2020 in review..

Hello! It’s been a while since my last update, and since then we’ve had 124,000 unnecessary deaths because Boris Johnson is an arsehole.

Also my allotment related news is I’ve surrendered half of my plot because the Plot Secretary kept hassling me that I wasn’t keeping on top of it, which I was, but I couldn’t be bothered to argue with him.

We have a new secretary now anyway. I’ve not met them yet but apparently he keeps Bees 🐝🐝

Here’s some photos!

MARCH 2021

I’ve never been a huge fan of burning organic matter, but I’ve accumulated so much of it it’s just the easiest way to clear it and keep the plot looking tidy.

The rest of the photos will be chronological working back to today, I just picked this one first as it was the most eyecatching.


A crabapple tree which was donated to me by my European allotment neighbour who had decided to leave the UK after Brexit.

It’s now dead because the bloke who has taken on the bottom half of my plot chopped it down.

MARCH 2020

Blossom from yellow plum tree (or whatever the fuck fruit it is?)

I gave this tree a prune by removing branches I decided it didn’t need because someone said I should and it didn’t produce any of it’s stupid small yellow fruit anyway.

April 2020 Free Potatoes

I was a bit worried I’d missed the chance to get potatoes this year, so was nice to find someone had just left some out for people to help themselves

MAY 2020

Classic gratuitous Globe Artichoke shot

MAY 2020

So this is the top half of what was the entire plot after starting to clear things out.

Since taking on the plot I’d been focussing on the bottom half and not really had time to get on top of this as well. Particular since I’d spent so much time campaigning for The Labour Party, only to discover allegations that Anti-Corbyn Labour officials worked to lose general election to oust Jeremy Corbyn.

Then not only that, but the party decided to delay releasing the enquiry into these allegations, which Black Mp’s suggested meant the party is not serious on racism. Imagine devoting years of life to such a duplicitous organisation.

The Flamingo was a few quid from B&M Stores.

MAY 2020 Chitting Potatoes
MAY 2020 Seed Audit
JUNE 2020 Seedlings to plant out

Sweetcorn, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Kale, Sprouts, Courgette, Pumpkin and Squashes.

June 2020

New Perennial Flower bed in front (with plants I bought on offer from Thompson and Morgan) and Potatoes ‘earthing up’ nicely. Also nice Dahlia in the background.

JUNE 2020 #solidarity #pride🌈

JULY 2020 Sweet Williams

JULY 2020 Delphinium

JULY 2020
JULY 2020 Cut flowers from plot!
August 2020 Perennials and Bulbs showing off now

This season I started experimenting with growing my own midi instruments and was pleased with this Akai APC Mini.

AUGUST 2020 Neighbours Plum Tree

Les next door asked if I’d like to pick some of his plums. He doesn’t talk about Brexit as much for some reason? we mainly talk about the Green Parakeet’s which fly around the plot.

SEPTEMBER 2020 Gladioli, and pink flower
SEPTEMBER 2020 Sunflower (the best flower)
OCTOBER 2020 Dahlia close up

In hindsight, buying a Keytar was probably my peak lockdown purchase..

I’ll probably get to grips with this at some point, the assignable realtime controls have a lot of scope for use with Ableton live, and I could even control the session view with the pads.

Although in some ways it might have been better to get the one with onboard sounds so I could pick it up and play it more easily, but that model didn’t have as good midi functionality.

And it does look pretty cool with a strategically placed globe light behind it.

Also, remember this guy? No?

Anyway, I found him again.

I also initially played Animal Crossing ‘Pocket Camp’ quite a lot during lockdown. But it was the scaled down iPad and it got a bit dull after a while.


Winter, after a not especially productive, but always fun year.


Got lot’s of tidying up to do, but lot’s of potential for another fun year on “Al’s Allotment”


Sorry for lack of entries, basically in 2017, Theresa May called a general election just as I was starting to prepare things and as local Ward Organiser I had to prioritise electoral canvassing, meaning my plot got into a bit of a sorry state…


Which then took until Winter 2018 to catch up a bit..





So now towards the end of March 2019, I’ve paid my subs for this year, bought some potatoes and had a not so gentle warning I’ll be served notice if I don’t start cultivating this year.

Which I want to, I’ve just struggled to find time. So hopefully I’ll be able to get back on track, starting with preparing the rest of the beds (which arn’t too bad..) and getting some Beans in! đŸŒ±


April 2017

Got a new phone, and a ÂŁ5 mini camera phone lens kit from Wilkos, and Tulips.

