Last of the vodka tayberries

So, this of it. The last of the tayberry: made into vodka. I’ve just bottled it up and had a taste. Possibly this is the best vodka recipe so far. Better than the lemon version, by far.

Tayberry and honey vodka

It goes like this:

  • 1 litre of standard Russian vodka
  • 200 g tayberries
  • 200 g caster sugar

Cold infuse for about two weeks then strain & filter. Put the vodka back into the jar again:

  • 2 lemon peels
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 table spoons honey

Leave for 5 months this time before bottling it all up.

That’s it.

Tayberry and lemon gin

Saturday 21 August 2021 and it’s gin day at home. The gin has been steeping since Saturday 25 July 2021.

Here’s the Tayberry and lemon gin. It’s taken a few weeks to sit in the back of the garage, but now it’s really ready to go.

The recipe is,

– 2100 ml of dry gin
– 400 g sugar
– 400 g tayberries
– 2 lemon peels
– juice 1/2 a lemon
– 2 cloves

Put all of that into a jar, mix it up until all of the sugar is dissolved and then put it into a dark, cool place for about a month.

Strain it throughout muslin cloth and then bottle it up and label it.

That’s it, almost all of the tayberries from this year are done; the last of the tayberries from the freezer are now used up. Just one more to go: the vodka.

Tayberry vodka experiment

I spent Sunday bottling the vodka tayberry mixture I put in a couple weeks ago. I split it into two parts. First part I added vanilla. Second part I added lemon peel and cloves. This was because the tayberry mixture on its own tasted a little bit too much like cough medicine.

The vanilla made quite a bit of difference to the cough medicine taste, and because I used vanilla essence, this vodka was ready almost immediately. I strained it through cloth and bottled it straight away.

Tayberry lemon and cloves

So the recipe is like this. 1 L of vodka, 200 g of tayberries, 200 g of caster sugar. Leave that for two weeks and strain it through a cloth. Then there are two options.

  • First option would be to add vanilla extract. The ratio would be to add 4 teaspoons of vanilla to the recipe. This is ready immediately.
  • The second option is to add the juice of one lemon, the lemon peel of two lemons, and 4 cloves. This will need another few weeks before it is finished. That’s gone back into the garage to steep for a while longer.
Tayberry and vanilla vodka

I decided the lemon peel and clove recipe would be a good idea for the main tayberry gin idea this year. So I put together another 2 litres of tayberry and lemon & clove and stored that into the garage — ready in a few weeks.

Tayberry jelly (jam)

This is the next step for the tayberries. It’s just past 9pm on Sunday night: 11th July 2021. I did a quick visit to the allotment this afternoon, before the rain set-in for the remainder of the day. The job was to cut-down the height of the tayberry trellis. I took the hand-held cut-saw and chopped off the top. That took all of 2 minutes.

But the main job for today is to start the tayberry jam.

Tayberries and sugar

The recipe is this: 1.25 litres of tayberries (compacted but not squashed); 800 g of sugar. Mix the berries and sugar in a pan. Allow to macerate for about 1 hour or until the tayberries start to break down and the berries and juices start to flow. Then place the pan over high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Use a small slice of butter (unsalted) to stop the scum from forming on the surface of the boiling mixture.

After 5 minutes of boiling test the mixture for setting and then strain through a sieve and muslin cloth to clean out the large and small pieces of tayberry. I strained directly into a sanitised 1 litre jar.

More and more tayberries

It’s 6:25 on Friday, the 9th of July 2021. I can see some rain clouds in the distance over the tops of the houses in the village. Just a couple, apart from that it’s been dry today. It will rain tomorrow however! Very heavy in the morning according to the forecast.

That means a trip to the allotment must be done because I’m a fair weather Gardner and I don’t go out in the rain.

Today’s trip has possibly been the fastest and most productive harvest trip ever! The tayberry plants were jammed with overripe tayberries. They just fell off in my hands and it was lucky I brought the larger plastic tub with me … I easily filled it!

Evie is not amused

Now. What to do with all of these fruits? They are beautifully ripe and so would go well in another crumble. But also I’m thinking, possibly, gin? Maybe jam? Possibly …

I’ll have to look up what is possible instead of just superb tayberry and apple crumble. As nice as it is, I don’t want to over do it.

