Thursday 14 January 2016

Gardening gifts in action

I'm not one to brag about the things I receive as presents but since I'm not in the position to show off diamond rings or a shiny red sports car I thought I would share some of things we were lucky enough to receive at Christmas. As someone who favours practical over pretty in most areas and has also recently taken on an allotment for the first time it was perhaps no surprise that many of the presents we received were geared for fruit and vegetable growing use.
Being a modern women I realise there is no need to leave catalogues open on specific pages around the house or to drop into conversations heavy hints about items I would like. Instead I write this blog which my nearest and dearest do read. So when I wrote about our ancient hoe snapping at the first mention of our new allotment my sister-in-law knew exactly what to buy us this year. She could have got away with simply tying a bow around it but no she actually went to the trouble of wrapping it up much to our amusement! Along with the hoe came the dibber and a packet of all season broccoli seeds to provide us with purple sprouting broccoli all year round. Fear not – the allotment planting plan can be amended to find a space for them.
Another item we mentioned before Christmas was a wheelbarrow as had to borrow one to transport the manure from the car to the plot. Father JibberJabber gave us a voucher to get one as trying to get one in the car to go from London to Sheffield was a bit impractical. We went off to one of the local garden centres and picked out a shiny, galvanised metal one. I was pleasantly surprised to see it had 'Made in Britain' proudly emblazoned down both sides. Is there really still a manufacturing industry in the UK?

The other lovely items we have received are two allotment books (both from Father JibberJabber again). One is the The Allotment Planner by Matthew Appleby. It has monthly sections for notes and plans throughout the year as well as ideas for projects and activities at the allotment. The other book is The RHS Allotment Handbook and Planner. This has thorough advice on crops to grow, when to grow them and how to. Since I have barely any circulation Master JibberJabber rather kindly bought me a pair of thermal gardening gloves. I'll probably be using these still in June! Another wearable item are my wellies and yes they are cleaner than a pair of boots worn by a MP visiting a flood hit area. We've searched high and low for a pair that fit me as I have feet as thin as matchsticks and every other pair I have tried on I have been able to kick them off without any problem. Finally two items from Brother JibberJabber. He did provide us with an 'Allotment Voucher' with the T&Cs stipulating 'No trolls'. When we went to buy the wheelbarrow we also picked up a watering can and pop-up bin (by the way, Brother, you owe me for these two items now!)

Quick update on the actual allotment plot. We thought we had cleared the plot fully before Christmas and pulled up any remaining onions and potatoes. It seems not though as since we last visited the allotment another row of potatoes has appeared. I wonder what else we'll find.

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  1. It's so good to get gifts that you can practically use - and they remind you of who gave them to you when you use them too! Grandad always asks for garden stuff or vouchers for the local garden centre for birthdays/ Crimbo for just that reason!
    Potatoes are hardy buggers aren't they? Always springing up - I found some growing in my compost heap once - and we've never grown them!

    Thanks for joining in again Jib Jabz :)

  2. Haha, I would have loved to see a wrapped up hoe, bet it took ages!! Quite jealous of the wheelbarrow. This is something we don't own so we make do with a bucket (which is very time consuming). You got some good gifts :)

  3. It's the best receiving gifts that you need, want and wish for! Fab line about clean wellies and a mp visiting a flood area! Will everyone be expecting some of your harvest this year in return?

  4. Sounds like great gifts - and did you guess what the hoe was? ;)

  5. so wonderful! love gifts like that.

  6. how fantastic to receive gifts that you can actually use and are in need of and actually practical

  7. Oooh, great gifts. I mean, who needs diamond rings when you can have things that will help feed you the best of food over the years to come? My ancient hoe handle broke recently too. It was my grandfather's hoe and he died in 1975 so you can see how old it was and how well it had done (I bet it was made in the UK!). I bought it a new handle which Simon kindly fitted but somehow a little piece of my childhood died when that handle broke.


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