allotment 08_03_01: seeds

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While I skulked over to Edinburgh for a game of hockey on Saturday, Chhay & Mike turned over most of the remaining beds at the allotment. The greenhouse is still in parts on the ground until we can organise a posse large enough to hold it all in place while we screw it together.

Spring greeted us this morning with a good dousing of snow! So much for all the daffodils and snowdrops and other heralds of longer days and warmer weather. However our first package of seeds dropped on my desk once I got to work offering another glimpse towards a summer full of bounteous harvest (perhaps??).

For this first batch we are planting (as many as possible are organic supposedly):

Onions (sturon)

Broad Beans (Witkiem)

Peas (Ezetha’s Krombek Blauwschok & Douce Provence)

Runner Beans (Scarlet Emperor)

Eggplant/Aubergine (Violetta di Firenza)

Broccolli (spike)

Cabbage (Golden Acre)

Leek (Pandora)

Lettuce (Mixed)

Parsley (Italian Giant)

Capsicum/Sweet Pepper (Oro)

Spinach (Strawberry Organic)

Not sure how the viewers of our flat will take to seedling trays scattered about but never mind. A word of warning – browsing seed catalogues is strangely addictive.

organic gardening catalogue

allotment 08_02_10: the greenhouse part 1

allotment 08_02_10 01

We tackled our less than complete greenhouse as our first significant project. Once we determined that the extisting frame wasn’t suitable for any of the pile of existing windows we have on site we distmantled most of it down to the floor (above). Having clad the back walls with the tin that had unsuccessfully formed the roof previously we then began assembling prefabricated frames from old scaffolding planks to form the front wall. While slightly over engineered they should give us a good substrate for fixing shelves and things once complete – which seems a distant prospect given the after shot below!

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solitude in a forest of coats

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Last weekend we travelled over to Edinburgh for a taste of culture from the capital. In the morning we followed up our Gillespie Kidd & Coia exhibition visit to take in the Basil Spence exhibition at the Dean Gallery. Another of Scotland’s post war modernists, I found his work much more inconsistent than the Glasgow boys. There were a few gems in there though – including the British Embassy in Rome (below).
basil small
In the afternoon we watched a one man performance by Magnetic North of Thoreaux’s Walden. It was an excellent performance in a photography gallery, with only 25 people sitting in a set design by the interesting auld alliance duo of Sans Facon whose website is well worth a peruse.

With peoples coats hung on hooks behind them creating the forrest, Ewan Donald explored Thoreaux’s philosophy with only a pile of sand and a stick. I found the performance engrossing if a little drawn out towards the end. Many of his thoughts are still relevant right now, especially with our allotment large in our current thinking.

We were alerted to the performance by our favourite blogger BLDG:BLOG who was attracted to the poster for the performance (below) – in many ways if it had been held in a car park it would have been an even more poignant.
walden poster small
Following the performance, our friends Alice & Tom cooked up a feast in their flat in Stockbridge. It was our first time in the area which is full of quirky antique shops and fresh produce merchants with the texture reflecting the West End of Glasgow.

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allotment 080127

On our first full day with our new space we attacked the existing mess and got the place looking a little bit tidier. Mike also discovered a love for ‘moving things about and putting them in little piles’. We transformed an old bath into our fire pit to burn a lot of the waste (below).

allotment - fire

Chhay & I returned the following day and attempted to fix the roof with a proper shanty town approach of sheets of tin and rocks. Glasgow was then hit by some of the wildest weather in a decade so when we returned last weekend for some more tidying and a strategy meeting regarding the renovation of the greenhouse, most of our day was spent retrieving said sheets of tin from our neighbours garden! With 4 architects involved in our allotment crew there are some great concepts for the shed, execution however might be a different story.

walking the kelvin: north kelvinside to garscube

kelvin 2

To get to our allotment we can simply head up the Kelvin which runs past our flat via the botanic gardens and through some of the less salubrious areas of Maryhill with tags extorting the value of various ‘young teams’. While it is a bit grey at the moment in summer I think it will be quite beautiful and some of the abandoned infrastructure is stunning in an overgrown, deralict manner.

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allotted an allotment

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Our friends Lyn & Craig had delivered a bounty of produce from their allotment last summer, converting a decrepit plot into a functioning garden. However the purchase of a house in the ‘burbs with its attendant garden had lead them to share their space with us this year. The allotments sit on a hill on the outskirts of Glasgow further up the Kelvin from our place and give a bizzarre shanty town appearance from the road. (above)
When the Allotment manager heard we were sharing however he allocated us a new plot – easily double the size of their old spot, and with another bunch of renovations required (so much for a reduced workload)! Despite losing all the hard work Lyn in particular had undertaken on the old plot we decided to take on the new project, so our summer is to be filled with digging, planting and on a more architectural note rennovating the existing somewhat decrepit shed (below). So expected to be rivetted by tales of compost, seedlings, greenhouse construction & (most importantly) harvest over the coming months!
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