Growlygracepress's Blog

tomatoes waiting patiently for the sun.
August 25, 2015, 10:55 am
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It’s not been a great summer for the tomatoes. I had to start them again as I killed every thing in a late frost in April.


That’s the names of the dead.

But every thing catches up and the tomatoes will ripen eventually I hope!


I was so rubbish at growing the first set of peas I had to rethink how to do it better. I bought a packet of dried marrowfat peas that is used in making soup and I soaked them overnight and planted them quite thickly and it put up some netting and it works. I’ll be eating them for dinner tonight.


This is lettuces growing between dwarf kale and cabbages.

Things you can do with a pile of decking you found in a skip.
August 25, 2015, 10:14 am
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This is the shed I built.I made it with a pile of decking I found in the back lane and I used a concrete plinth for the floor. At no time did I recognise that it looks like an out door toilet but it does. It does what it’s meant to do it keeps the tools and garden chemicals safe and dry. I loved building the shed it has been the highlight of the year. The bit I miscalculated was the roof. I wanted to have a planted roof but I failed to find a solution that would allow the rain to drain in the pipe and for the planted soil not to wash away.
Next year what I am going to do is fill pots with trailing lobelia and nasturtiums and set them in crates and put them on the roof and they will cascade down and look lovely.

With the bits of wood left over I made the cold frame for growing salad leaves.


One of those days in an English allotment.
August 25, 2015, 9:15 am
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This is the allotment this morning. It’s bursting at the seams with vegetables which I am eating as fast as I can.


I go the allotment first thing in the morning to check that everything is all right and to open the poly tunnel and have a look around might pick salad for my husbands lunch. I go back in the afternoon to do what ever needs doing and I return to collect the vegetables I will be using for dinner.


This is a bed of cauliflowers and broccoli that I planted at the weekend it will grow very slowly until the spring.

I cut back the chives and sorrel a couple of week ago and they are thriving again.


The vegtable beauty contest.
August 21, 2015, 8:53 am
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It’s the allotment vegetable show tomorrow and I am going to put vegetables in as many of categories as I can because it is seen by the old allotment men as a ‘good thing’ and ‘taking part’ and stuff like that. In my real life I am very uneasy with competing and have never entered a book in a show to be judged. Some artists who I have made books for have and that’s different when it comes down to myself I give juried shows a miss.
Because the old men have been doing the allotments for a very long time I absolutely no chance of winning anything so I am going to put in my second best vegetables as I am going to eat the best stuff!
The old men are clever they start with the date of the show and work back every thing they show will have been grown to be at it’s best for this weekend.
I have cauliflowers that looked fantastic last week but are useless for a show but they are going to make great cauliflower cheese. I have a marrow that I continued to let grow because I knew I was going to be disappointed if I cooked and stuffed it so that can go to the beauty show.
I was talking to an old gardener the other day about sprouting broccoli and he said there is no point in growing it and when I asked why he explained that there was no ‘category’ for it. If it’s not on the list for the show he won’t grow it.
I am going to grow what I want to eat and I’ll get better and better at it and really come to terms with succession sewing and I will never grow purple tepee beans again as they get really tough and are horrid.

I made a flower press from bits and pieces from the pound shops.
August 21, 2015, 7:52 am
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I finally got around to making a flower press after procrastinating about it for years and years as I am finally getting around to producing some ‘art’ and it gives me much amusement. I made the press from two decking tiles which I bought at ‘Pound-land’ in between I have layers of cardboard, blotting paper, absorbent cloths (floor cleaning cloths from the pound shop) and its held together with two luggage straps again curtsey of the pound shop.
It’s filled with chard, cabbage and beetroot leaves. I pulled some out the other day and rolled them with some printing ink and printed them.
It’s a start.

this is whats on my bench at the moment
August 6, 2015, 10:44 am
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Two Roberts radios. The lovely red one I found in the street! I had just taken out the batteries of the kitchen radio to remind myself to buy new ones when I was out in the back lane going to collect a bag of dog grub with a wheel barrow (as you do) when I found the red radio which works but now needs a new battery. I leave the radios on all over the house and they run out of juice.

This is some of the books I am reading.


This is the newly published book on The St Cuthbert Gospel. It’s just wildly exciting.


This book by the sainted Charles Dowding has actually fallen apart I think either the hot melt glue is at fault or grain direction is out. I am not going to fix it.


Mark Laird writes great big slabs of books I am regretting now not buying his book on Mrs Delaney now as the price of it has gone through the roof.


There never was a better time to read this book!


Some photo polymer plates and a little oak boarded book.


These are tiny little rivets that should look like nails and I am shockingly bad at using them I am going the have to trash a lot of them to get some decent results.


This is my new watercolours.

tending my garden
August 6, 2015, 10:26 am
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I feel quite sad for people who fail to continuously grow vegetables in their plots. I lifted the shallots, feed the soil, hoed it and planted new stuff and as we get closer to winter I planted beetroot, leeks and kale.
I am still planting seeds and beans. I worry about not having enough cauliflowers, I have too much cabbages and because I didn’t put labels on some seedlings I might have either monster tree cabbages or Brussels sprouts in the wrong bed. I see the need for allotment maps. Here be dwarf broad beans. How could you not love a variety of broad bean called ‘The Sutton’?
One of the things I got right was the random planting of a single row of vegetables in 1.2 meter beds. So you get a couple of dinners worth and in a couple of weeks later another row will be eaten.
You forget sometimes that the purpose is to actually eat the stuff and not to keep it growing.