Sunday, 21 September 2014


Dear Visitor:

In a few weeks time I am going to start digging our garden. It's the end of the year and a beginning in  never ending cycle.  I'll begin blogging properly once I make a start with my spade, but for now, here's a  little bit about me.

I learned to garden from my father.  With five children money was tight and an allotment meant that we could grow our own produce cheaply and sell the surplus.  When my dad wasn't at work, he was usually to be found at the allotment being industrious with hoe and spade, string and net.
My dad, Bill, busy at work.
 As kids we went there with him and helped out at planting and harvesting time. It was near the canal and when we weren't helping out, we'd be off with our fishing nets and jam jars collecting frog spawn, or catching sticklebacks to put in the big old bathtub he kept on the allotment site.  I suspect many of the adventures we had would turn parents' hair white these days! The allotment was our adventure playground!
Me (centre smiling) with my four brothers and sisters, busy making our den at Dad's allotment

My older brother and I used to go door to door selling our surpluse produce among the closely packed houses of the old Meadows area in Nottingham.  Dad would take orders from regular customers and we were his delivery boys for which we were paid a couple of pennies each.

I learned the basics of gardening by watching and helping out.  When I married Elizabeth, again there wasn't much money at the outset, so the first thing we did when we bought our first house was turn the back garden over to growing fruit and vegetables. I put my name down for a local allotment and as soon as one came vacant, I took it on.
Planting seeds at our first allotment. This is me not long after we married.
It was a learning curve, but if ever I was unsure I had my dad to ask for guidance and it was something I not only enjoyed but loved doing. I've always enjoyed flowers and trees, but there is something even more satisfying about growing and eating your own produce. Not only is it more economical, but it tastes a million times better and you know what has gone into it.

potatoes growing earlier this year.  We're eating them now. The blog header
features me, my grand-daughter and Jack digging them up a few weeks ago.
 Several decades later we now have a different house and a garden that's large enough to accommodate what we need to grow. It's a practical garden for a practical purpose. We aim to be as close as possible to self sufficient with our basic fruit and veg.
One of the raised beds late spring with beetroot, onions and ca\rrots. Cabbages and cauliflowers
in the far bed and bordering the photo on the left, the blackberry bush.
This is what this blog will be about. My gardening year and my personal way of doing things.  It's a record for posterity, and readers are welcome to pick up hints and tips as I potter along on my way.

I still get a thrill digging potatoes and finding out what sort of crop is under the roots, and so does my grand-daughter as you can see from the main blog illustration. To engage with the soil and growing things is wonderful therapy.  I hope you'll join me in the weeks and months to come.
potatoes ready for use and winter storage.  These are Duke of York Red (good roasters and mashers
and Desiree which are graeat all round and stay fairly firm when boiled. 


  1. Great Blog Roger We will be following closely


  2. Wonderful post. Enjoyed reading it very much and lovely photos.