchard Notes. Fruit growing has been my main area of interest for years now, and there’s a lot to say about the art and science of growing apples, pears, plums, cherries, medlars, quinces, damsons, bullaces, figs and all the other traditional and modern orchard fruits.
Plus, there’s an incredibly rich vein of orchard history, culture and tradition to be mined for content that I, for one, find absolutely fascinating. So, I’m following my heart and focusing on the specialist area that I love the best. If orchards are your thing, please do drop by, see what I’m up to, and say hello.
- There are a lot of excellent GYO and allotment bloggers out there producing amazing written and video content on a far more regular basis that I ever did or am ever likely to.
I won’t list my favourites, because by doing so I’ll inevitably and unfairly miss out dozens of excellent sources of information, inspiration and enthusiasm. Google around, check out my GYO & Allotment Twitter list, see what you can find, there’s plenty of good stuff to be reading and watching.
- I’ve been very busy at home. Our small front garden has undergone a complete re-vamp, with new retaining walls, completely dug over and improved soil (from around 95% sand to much better 50/50 sand-and-topsoil situation) and new planting.
Our back garden has been extensively edited as well, to remove a few shrubs and structural plants that were either too thuggish and large for the space – Lonicera henryi ‘Bronze Beauty’ (an un-scented, plain dark green leaved honesysuckle), Cephalaria gigantea (giant scabious) – and add in a few more – Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine), Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ (yellow & red dogwood) – that will hopefully be a lot better behaved and extend the seasonal interest.
- I’ve been very busy at the plot. As well as the annual clearing up and preparation for this year’s growing season, I’ve been doing a lot of infrastructure work; levelling a section at the back of the plot so I can throw down some recycled paving slabs I’ve brought from home to make a working / pot growing area, re-locating and re-constructing our old and rotted-away compost collection bay in a better location, reorganising the soft fruit section (again!) and a few other jobs besides.
So, there you have it. As I say, I might post the occasional item here if the urge takes me, and am still responding to comments, emails and keeping half an eye on Twitter. But if you need me, look for me over in the orchard…
I’ll leave you with a link to my own favourite post from the past few years: My Top Ten Bits of (not the usual) Allotment Kit, which I posted just over five years ago.
I still stand by and regularly use all ten of those bits of kit, including the same Stanley vacuum flask that had back in 2016 (see, I told you they’re good and robust) and the same pair of work/cargo trousers, come to think of it. These days I usually swap the Japanese Razor Hoe for a Hori-Hori knife though. We live and learn, eh?