Looking Back…….

With the big freeze continuing there’s absolutely nothing happening on the plot apart from the odd sprout and snip harvest. So I thought I’d get all nostalgic about 2010, the highs and lows, and the obligatory next year I’m definitely going to……..

The year really got going when I attended a series of talks from expert Ray Broughton, got my soil tested and learnt a great deal about sowing seeds. I even had a go at growing long carrots which ended in disaster! I dug a new bed in April, picked my first cauliflower and broccoli in June, and by July I was lovin’ the veg, well apart from my pitiful onions. In August I took a different perspective on the plot, the beans went crazy and I picked my first ever sweetcorn. In the Autumn the greenhouse really came into its own and by October the last of the peppers had ripened finally. I also took some prizes at the local Horticultural Society Summer Show and later joined the Committee. In November I started thinking ahead to next year, and we were briefly front page news before the snow arrived and the big freeze set in!

It was a colourful year particularly in the Spring Show and the garden was in bloomin’ good form right through to October. I embraced the dark side of flower growing and became a real fan of Dahlias which I stopped, disbudded, and generally pampered all year until Jack eventually took his revenge!

Off the plot I gave something back to the Southampton General Hospital PICU and Teenage Cancer Trust and raised some money for The Stroke Association with a charity plant sale. There was also and unexpected trip to Wembley with Saints who won the Johnstone Paint Trophy. We had the odd family day out here, there and everywhere, and a nice, long break in Brittany. I cooked some curries, got my first taste of foraging and started brewing my own beer. I also completed another leg of the Pennine Way and got round to writing about it at long last. There were one or two free giveaways as well thrown into the bargain.

On the blog writing front I hit my 50th, and 100th post and Blog Anniversary this year. I’ve really enjoyed writing, reading your blogs and, of course, all your comments and kind words of encouragement.

What a year! So what do I want to do in 2011?

Firstly expanding my empire and growing more veg. Starting that composting regime I posted about 10 months ago. Encouraging more people into gardening and growing their own if I can. Getting out there and learning as much as possible. Enjoying the seasons, our beautiful countryside and wildlife. I may also have a dabble at some prize winning parnsips. If you want to see the work that goes into setting up for a go at growing prize winning veg take a look at fellow Salisbury chap Darren’s blog. Hats off to his dedication to the cause and I’m sure he’ll have some great results next summer, definitely one blog to follow.

But most of all having fun with the family and enjoying the lifestyle that comes from this hobby. Not getting too bothered about things and letting nature take its course is what it’s all about. Hopefully it’ll be a great year.

So what are your goals for next year??

20 responses to “Looking Back…….

  1. Blimey, Damo, where do you find the time to do all that??? I have to admire your energy.
    My goal next year: de-stress a bit and spend more time in the garden. I’m going to a sort of “semi-retirement” regime at work – doing only 80% of my previous contract – so maybe it will work out for me.

    • Hi Mark all the best for next year and your new regime. Work-life balance is the key thing for me and the garden really helps keep my stress levels under control.

  2. Quite a year! Fruitful and satisfying… Your enthusiasm is infectious – hope your plans for expansion are satisfied in 2011, can’t wait to see what you end up growing next year!

  3. When you stuff everything in to one post like that it really brings it home to you just how much you’ve achieved in the year. Good luck with your plans for next year, hope you get the extra space you need.

    • Hi Jo, when I started writing it I thought it was a list but quickly saw it as a good way of summarising everything I’ve tried to do this year which is a lot when you see it on one page!

  4. You’ve certainly been busy! 🙂 How good does that basket of colourful veg look, especially now when it’s so grey outside. It makes me miss the summer and even the courgette glut! 🙂

    • Thanks Una, yes I wanted to add a bit of colour to the post and that was the satisfying thing for me this summer being able to get all sorts of veg from the plot whenever we needed any.

  5. It’s certainly the time of year for thinking about next year isn’t it? – I look forward to watching your empire expand.

  6. What a smashing post and I’ve only got one question…what did you do in your spare time?
    Seriously though well done on having such an enjoyable and productive year which will undoubtably stand you in good stead for an even better one next year.
    I’ll be happy enough with more of the same, with a few less aches and pains whilst doing it!

  7. I’m exhausted just reading this!

    Hope 2011 will be just as productive – With all this energy and enthusiasm it’s bound to be.

    Lucy

  8. Great post. Inspiring. Hoping to learn much from the Master next year! My allotment is strategically placed between work and home, pure fluke it worked out that way, looking forward to all that de-stressing on the way home come 2011.

  9. Damo

    Great blog and thanks for the mention
    My popularity will soon increase I hope especially if it all start to go horribly wrong lol

    The biggest thing with quality veg for show is having the right variety and right seed and that often means not the the variety from any seller but the right variety from a top seller

    Still we will see how things progress

    • Thanks Darren I’m sure you’ll have a very successful year. I’m going to order those parsnip seeds from Medwyns you mentioned. Worth a go I reckon!

      • Definitely
        I gave you the mix didn’t I ?
        If not, mail me
        Do the same as you did before with your carrots but only put 3 in a bin
        Make sure the bottom is cut out as the parsnips will grow the length of the bin with any luck

  10. Cheers Darren I’ve got the mix, thanks for the tips, I’ll be starting them off mid-late Feb I think.

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