On the way out I heard some meowing coming from near the lettuce patch. It was Elvis. She was lying down in between my lettuce and was looking for something to eat. Sorry Elvis, as I put down the tub of tayberries you thought you were getting something to eat! I haven’t brought anything sorry. I grabbed a few lettuce leaves for the guinea pigs back at home and then made a quick exit.

That’s it for today! But I think I can count that as my best visit so far.

Tayberry and apple crumble again

The apples, cored and cut up into small cubes. A bowl of tayberries. Three spoonfuls of sugar. Crumble mix topping.

I followed the same recipe as last time.

Tayberry and apple crumble

Line the dish with tayberries. Then chop the apples and use a handful of tayberries with three tablespoons of sugar to stew it down until soft. Pour the stewed mixture over the berries in the dish, cover with crumble mix and cook on 180degC for 30 minutes.

The idea of stewing the apples and tayberries is to create enough liquid to stop the crumble from going dry and gooey while in the oven. Lining the bottom of the dish is to ensure those berries don’t go too soft.

Older post:🍇-crumble-😙/

Two trips to the allotment today

I had a day off work today. It had been planned since last week, since the forecast for the rain had finished. Thursday promised to be a better day out of these days for this week. It didn’t disappoint! It was a hot sunny day.

The main aim was to clear up the allotment which had started to grow quite a lot of weeds. They had started to take over the beetroot patches, and at the far end of the plot where I had started to grow lavender plants the weeds and started to sprout up there also. It all needed to be thinned out.

I had a hat on and my sunglasses. Flask of tea. A plastic bag for the weeds. That was it I was ready to start. It took about two hours to clear both sides of the plot of bind weed and large Dandelion plants that started to sprouts up everywhere.

Once it was finished it was a lot clearer.

Tayberries, tub, carrots

The tayberry plant is amazing. There are hundreds growing and ripening. As I walk down by the side of the plot all I could see were red dots everywhere. But I’d forgotten to bring my plastic tub and so I couldn’t really collect any. That was the reason for the second visit in the afternoon.

The second visit I had helpers. We picked a tub full of tayberries and pulled out handful of carrots on that quick visit.

I’ve been a very successful day today.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Lettuce are doing well. Tayberries are doing even better.

It’s Saturday, the 26th of June 2021 and 7:30 at night, I’ve just come out of the allotment and there was nobody there, not a soul. Except for The Scourge pecking around plots. Not even Elvis tonight.

It’s been a lovely day today but I’ve not done any work on the plot. I came down this evening just for a look around. Just to make sure everything was going okay. It pretty much does.
I spent maybe five minutes picking out some weeds from between the lettuce but that’s all.

Lettuce 🥬, plot 25 and The Scourge

The tayberries are doing very well. They have really come on in the past few days, and started to ripen all over the trellis. Too many to count now, compare to previously where I could only count one! That one has gone now! I’ve eaten it.

The next time I come down to the allotment I will need to bring a small container or tub because they will need to get picked. If I leave them too long they’ll fall off or get munched. And if I time it just right next time I will have enough for a crumble desert!

Lettuce leaves are doing well. They’ve really started to grow. I picked out some of a small bind weed that started to grow in between, and now it’s a lot clearer. No sign of those leaves getting munched either! Looks as though the snails haven’t found them yet.

That was it really for the evening. There are plenty of weeds. They are starting to grow all over my plot although only cress at the moment. Plot number 25, the one I cleared last year (which was then handed over) has really grown weeds! Some of them are head height and the poppyseeds are starting to get ready to drop. That’s going to have to change hands as soon … the letters have been sent, I’ve heard. It’s a plot that is starting to spread weeds everywhere else.

That’s it for the evening, nothing left to do but to close the gate and go home. I spend the last 30 seconds chasing The Scourge, but it just runs away in between the sunflowers. I give up and close the gate behind me.

First tayberry 🍇 has arrived

They are starting to arrive, the tayberriesare starting to fruit and ripen. I’ve just visited the allotment for about 30 minutes and as I was passing the tayberry plant I saw a flash of red along the thicket. Just one.

Just the first tayberry

This is the first tayberry. There are plenty more on the way however, the branches are full of them.

