Friday 10 June 2011

Digging For Victory & Knitting Inspiration!

A few months ago, well February to be precise my best friend Diane and I finally got our hands on an allotment! We had been on the waiting list for just over a year and are very lucky to have one considering the demand for them in London at the moment! We both love growing things, and we both love eating things so it seemed the perfect solution to grow things to eat!

I have for the past few years been growing a few veggies on my balcony, mainly salad, radish, tomatoes and potatoes essentially anything that doesn't mind being in a pot and is easy to look after. So I was over the moon when we got the plot, finally a chance to do some proper gardening! I haven't mentioned it before, as I was a little worried that it may be an epic failure, as you will see from the pics below it needed (and still needs) a lot of work...oh and a massive skip!

The last occupier was a real hoarder, she seems to have kept most of her household junk in her shed. We found big plastic boxes full of fitness magazines, video tapes, gardening and history books all of which had been totally ruined by the water that had been pouring in from the hole in the roof.
The ramshackle old shed made up of old doors! You can see the hole which the foxes got in through by the recycling box!
Perhaps the worst thing we found was a dead fox and cub, we think they were sheltering in the shed over winter and either ate some rat poison that was stored in the shed or could not find enough food to survive the really cold winter we had. Either way, they gave us both a huge fright, as the shed has no window it is very dark in there so we didn't see them until we had almost touched them!
This is the Green House, there is certainly a frame can't vouch for more than one pain of glass!
So the Progress so far...
February 2011 - Where to start?!?
 All manner of junk seems to have been dumped on our plot!!

March 2011 - Progress is under way! The first row of potatoes and shallots are in. Also some Gooseberry bushes and a Blackcurrant bush, that I have had in pots on my balcony for a few years, and some new Poundland Blackcurrant & Redcurrant bushes (under the bottles).

April 2011- More digging done and some more of the junk has been removed. Another two rows of potatoes have been planted and the shallots are just starting to peek through.

May/June 2011- More digging has been done but the ground is getting a bit tough to dig as it been very so dry. I never thought I would wish for it to rain! Planted Peas, Onions, Runner Beans, strawberry's, sweet peas, beetroot and broad beans.

Page 02/03
Page 01/04
The aim for next year, when we have more of the land dug over and more of the rubbish removed, is to follow the Dig for Victory 'Grow for Winter as well as Summer' Leaflet (click photos for links to pdf files) for all year round crops. I am hoping as we are sharing the produce this will mean that although we won't be totally self-sufficient we will be at least optimising the land and getting the most veg possible!

All of this digging and planting lark has given me the inspiration to do a bit of knitting, so I've started on my very own land girl style jumper. I am using a free pattern for a women's V-neck Jumper found on the V & A website, and knitting it up in bottle green wool (although I'm sure at 16 I vowed never to wear bottle green again after having it as my school uniform for 5 years!) it is just the thing to create perfect Land Girl look and with fingers crossed should be finished in time for chilly old autumn!

Wendy x


  1. Amazing progress on the allotment. So nice to see it go from a patch of rubbish to full of vegetables. I love a bit of Land Girl activity. How satisfying; growing veg and knitting. :)

  2. Lucky you on getting an allotment. I have a veggie patch in my garden and each year it keeps getting bigger! Naughty really as I'm not meant to have one at all as we are in a rented house but I figured I can always flatten it and strew grass seed when we move out.

  3. Looks like you've made great progress with the allotment.
    I also had a hideous bottle green uniform at school, but am sure a lovely hand knitted jumper will convert you to the colour!

  4. wow looks like you've been busy! I did an allotment course last year and loved it and until I moved last summer used to grow a few vegi's in my garden. Although the thought of looking after a whole allotment is a little intimidating for me... Good luck!

  5. WOW, I'm so impressed by the before & after pics! You are one talented Land Girl!!

  6. I am so jealous of your allotment I cannot even see straight!! You have done SO much hard work!! Well done :)

  7. That's so cool! It looked like such a sh*thole and you guys made it into a gorgeous, useful space! Well done, you. Wow, you're so inspiring. A little victory patch of your own... :)

    (We're growing european "spring and summer" crops in our winter garden right now... though your garden looks much much better tended than ours!)

  8. As someone who cannot keep a cactus alive (I killed off three when I was younger!) I am so jealous of everyone who has green fingers!
    You've really done an amazing job with the allotment, can't believe that someone had let it get into that state.

    Good luck with your veggies, and the jumper will look fabulous I'm sure of it!

  9. That looks like hard work but wow, what a difference. I hope the Land Girl knitting turns out as successfully, I wore bottle green at school too and am just coming around to wearing it again. xxx

  10. wow, that amazing, congratulations!!!
    to you and your friend

  11. You've done an amazing job - what a transformation! My folks have a 'lotty' and 3/4 of it was brambles at first - it's now providing the vast majority of their veg. They have a BBQ up there too and loads of friends through it - I'm still of the 'few pots out the back' school of gardening though.

  12. So jealous of your allotment!! What an amazing job you've done, and great idea to share one with a friend.

    I love the thought of having one but I'm not enough of a forward thinker. If I put my name down for one, I'd probably move house before I got anywhere near getting one...

  13. What a fantastic job you've done!!! I really admire your determination - you'd hardly believe it was the same place, would you? I bet you can't wait to start eating your own produce.

    K xx

  14. What a great place - a shed made from doors!! And even a greenhouse (frame). Do you think about using thick transparent plastic foil to cover it up provisionally? Oh, how I envy you...

  15. Knitting Pony - Thank you! Its great to see both the knitting & plants growing together, though the weeds are growing faster than both!

    Miss Magpie- I'm sure I would do exactly as you have as you say its easy to cover over once you move!

    Kestrel & Vintage Vixen - Thank you both so much!! I'm really hoping I can shake the image of the spotty 12 year old with braces when I wear it:)

    Vintage Virgin - Thank you I love the fact that you did a course, sounds fab, I must say it is much harder work than I ever thought but still fun

    BaronessVonVintage &
    LandGirl1980 - Thank you soo much ladies:)

    Steph - Thank you! I am afraid its not looking as neat now, as the weeds seem to be winning at the moment:)

    Lucy - Thank you soo much! I must confess my parents were shocked when I started to show an interest in growing stuff as I killed every plant I ever was entrusted with as a kid I'm not much better now just blame the slugs instead:)

    Miss Rosette Brune - Thank you again for your kind words x

    Lakota- Wow that sounds great hope to be able to say the same about mine soon,also love the fact they have a BBQ up there that a fab idea!!

    Miss Marie - Thank you! sharing definitely takes some of the pressure off, I must confess to have forgotten about putting our names down, so it was a bit of a surprise when it came through, I'm hoping to move soon myself only hope I can still keep it growing living further away!

    Keshling -Thank you! I have had my first spud and broad bean (hated these as a kid, how things change) they were delicious!!!

    Christina - Thank you, the shed is almost a work of art! Brilliant Idea to cover it in plastic foil I will have to do bit of research in to that!!