Sunday, 1 January 2012

I would start how I mean to go on, but.....

At least I'm starting to get more active.  Howard picked up the hire van on Wednesday, and we've got out and about every day since.  Nothing spectacular, just a little light shopping, but it's more than I've been able to manage for the past 2 months.  I get tired very quickly, so I'm viewing my return to work on Tuesday with a great deal of trepidation.  Not sure how I'll cope with the journey, and especially the crowds.

Still, much of the shopping has been garden related.  I now have a full complement of my chosen seed potato varieties, and will be rigging up the trays to start chitting them in due course.  This is the earliest I have ever seen seed potatoes in the shops.  I'm sure that most years they don't go on sale until late January, but I'm not complaining.

We're going with the usual varieties for the bulk crop at the allotment - Red Duke of York for the First Early, Yukon Gold for Second Early, Desiree for early Maincrop "big" potatoes and Pink Fir Apple for late Maincrop "fancy salad" potato.  We'll also be growing a few more in containers in the back garden in smaller quantities - Home Guard (first early), and Charlotte and Shetland Black (second early).  If we make it to any of the upcoming Potato Day events, we may well get a few more exotic varieties to try in small amounts.

We went to Ayletts Nursery Garden Centre near St. Albans for most of the potatoes as they sell the seed potatoes loose, with varying size bags at a set price for you to fill with as many or as few as you need.  Every year I fill the bags with a nice round number of tubers, only to find Howard has sneaked a few more in before we get to the checkout.  Anything over an amount that can be divided by 5 (the ideal number per row in the allotment beds) gets planted in a container, so nothing is wasted.

Also managed to get some more shallot sets.  I often find I have more success with shallots than with onions.  Maybe because the manner of growing lends itself better to being rolled on than a traditional onion.

Also managed to get some useful items of "kit" - a new minimum/maximum thermometer, as I intend to be more diligent in tracking the weather this year, some rather fetching lime green knee pads, in case I fall over and land on my back, and one of those shepherd's crook shaped metal stakes, for hanging a lantern outside the shed.

Did some more girly indulgent shopping too in the sales.  Before I broke my ankle, I treated myself to a couple of lovely metal pens from Paperchase.  It's this year's little step towards sustainability.  I decided it would be better to use one or two distinct pens I loved than just go through a mass of anonymous plastic pens.  OK, the refills are still made of plastic, but far less than a normal pen.  Makes writing stuff more of a "me time" thing too.  I got Howard one of their pens too, with an owl motif, which he now uses when a pencil isn't permanent enough.

I also now have a veritable muted rainbow of pairs of skinny legged trousers, as these are the style that fits under the plastic cast contraption (when they start looking shabby, they'll be perfect for gardening as there's no spare fabric to trip over)  more long socks for the same reason, and a couple more polo necked jumpers in case we have a cold snap.  Also found something close to a perfect bag for me - tan coloured, reasonably large with several useful pockets.  It also has decent size handles to go over my shoulder whilst wear a coat, AND a strap to go across the body, the most practical way for me to carry a bag right now.  OK - I have loads of bags.  But I have had some of those for several years and they do get a fair amount of use without being wigged completely.  I have another favourite bag, but it's impractical whilst I need both hands to balance.  And a copper coloured nail enamel.  Sitting around doing not much has meant my nails have stayed presentable.

We'll see how long that last once I'm up on my feet properly and gardening again.


Anonymous said...

I cannot find an email address to send you a personal message, but am totally humbled by reading your blog again (been too long absent) and discovering your injury. I just want to thank you for your Dobies comment - I won't say more here but hope the coming Spring will help your healing and you will soon be gardening again. (And I read of music in your comment which to me is significant.)

Blue Shed Thinking said...

Thank you so much for your interest in me, a mere tinkering amateur.

Maybe I should write a little more about music in my blog. I have rather obscure "exotic" tastes, which I occasionally share on my facebook page.

Anna said...

I hope that the journey back to work was not traumatic - not the best of days for travelling :( Glad to hear though that you are becoming more mobile and that you have indulged in some no doubt welcome retail therapy. Still thinking about which spuds to grow this year - must decide soon! Hope that the new year treats you and your crops kindly.

John Gray said...

thank you for your lovely message on my blog
have a lovely 2012 why dont you x