Although the birds don’t generally like to eat them, I will put netting over themjust in case.

The half finished wall

Saturday, the 19th of June 2021, and the rain is about to hit the allotment, but I’ve just finished and I’m back at the car.

For the last hour or so of the day I made an effort to go to the allotment and use up the wood I had bought a previous weekend. The idea was to build a continuation of the trellis which was holding up the Tayberry plant. That was today’s plan!

When I arrived most of the people had finished for the day and had already started to go home. The members of the public had cleared a space outside the main gate, which was just big enough for me to fit my car in. Just as well because I didn’t fancy carrying all of the ward from the pub car park in the village.

I made two trips from the car with big batches of wood over my shoulder. Then I went back one more time to pick up the lump hammer, the drill and the level. Then back into the allotment garden to start my work.

Trellis extension

It didn’t take long, and although I had bought bigger upright posts, which meant my new section would be slightly taller, everything went as planned. After looking at the new height I decided it was fine. So, the new Tayberry of shoots will be growing quite high up on the new section. That’s the plan. I might extend it in the opposite direction as well, I’ll have a think about it.

Elvis the garden cat popped along for a little bit, sat on the communal wooden table, and scratched wooden bench. But, I didn’t have any food with me, so Elvis soon wandered off. There was one other person who turned up briefly, but apart from that I didn’t see anybody else today.

The time is now 6 o’clock at night, and the forecast suggests a lot of rain is on the way. Southerly rain clouds are coming up from France. But, I’m on my way home.

Celery plants have gone in! That’s a new one

I’ve not grown celery before!

Early Saturday morning, the 5th of June 2021 I arrived at around 7am … down at the allotment the sun is out and the sky is blue, it’s going to be a scorching hot day so I thought I would get an early start.

The tayberry row is buzzing loudly with the bees

Weeding needed to be done especially around the beetroot. Clearing up other areas which had become weedy also needed some attention. But best of all I had to plant some celery. This is a new one for me! I’ve put them next to the carrots, I’ve done a full line.

The time is around about 9:45 in the morning now and I’m back in the car with the plan to go and buy some more plants from the garden centre (which should be open by now).

I’m after lavender plants. I intend to put a row at the end of my plot next to the grass, to encourage more the bees. Also I want another row next to the celery and some more onions so there’s three things I need to get this morning before heading the way home.

I’ll collect all of the plants take them back home and then over the next couple of days (possibly this evening) I will make an effort to plant them all.

Planting the chard and leeks

It’s Thursday, the 3rd of June 2021 and it’s 9:20 at night, but it’s still light outside.

I’ve just come out of the allotment where I did a bit of planting this evening. I put all the chard in, and I also put all of the leaks in as well. It was a beautiful evening, lots of people around doing digging and planting, it was very pleasant to be outside after spending all day at work.

Seedlings are in the raised bed now

I finished off the evening by breaking out the hosepipe and giving everything a really good soaking. The potatoes are all coming up really well, the beans are doing great also. As I was making my way back up the edge of the plot the bees were buzzing around the Tayberry plant. The whole plant was buzzing with bees all dotted across the flowers on the tayberry. The beetroot are all doing very well. There are quite a few weeds in between at the moment and that needs sorting out but the coming up extremely well.

The carrots! They are doing excellently, and I can see that they are already growing.

Elvis from last night

I did visit the allotments last night as well. Elvis was around at the time and I had some food in my car, so Elvis was treated to a nice bowl of cat nibbles. She was very pleased about that. She was here again this evening, but I didn’t have anything with me this time and I was busy planting, so she moved off after it became apparent she wasn’t going to get fed. Maybe next time.

Bank holiday Monday quick visit

Bank holiday Monday 31st of May 2021. Just a quick visit to trim the grass around the borders! Time is 9 o’clock at night and it only took about 15 minutes, into the plot round the plot out of the plot.

I think there’s not much else to say, I’ve not been for at least a week maybe a little bit longer.

Happy turnip planting

Everything seems to be getting on quite well. The tayberry is full of flowers! It looks as though there will be quite a lot of fruit this year. The beans are doing well and haven’t been eaten! The potatoes are all in rows and popping up nicely. But probably the best of all are the beetroot! They’re doing very well.

