Friday, 12 November 2010

Hot News In and Out of AllotmentPickings

Hot news from the Garden Museum: due to popular demand, Edwina Sassoon's photographic exhibition, London Allotments: A City Harvest has been extended and will now be showing until December 12, 2010. Don't miss it - and catch up on Christmas shopping at the Museum shop while you are there!
Hot news from AllotmentPickings! Although still alive and well
AP now has a sister blog on the Reader's Digest website. To catch
up on dahlia tips from the plot; how I finally ripened my delicious
Gourmet pepper; ate the sweetest, finest carrots ever grown and
came across a 'living' sheep on Iona, go to

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

London Allotments: A City Harvest exhibition at the Garden Museum

Back from holiday to the next excitment - the forthcoming exhibition of Edwina Sassoon's allotment photographs at the Garden Museum. After working together on the Three-Year Allotment Notebook it's fun to move on to another related project. Looks like it'll be a stunner with Edwina's knack for catching in her pictures the incredible enterprise, imagination and artistry of allotmenteers.
This exhibition will run alongside the Garden Museum's about-to-open show: Going Dutch: how the Dutch Wave hit Britain's gardens.
Two exhibitions, the Museum cafe and shop. Looks like a visual feast and the Christmas shopping sorted.

London Allotments: A City Harvest runs from 15 October 2010 - 28 November 2010 at the Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB Tel: 020 7401 8865

Going Dutch: discover how the Dutch Wave hit Britain's Gardens runs from 5 October 2010 - 20 February 2011 at the Garden Museum

(Photograph (c) Edwina Sassoon)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Three-Year Allotment Notebook and the five month allotment makeover

It's been quite a month. Having failed to get the scruffy, barren plot I took over in March up to scratch by my first deadline of Chelsea Flower Show, I decided it absolutely HAD to be in order for publication by Frances Lincoln of the Three-Year Allotment Notebook (by Joanna Cruddas, photographs by Edwina Sassoon). Eureka! With help from family, friends and fellow allotmenteers, the plot has had its party frock on all month. It was short-listed for our allotments competition amongst a field of 410 plots, trashed the night before the RHS came to judge and, though we may not be cup holders, I reckon the pictures prove a good plot is always a winner!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Allotments in Siberia

Ever thought you were surrounded by a load of clowns down at the plots? Think it's a right circus at times? Talking of which...why not get tickets for an evening of drinks, canapes and a performance of Yasmine by Giffords Circus. The date: September 3rd at 6.30 for 7.30pm.
Venue: Stratton Meadows, Cirencester.
You would be supporting a small and, very pertinent to us allotmenteers, charity Sponsoring Allotments in Siberia. Its simple aim is to provide large, low-income families often living in communal and cramped flats with the opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables and get some space during the summer months. Just like we've got.
For more details: call 01963 440297
or email:
Sponsoring Allotments in Siberia: Reg Charity No: 1083278

Friday, 23 July 2010

Big Butterfly Count

It was a first on the plot to see what I think is a Five-spot Burnet flitting between my lavender and nigella. Next week is the Big Butterfly Count. What a great opportunity to spend a quiet and peaceful 15 minutes counting the butterflies and moths we see. No worries when we don't know what they are. Just take a photo and send it in for professional identification.
The Big Butterfly Count Week runs from July 24th - August 1st. Could there be a better way to spend 15 minutes?
Photograph (c) Edwina Sassoon

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Allotment Anecdotes at Snails Pace

Approaching the silly season, I am reminded of anecdotes which abound in and around the allotments:
A distinguished surgeon explains that were I to drop a snail in caustic soda, it would dissolve with the exception of the tongue which would remain intact - a serrated sword set to cut through our carefully grown leaves. I haven't put it to the test.
But at an event at the Garden Museum, I did find myself repeating this alleged fact to a representative from the Chelsea Physic Garden. He looked pensive and told me of a recent bereavement. For 8 years he had kept a pet Giant African Land Snail called He-She Humungus. H-S H had recently died and lay buried in a specific spot. My new friend plans to dig H-S up in six months in the anticipation of retrieving and keeping the shell. But will the tongue lie intact or have rotted?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Plot Goes to Pot at The Garden Museum

For those with allotment envy, it has now been proved that an allotment can fit into a pot, scarecrow and all. The Garden Museum is displaying 34 planters designed by some of the country's best-known gardeners from today until Thursday July 1st. Want inspiration for filling your pots? Don't miss this fun opportunity to see (and bid for) imaginative and witty compositions from Chelsea Best-in-Show Winner Andy Sturgeon, BBC garden presenter Joe Swift, actress (and gardener) Penelope Keith and many others. Here are some tasters...Gardeners' World Allotmenteer Joe Swift compliments low level planting with colour coordinating pot, while photographer Edwina Sassoon fits the whole allotment into her pot, tumbler tomatoes doing just that, scarecrow perched high rise.
The Garden Museum's Matt Collins includes driftwood, Artist Charlotte Verity goes stylishly simple with a lemon tree in her elegant planter painted by Christopher Le Brun, and Richard Reynolds confirms that there's no stopping a Guerrilla Gardener.
Photographs (c) Edwina Sassoon