Mid September Update

It’s the middle of September and Autumn is nearly here. The days are still warm, but the temperature is due to drop substantially in the next couple of days. Time to start tidying the garden and get it ready for the shorter days.

It’s been a good year in the garden for me. I hope you have had a brilliant year as well.


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Early September Update – Part 544 – Claire’s Allotment

It’s now September, where has the year gone. To say it’s been a rather strange year is a slight under estimation. But we’re still here, and taking each day as it goes. At the beginning of the year I said I would try and do garden/allotment updates at the beginning and the middle of each month. Everything was going fine until August began.

I did try very hard to film an early August update for you, but if you cast your mind back to then, you may remember the weather was a little on the warm side, it got up to 38 on a few days, and the greenhouses were in the mid to high 40’s.

There I was setting up in the garden, with the very hot sun beating down ready to record another episode of you. I began as usual, but it wasn’t long before the camera suddenly shut off and uttered the words “Camera overheating!” I let the camera cool down inside for a while, and tried a few more times but the same thing happened. By this time the heat was really building and the humidity wasn’t fun either. I tried to film something for you over the course of a few days, but the same thing happened, so I decided it was a non starter.

I then hoped that by the middle of August the heat would subside a little and then I would be able to film a mid August update. But the stormy winds came, and the thunder, lightning and torrential rains, plus a bit of hail mixed in for good measure. So that put pay to any filming as well.

During this time I was working 5 days a week, and the only time I had free to film was the weekends, so if Saturday and Sunday were unsuitable I was screwed.

But here we are in September and weather is much more sensible. It’s had it’s mad 5 minutes for the summer so it’s much easier to get back out in the garden now.

I’m sure you all understand that filming, even a short 15 minute episode for you, takes a good hour, to an hour and a half to film. Shots have to be set up, things have to be in frame, and sometimes I have to do a couple of takes, as well as all the other usual gardening bits of planting, harvesting, weeding etc.

Then there’s the editing, which takes another hour and a half. I love our barn, but during the summer months it gets stiflingly hot upstairs, even with the windows open all the way. We even end up sleeping downstairs at night. So sitting upstairs at my computer editing a video, is not something anyone would be happy to do.

We finally come to the upload speeds where we are. Now I’m sure that many of you wouldn’t even think about this, as you can download and upload what you want without any thought what so ever. But here in the middle of the countryside we aren’t that lucky. The only supplier down our road is BT and all we can get is copper, with upload speeds of 2 or 3! Yes it’s that slow. So we don’t have that, we have an aerial that points the an antenna (or is it the other way round?) some distance away, and we’re lucky if we get double figures. At 5am it goes up to about 20 (I’m still in dozy land at that time), but once everyone is up and about it drops dramatically. An episode of Claire’s Allotment can take about 2 hours to upload, and that’s on a good day.

So hopefully you can see how long it all takes and the difficulties I sometimes have.
I love doing these little updates for you, but sometimes the weather, or time just don’t work in my favour. My family is the most important thing to me, and I work all week and come home exhausted and filthy. Sometimes I just want to sit on the beach on a Sunday afternoon with my kids and husband having a picnic, and watch the waves wash in and out. It resets my mind and gives me time to calm down and just relax.

I know you all look forward to my latest videos, but I hope you appreciate how long they all take to produce and if the next episode is a little later than you expect, I hope you now understand why.
So my moan over, I hope it wasn’t too preachy, but when someone comments saying that it seems I’ve given up making my videos, just because I missed one or two out, that really hurts and gets me upset. I’ve been making these videos for 13 years now, and there are nearly 550 of them. So if you’re getting withdrawal symptoms because I’m a little late with the next episode, you can always watch a couple of old episodes to see you through.

But here’s my Early September video, all fresh and hot off the press.


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Mid July Update 2020

I can’t believe how time has flown this year. When you’re little days seem to go by so slowly, but the older you get months fly by without you realising. How are we in the middle of July already?

So much has happened this year what with one thing and another. I know I’ve entitled this one mid July, but I did film it in the middle of July, but just haven’t had the chance to sit down at the computer and edit it.

So here it is, a little later than normal, but here all the same….

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Early July Update

It’s July already, this year is definitely whizzing past very fast. It’s time for another update, so here is my next instalment. The garden is growing well, and I’m picking produce left right and centre.

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Mid June Update.

I can’t believe it’s the middle of June already, where did the last 2 weeks go? The weather here is still beautiful, and we’ve had very little rain, so I’m saving my bath and washing machine water and putting that on my plants, which they all love.

I have had to invest in some more water butts, and have attached them to each other. I have seven collecting and storing water for me, so I’m all set.

Here’s my latest update for you to see. My tomatoes have doubled in size since I last saw you, and I have baby melons.

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Early June Update

It’s the beginning of June and all worries of frost have gone where I live in the south east of the UK. Yay summer is here!

This can only mean one thing……it’s time to plant out all my tender crops.

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Mid May Update

Gosh are we nearly half way through the year? How did that happen? It’s the middle of May, and there is so much going on in my garden. I’ve been planting out so much, weeding endlessly, and trying to keep up with the watering.

It’s time for me to syphon off the bath water and washing machine water and put that on the garden, it takes a little extra time, but at least it’ll keep my water bills lower.

Here’s what I’ve been getting up to…

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Early May Update 2020

I can’t believe that it’s May already, where has this year gone? Is it just me, or has this year flown by?

There’s loads going on in the garden and the greenhouses. Lots of seeds still to sow. It’s early May, so it’s time for a little update, come and see what I’m getting up to……

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Summer evenings in the garden.

With summer just around the corner, and the evenings warm enough to sit outside with a glass of wine or beer (my preference to be honest), at the end of each day.

I’ve always dreamed of having some wonderful lights to gently sparkle around my garden in a relaxing way. I’ve always wanted to go for solar lights, as they sun does all the work (and is free), and you don’t have to either keep replacing batteries, or use electricity.

I’ve tried various solar lights from various places, some have only lasted a year, and aren’t quite doing what I want them to, that is until I came across some from LITOM.

They have loads to choose from, and I’ll definitely be getting more from them in the future. So far I have some small fairy lights over the arch where my grapes are slowly growing, and some low lights that come on when they sense me walking up the path to tuck in my chickens. They are bright enough to show me the way, without being too bright and obtrusive to the rest of the garden.

I’ve taken some photos, which I hope show them in a good light (I’m sorry for the pun), but I’m well chuffed with them I just had to show you.

Sensor lights that show the way, when I say goodnight to my chickens.
Fairy lights around my arch.

Take care in these uncertain time, and please stay safe and well. I hope you are able to enjoy your garden as much as I can, I’m not sure what I would do without my outside space.

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Mid April Update….

Lots had been going on in my garden and greenhouses since I last saw you. Now we’re in the middle of April there are lots more seeds to sow, and lots of pricking out to do. Come and see what I’m getting up to…..

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