The carrots. Wow! They’re doing really well I didn’t expect them to do as well as they did. I should be on for a good crop unless there is a problem with carrot fly.

It’s a lovely evening and it’s been the hottest day of the year so far. The coronavirus is on the downslope (maybe). Everybody hope so. The new cases are rising again, but the deaths have been falling which means the vaccines are working. The new variant is now becoming the most dominant strain in the UK is, so with the hot weather over the bank holiday weekend we fully expect more to change over the coming few weeks

Allotment Friday toad

Allotment visit Friday, the 11th of September 2020 between 5 and 6 o’clock in the evening.

After work this afternoon, I left the office travelled home put my gardening clothes on and headed off to the allotment for an hour or so. I’ve not been for at least two weeks, which means there could be some things to do … maybe … ?!

Apart from a little bit of weeding there really wasn’t much to do! Fantastic! Although the borders do need cutting again, there are a few weeds growing down the line of spuds that have now died back, and I had to tie up some of the tayberries because they were bolting across the allotment plot, but apart from that — very little.

Toady of the compost dump

One of my tasks was to dig a bit more out of the dumping ground next to the garden shed and move it onto the new compost heap I created a couple of weeks ago. As I was forking through I nearly skewered a toad! Luckily it was unharmed so I put him back where I found him.

Just after I had recovered from nearly puncturing a toad, Elvis surprised me as well. While I was weeding the main area over the plot I turned around to see Elvis sat right in the middle of my allotment waiting for me to notice her and give us some treats. Sorry Elvis! I didn’t bring anything again.

Some crumble tonight

At the end, after I had done all of my tasks: pickings free cucumbers, weeding and sorting out the new compost heap, I decided it would be a good idea to pick some of the apples which looked like they were about to fall off all of the apple trees around the allotment. I collected enough for apple crumble and then I picked a couple of storks of rhubarb from my main plot to go with it. I will collect some crumble mix on the way home and make something this evening.

Tayberry 🍇 crumble 😙

Tonight’s treat is crumble made from the tayberries I picked the other day and three apples we had in the fridge. Very, very definitely the nicest dessert I’ve ever made.

Tayberry and apple crumble

Enough tayberries to line the bottom of the dish. Three apples peeled and cored, chopped up with a handful of tayberries and stewed down with three table spoons of sugar, for about 10 minutes until soft.

Pour the stewed mixture over the berries in the dish. Cover with crumble mix and cook on 180degC for 25 minutes.

Nom nom … 😋

Weed picking down at the lockdown allotment

Today was the warmest day of the year so far. Typically 32 degrees C and more. I spent two and a half hours this morning at the allotment. I took a day of work at short notice because of the expected heat wave. I figured there was no point in sitting inside ask day.

The long plot against the wall is the last job on the list now that the path is finished. I need to clear that up, take the soil back and give it back to the allotment association. They can take it from here once I’ve cleaned it up properly and made it tidied and straightened it all out.

So today was the first part of that short plan. To remove the weeds that had been growing back for the past month. That job was easy to do because of the dry soil — the weeds came out easily. So, after 2 hours of pulling weeds the long plot is mostly cleared again. I can start to remove the soil and take back a bulk into my main plot next time I visit.

A short snack while weed picking

The last few minutes were spent eating tayberries … Potatoes and lettuce can be seen in the background of the picture here, but the main star of the allotment at the moment are the tayberries. They are perfectly ripe and ready for eating straight away.

Picking the lockdown 🔒 tayberries 🍇

Tonight’s trip after work is just a fast one. A fleeting visit to the plot just before the sun drops too far below the horizon behind the village church (before it goes pitch black). In the only person there and all the gates are locked. It’s quite.

Tayberry haul

It’s the time to pick the tayberries.

They have just ripened enough to be perfect. Another day and they would turn too far … they would be too soft. This year there is a good harvest and I’ve managed to time it perfectly. The berries are just right.

The trellis is full of berries. 😙

Tayberry in fruit at the lockdown allotment

It’s Monday evening, 15th June 2020. The tayberry plant is fully fruiting down at the plot. I’ve not visited for a week and the tayberry has certainly bloomed and grown another 7 or 8 inches since I was last here.