Not done a lot of updates recently as there tends not be a lot worth documenting until March / April, and I’m also a bit behind again..

Weeded my pollinator border and added some woodchip as a mulch. Good to see my Hollyhock, Eryngiums, Perovskia and the other one I got from Homebase becoming established.

Also bought some Potatoes from the plot shop, this is the equipment they use to measure them out.

Spring Cabbages, not doing too well and full of slugs, might not bother with these in future.

Grew an excellent couple of Romanesco Cauliflowers though!

Which made a nice bowl of ‘Three Broccoli Tagliatelle’ with Purple and White Sprouting Broccoli.

Last years Globe Artichoke establishing itself well and have prepared the bed in front to grow Brassicas.

Inca Berry Plant

Planted this in 2015 from a packet of James Wong‘s seeds. This was the healthiest plant which seems to like being in our Conservatory. Although general advice suggests it does better outside, I was concerned about how hardy it might be since we live up north with our Yorkshire frosts. I’ve staked it for some support and its starting to fruit again, but I’m sure it’s harvest was earlier last year (we maybe got about 10 – 12 berries). Wondering if I should be feeding it with anything like a tomato feed to encourage fruiting? In addition to general houseplant food which I try to give it and other plants every fortnight.20170108_091115

November / December 2016

Not updated for a while as this time of year isn’t so conducive to gardening but I feel reasonably on track. Sprouts are doing well in the foreground and glad I get some in this year, hopefully they will be ready in time for Christmas Dinner!

Also got some White and Purple Sprouting Broccoli coming up which should be ready for an early harvest next year (my neighbour Les’s Calabrese is starting to flower which he said has never happened in December before). Also got Spring Cabbage and Kale in.


Planted some winter tares green manure in this bed to prepare for Potatoes, also mulched my Rhubarb and had a go at a No Dig bed with cardboard and manure. Also planted some bulbs for the Spring and and early Sowing of Broad Beans.20161127_152418

Quite pleased with how this Globe Artichoke has been getting on, I’ve mulched it with some compost so hopefully it will get through the winter.20161127_130850

The new No-Dig bed.20161127_152156

Also started clearing out this bit which was covered up with carpet. If we get any nice days, this time of year can be good to get digging the earth before leaving it to freeze which helps it break down.20161127_152359

View from the shed. Have moved the carpet to cover where the Brambles were, so hopefully next season I should have a good 2 thirds of the plot cultivated!20161127_130817

Autumn 2016 plan / no dig beds


Updated my plan for the next few months. Again I have various options.. Though I think the main 2 things I want to consider are making some no dig beds and also where could be a good site for growing a cut flower bed and maybe adding fruit trees now that I know how to plant them after attending a session at St Nicks Environment Centre.

St Nicks also recently presented a workshop at Greenfields School and Community Garden on No Dig gardening which was very instructive. I understand the principles but I always like to see these things done in practise and I could ask questions as well, such as the best types of compost / manure and where to get it from as I potentially have large areas to cover.

Of course the real pioneer of No Dig is Charles Dowding whose website has lots of helpful resources. But it’s also reassuring to know there are other gardeners in York familiar with his methods, which seem quite progressive in contrast to the way a lot of other people on our site work.

October update

Some more autumnal pics from the top…20161001_11402220161002_17103120161002_171106

Cleared out some Squashes and Sweetcorn to reveal quite an established Globe Artichoke. Hoping this will be big and hardy enough to get through the winter! 20161009_165953

Cleared out a bit more of the area around the shed, debating whether to dig, or “no dig”,
if I can get hold of enough manure.20161002_170955


September 2016 pt.2

A few more updates from this month. This is the flowerbed at the top.
My current plan is maybe to thin out the Raspberry Canes a bit instead of moving them.20160923_105716

Sunflower “Magic Roundabout F1” & Sprouts20160923_105731

Some more views20160923_105747 20160923_105757

Planted some more Kale to overwinter where the Broad Beans were20160923_105810

Also planted some Spring Green Cabbage


Nice arrangement of Squashes/Cucurbits including New England Pumpkin, Winter Crown Prince Squash, Uchiki Kuri Squash, Patty Pan Summer Squashes and Ball Courgettescreen-shot-2016-10-03-at-22-53-48

Also made a start digging out the Brambles & Fence up towards the shed20160924_180319 20160924_180340

4 bags of manure from the local stables to try make a “no dig” bed, 50p a bag!20160924_180942