Review of the Year - Garden & Allotment

Allotment panorama - August 2008

It's time to review what was hot and not at VP Gardens in 2008. Last year I looked at the garden and allotment separately: I'm amalgamating them this time around.

What was hot
Not our weather that's for sure! However, there was still lots to celebrate:
  • Regular cogitations with Threadspider - gardening's fun, but even more fun with a friend
  • NAH actually helping with the digging - well what do you expect when there's a power tool involved?
  • Some of the richest autumnal colours I can remember, which I showed you here and here
  • Solving my Clematis mystery and discovering I have not one, but two sports in my garden
  • The first major apple harvest from my plot - I've just had a light cropping before, but now the cordons and arch-trained trees are close to full production
  • Discovering I have plants with escapologist tendencies
  • Entering produce shows for the first time and finding the judges like my raspberries as much as my fellow plot holders do
  • My Open Garden raised over £1,000 for WaterAid. There's still time for a visit and donation if you haven't already done so

Garden panorama - August 2008

What was not

  • The great British weather! But some of its effects were quite magical
  • Getting a warning letter about my plot. Possible eviction was soon averted, thank goodness
  • Weeds, slugs and snails - these were rampant owing to the weather. However, I did find a use for one to help with the other
  • The curse of Gardeners' Question Time finally caught up with our conifer trees
  • Tomato blight - again. However, I did notice something different about this year's infestation
  • My favourite Acer tree went from this to this - I'm still awaiting compensation and for the men to complete the job they were actually employed to do
  • Badgers at the allotment - I've elected not to grow sweetcorn next year as they destroyed the entire crop

What were the highs and lows of your gardening year?


  1. Hi - I would have thought you would have put your water aid success as number 1!

    I thought of you the other day when I was watching GW and Toby B said he had willows planted on his allotment - makes your apples look positively appropriate!

  2. Hi Helen - it was at first, but I thought that was blowing my trumpet a bit!

    Congratulations on winning your book :)

    And do use the regular photos idea (I'm sure I'm not the first to do so afterall), it's been quite an eye opener on what's working (and not) in the garden.

  3. VP - It is quite OK to blow your own trumpet when your Water Aid was such a resounding success.
    Nice review of your year.

  4. VP,

    Congrats on Water Aid fundraising! Fantastic! and the links to past posts are good for those of us who are more recent Veg Plotting fans!


  5. Merry Christmas VP. And a happy new year. Had to say it now, no internet access over Christmas.

    Wishing you and all your readers a fabulous time!

  6. so--y'mean badgers aren't as nice & protective as featured in"the wind in the willows"?? :)

  7. Oops - finger trouble meant I posted before I'd finished chatting with you all!

    Gail - thanks, I'm very pleased with the total raised :D

    SOL - Happy Christmas - I'll come over for a quick visit, hopefully before you're incommunicado

    Petoskystone - usually I think badgers are lovely, but not when they wreck my sweetcorn and start eating my apples :(

    I've also been trying to follow up on your comment the other day about account/login problems. As you know Google Help isn't much of a help, but it does look like there's a known problem with 'subscriptions' being cancelled. Could that be it do you think? They say they're working on it and their interim workaround is for the subscription to be taken out again, which is what you've been doing.

    I've also left a message on Blotanical's forum to see if any of my fellow Blotanists have experienced the same problem or if their readers have.

    In the meantime, thanks for being tenacious enough to keep on signing up, just so you can read and comment!

  8. thank you!! i like to talk :) sometimes i even make sense.....

  9. Petoskystone - And you're most welcome to continue doing so here :D Happy holidays!

  10. What an eventful year VP. It's good to stand back and review what has happened. Some great achievements there especially the funds raised for Water Aid. Well done ! Some lows too but us gardeners thrive on challenges :) We have a low in common - an allotment warning letter. Mind you mine gave me the proverbial kick that perhaps I needed at the time. What a shame about your sweetcorn - a creature demolished a few of my cobs but no definite suspects in mind. I did manage to eat the odd one or two and very tasty they were too.

  11. What a fun post idea. I'd have to say the biggest low was injuring my knee, but in spite of that we accomplished so much this year that I really can't complain. Having a vegetable garden for the first time was definitely a big highlight for my whole family!


  12. This is pretty easy for me. The up was that after 5 years of fairly intensive gardening my garden has grown into a fairly mature garden. I actually have plants to share. The bad part was when the sawflies attacked my birch tree-two times no less! Not a happy camper at all this gardener.

    Great on all your triumphs-especially finding TWO sports in your garden.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  13. Hi VP!
    I had a great time catching up on the posts you linked that I had missed. So many wonderful things!Merry Christmas to you!

  14. Anna - sigh. If only they'd left us one or two. NAH and I love freshly picked sweetcorn

    Blossom - so glad you've started a veggie patch. It's most rewarding isn't it? And here's to a continued recovery for you.

    Tina - it's lovely when your ideas and plans come together at last. Don't like the sound of those sawfly though. Merry Christmas!

    Philip - glad you enjoyed yourself and Merry Christmas!

  15. Hi VP: What a year you have had. And so much success with the Water Aid project. That's what initially attracted me to your blog:)

    My success this year, in my garden, was just being able to get out there and plant a few perennials again--after a season of healing after ACL allograft surgery. Kneeling is still difficult for me so I'm concerned that I may not be able to 'get into' things the way I want to in the spring/summer...but I always find a way, even if I have to sit on something to do it!

    Another 'good' thing for me was finding blotanical, so I can learn from others--and, meet some great people in the process!

    Hope your holidays have been joyous for you and yours. Jan

  16. What an amazing year in the garden & the blogosphere! You've accomplished quite a lot in spite of pests of the 2-legged, 4-legged & no-legged variety. It sounds like badgers are the English equivalent of raccoons.

  17. Jan Aand MMD - Hi and thanks! I do hope you're recovering well Jan.


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