Tayberries into the distance

My little helper came along tonight and then proceeded to scoff most of the ripened fruit 😋. In other helping ways, she also helped to feed Elvis the garden cat and to give her some well needed attention — plus some grass seeds, which probably weren’t needed.

I removed some canes that protected the path and covered the long plot again, put some slug gel on the wooden raised areas and then helped to pick some more tayberries for the little helper. Gave some more rhubarb away, examined the potatoes which seemed to be coming through okay, then it was time to go. Just another flying visit really.

Short turf watering trip at the lockdown allotment

So it’s Monday 18th and I have about 30 minutes free this evening … it has been a fantastically sunny day all day but I’ve been working. There just enough time to water the turf I put down yesterday.

Path nearly complete

As I walked around the allotment I could see all of the plots (except for about four) had been worked and were already growing something this year. As it turns out, one of the plots is my main plot. I’m not counting the rhubarb, tayberry and horseradish…

It shouldn’t be long now. I can finish the path give the long plot against the wall back to the allotment association (or hopefully a new person who wants a plot) and grow something in my main area. I have a bag of chitted spuds 🥔 in the garage at home just waiting to be thrown in the ground.

New boards, final leg at the lockdown allotment

The final boards for the path are going in. I have four boards left to put in and this is 1 of 4 this afternoon. Each board it typically taking around 3 hours to put in and this afternoon (Friday 14th May) was no exception. But the weather was so superb, being at the allotment for that amount of time was not a problem.

Cutting the turf for the path

The weather has been dry for a long time and this has made the turf difficult to edge out with the spade. However the dryness of the ground has also made it easier to cut the turf thickness and this in turn makes it easier to lay afterwards.

I completed another section this afternoon and cleaned up some more of the long plot against the wall. Elvis the garden cat arrived for some cat treats and then scratched the garden bench.

Scratching post

Finally, I had enough time to look at the three plants which are currently growing on my main plot. I watered around then I tied up the tayberry plantwhich has started to shout up.

Tayberry looking great

There is interest in the long plot against the wall I have been told this afternoon. I think there is more people on the waiting list for plots at the allotment. This is the first time I’ve heard of people waiting for allotment plots. Possibly this might be interested parties because of lockdown across the country? Maybe. But in any case, I should hurry up and prioritise getting the long plot in a good state to hand back and remove the soil I “stored” from my main plot quickly.

I was toying with the idea of planting potatoes on the long plot in order to fill it up with something so it wasn’t left empty. Maybe buy some black sheeting so it was covered up. But if there’s a waiting list, then I should quickly hand it back to people who would use it.

Monday watering the turf at the lockdown allotment

It’s quite late on in the evening and I finished work for the day. I thought I would take a quick trip to the plot to see how the turf was taking. And I really needed to give it a good soaking because it had been a very hot day today.

Tayberry starting

When I got there, there were only two other people on the far side of the walled allotment garden. I quickly on furled the hosepipe and gave the grass a good soaking. Then I started to soak the only three other plants I have growing on my allotment at the moment. The rhubarb, the Tayberry plant on the climber, and the horseradish.

Elvis arrived. Luckily I had some cat food with me and so I took a handful of that and dropped it into the middle of my plot. The garden cat was very pleased again.

Another allotment holder arrived just as I was leaving. That left just three of them as I went out of the gate. I was only there for 10 or 15 minutes just enough time to soak the turf I laid yesterday.

Easter Monday Lockdown Allotment 🐣 🔐 🌱

Up at dawn. Down at the allotment by 6:30am. There was nobody around again, either on the way there, or while I was there. I was all alone.

Task list today … this was quite light. I had to flatten some of the soil on the long plot due to the digging I did last time. I found another rhubarb plant underneath the black sheeting, so I transferred that to the long plot. I tied up the Tayberry and transplanted a small Tayberry seedling onto a spare vertical space on the trellis.

Allotment garden, a view towards the local church

After that I was pretty much done! So I took a quick walk around the allotment garden. There is plenty of work going on and a lot of the allotments look amazing. I think this is probably going towards the best I have seen it in a very long time. People are doing quite a lot of work down on their plots.

My main plot has one long border completed.

My main plot is looking, well… It’s looking covered up. The edges are looking a lot better and I need probably at least another six boards to finish all four sides. Probably that will wait though. I really need to make a start on the path between my main plot any my neighbour’s area.

It is all very under control …

The first Tayberries in my hand

A short watering trip to the allotment after work on Friday. It was the hottest day on record yesterday Thursday 25th July 2019 and although we had some thunder storms posing over late in the evening, I thought it would be better to do the watering task before the weekend.

The tayberry plant is doing well. Although those pesky pigeons are still eating my berries, some of the better hidden ones have made it without getting eaten. I grabbed 4 of the best before heading home with the first lettuce that will not go to the guinea pigs. This one has gone into the fridge at home!

Stop that pigeon!

Sunday morning before everybody had got out of bed, I had managed to make it down to the allotment. I was the first one there, nobody about and everything was quiet apart from the birds.

My task for today was to tie up the cucumbers which had started to grow really well. Also on my list of things to tie up was the French beans.

I intended to pick a couple of lettuce plants as well. These would go to the guinea pigs at home who seem to be eating most of my allotment produce at the moment.

This is the first time I’ve I noticed that the tayberry bush has been attacked. I could hear the pigeons cooing in the background, probably stuffed to the brim with berries from my plant!

I think that the bright red berries are like beacons to the passing fat pigeons. And the crossbars of my trellis are welcoming platform to an open restaurant. A happy dining experience for the stuffed birds.

Where is Elvis?!

I may have to rethink my kindness towards the garden cat, if the pigeons are taking such an advantage. Sorry Elvis! You need to start doing your job.

Watering visit

Today is Thursday the 27th. The time is 8:30 in the evening. I have just finished a long one hour session at the allotment where I took my time, dawdled around, watered the allotment, and generally wasted time. It was awesome!

Everything is doing fine without me. Even the weeds. But the plants are doing great.

The beetroot are really coming along and growing really well. The potatoes are doing fantastically. They are beginning to flower. The tayberry plant is beginning to bud. As usual, the rhubarb and the horseradish have taken over.

On the second half of the plot probably the best in class is the state of the sweetcorn. They are incredible.

Out of everything that is growing right now sweetcorn are doing the best. Over the past few weeks they have really shot-up and thickened out.

I expect them to do very well by the end of the year.

Finally, my new border containing my organic lettuce is working a treat. There are no slugs inside the border. And I have not used any slug pellets. The cucumber plants I’ve started as well. Everything is going swimmingly.

A quick evening trip on Saturday night

It is Saturday, the 15th of June and the time is just past 9 o’clock. I have been to the allotment for a quick scout around, just to see what jobs there are with the hope that I can go early tomorrow and finish a few.

This weekend other members of the allotment have been clearing out the garden shed. I don’t think anybody has looked at the contents of the garden shed very closely for at least 20 years. It looks a lot better now though. They have done quite a lot of work today sorting out tools and clearing the shed completely. Everything is back in its place now and instructions have been given for people to name their items otherwise they will become communal. Communal with a letter C branded on them.

I expect that quite a lot of the equipment found in the garden shed will have no owner. Some of it looks as though it’s been there for 100 years.

My allotment doesn’t look too bad, the borders are looking fairly fairly neat but the grass needs cutting. I will have to take my strimmer with me tomorrow morning to do as much as I can. Both of the lawnmowers, the ones that people use communally are both broken.

I have picked up a lettuce from my lettuce patch. This will go home with me and will be fed to the guinea pigs. I thought my allotment was looking quite good, but I wondered around the plots this evening and the plot in the far corner, the one that is probably the best in the class, well, it really puts me to shame and it shows exactly what I should be doing. Even though my plot is probably doing very well this year, when I look at some of the plots I see how it should be done.

Some of my tayberries are beginning to fruit!! The ones in the picture are looking quite red and the shape is forming quite well. I think there will be a good crop of tayberries this year even though I transplanted the tayberry plant at the beginning of this season. All in all I think it is doing quite well. I don’t have anything that isn’t looking good. All my jobs are lined up for tomorrow.

Finally. As I was leaving, I heard a little meow. Elvis had followed me into the garden shed. So, to finish off the short evening trip, the garden cat got fed! 😽

The tayberry is flowering

Last night, after half a day of rain, I made a special trip to the allotment to check on the slug population. Not my normal reason for visiting the plot, but a necessary one after finding a huge slug and a massive snail wandering the patio flags in the back garden.

You can bet there would be plenty more down at the allotment. Plenty of them attacking my sunflowers! The little blighters.

I was right. Four more of my sunflowers were missing; presumed scoffed.

Anyway. After another battery of slug pellets I decided to cheer myself up with some nice flowers and the beginnings of the tayberry crop … they are now visible on the trellis.

The tayberry plant is doing great. It’s not grown massively but it has started to flower and I can see the beginnings of fruit. I can’t wait!! 😋

Another half board

Partly done another board on the edge of the plot again tonight. As you can see, the left half of the plot has boards asking the edge and trellis … and is filled with plants like beetroot. The centre is rhubarb and horseradish with the compost bin. The right is still not done.

But. I’m getting there slowly. Very slowly.

It’s taking time but it will be worth it.

Finished the trellis for the Tayberry plants

Recently, one of my jobs was to finish the trellis for the Tayberry plant. I turned up to the allotment with hand saw, screws and electric drill in hand only to discover my way blocked by about 30 American tourists. They were looking at the Abbey through the main gate, my only way into the walled garden.

One or two clever comments later about how I was going to plant potatoes using a spirit level, and I was passed them and into the main grounds. I could hear the tourists as they wandered off talking about Harry Potter.

The job itself only took a short while to complete. Fairly easy but only possible using one hand to do and fix the holes (due to me being the only person in the place that evening) — the other hand was needed to steady and level the cross bar.

Then it was done. Another job crossed off my list. The tayberry is now in good shape to take very little effort for the rest of the season.

Phew! That was a close one!!

I’ve received this email from the allotment association. The landowner has had a rethink about the location of the composing and mulching area proposed for the centre of the walled garden. They are instead looking at other alternatives in their land portfolio and have concluded the kitchen garden is not the place.


I have to admit, after putting up the trellis to grow my tayberry, I was thinking about how long it would be before I would need to uproot it again.

I’m glad that the effort put in by other allotment holders has had an effect on the thoughts of the land owner.

Also, as was pointed out in the email, there does seem to be a renewed vigor in the walled garden plots now — it is after all a privilege to rent a plot in such a beautiful and peaceful place.

Trellis for the Tayberry plant

At last! It has been several years in the process, but finally the teyberry plant has managed to be transported from the long plot where it was waiting … waiting that is, for a neat space on the main plot. The trellis is simple. There are three main stakes, and four crossbars making a simple frame. It’s capable of expansion both horizontally (to the left) and in-between the crossbars to make room for more tayberry streamers as they grow.

This was completed in just one hour in the morning during my day off work the other week — with plenty of help from my dad. It was a super sunny day and we had a little time before lunch to spend, fixing up some trellis before it was too late to transplant the taybury.

The plot (as you can see) to the right of mine is a bit of a mess still, but this is the landowner’s area that they just cleared the other week. Their borders are a bit wonky still, and it will make cutting the grass difficult down this edge now, but this side is on my list of things to sort out anyway …

Grass cutting with the pheasants

Tonight was a fantastic evening. The sun has been out all day, I had left work early and finished off the day at home so I was able to miss the rush hour and be ready to leave for the allotment at a sensible time. And there were helpers tonight!

When we arrived, with my Dad and the little one in tow (plus little scooter for scooting outside the main grounds), we immediately went to find Elvis and feed her a big sachet of cat food.

Elvis appeared and looked hungry as usual. I was a little worried we might find her trapped inside a klosh like we did the other day, but happily, she was ok this time.

While grandad and the little one sorted out the garden cat, and watched the two pheasants strutting around on one of the empty plots, I had enough time to quickly mow the edges of my allotment. Just one quick run around with the petrol mower! It only took 5 minutes and looked a lot better after the small effort.

Tomorrow, we will nip down again to install a small trellis and transplant the tayberry that has been hiding in my temporary (long) plot for two years. I have finally finished enough border in my main plot to be able to transplant it. This year I hope to get a truck full of tayberries out of this plant.