Spring walks come rain, shine, sleet and snow!

I am sure you can all relate to the bonkers weather we have had over the past month. Three weeks ago we were lulled into thinking spring had finally sprung and the end of the cold and wet wintry weather had finally passed. Temperatures soared to 16°C and I even got a little sunburnt! Then the past week happened, and yes we had snow and sleet in April!  All feelings of excitement at the prospect of that orange globe gracing us daily were suddenly squashed.

Nevertheless we have dodged between the showers and managed some wonderful walks with Murray. The bluebell woods are now in full bloom too, making a photo opportunity every second.

Murray kindly made an impromptu and over exaggerated yawn as I asked him to sit for his first photo shoot. he found it more fun the second time round, posing beautifully.

I am reliably (I hope) informed from the weather app on my phone that we will be having warmer weather next week, and that orange thing has appeared again in the symbols against each day! Everyone keep their fingers crossed…

One overgrown plot and my garden plans for 2016

Good morning from a beautifully sunny Berkshire!

After the past week living fully up to the term ‘April Showers’ I am so happy to see that the weather forecast for the next week is to be sunny and most importantly…dry! It’s been difficult to get out in the garden as it seemed every time I planned to transplant something or sow some more exciting varieties for 2016, the sky darkened and the heavens opened!

April will be my busiest month of sowing seeds as being a bit limited on space I have to wait till the weather warms and it is possible to sow directly or into pots that can be kept outside. I do have two portable greenhouses which are fantastic, but not heated so starting seeds off is generally done indoors on a windowsill. So far I am pleased with my efforts, but am equally excited to really get stuck in and have greenhouses full to the brim with seedlings. So far I have sown Tomato ‘Flamingo’ a new variety I found this year from Chiltern Seeds and Broad Bean ‘Masterpiece Green Longpod’, I grew this last year but unfortunately lost my plants to black fly.

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For anyone that knows me will know I love to plan and gardening is no exception to this. I love to spend time pouring over seed catalogues and drawing out where I would like to plant things for the year, work out colour schemes and logically plan flowers which will compliment each other and the space. I will be making two plans this year, one for the back garden and one for the allotment. The back garden will have a few herbs and a couple of vegetables but will mainly be focusing on cut flowers with a strong selection of annuals. I have already started to map this out;

 

My allotment plan is a little more difficult, I think because I want to grow so much this year I am struggling to think how the space will work best to grow a large amount of vegetables. The allotment will also include a few flowers to help entice helpful pollinators. I have also invested in two redcurrant bushes, which will be planted out this week. I’m being quite ambitious this year and have picked ten varieties of tomatoes I would like to try this year, yes ten! I will also be growing courgettes, dwarf french beans, broad beans, aubergines, peas, beetroot, peppers and a variety of salad leaves. This is the allotment as it stands at the moment, it’s safe to say I will be busy digging over the next week!

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I am looking forward to documenting the allotment’s progress over the coming months and to share the transformation with you all. I hope you have enjoyed the read.

Reading Half Marathon 2016

On Sunday 3rd April the annual Reading Half Marathon took place. This year I did something a little crazy and signed up to take part! Having never been a particularly good runner or really enjoyed running when I was younger, I found a new love last year in pounding the pavements and cross country. I normally have my faithful running buddy Murray alongside and hands down he will always be fitter than me! Here’s a photo from a training run back in January;

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So training began in January, starting with small runs of 2-3 miles and then the occasional longer run at 5-6 miles. All was going well until I became injured with the dreaded shin splints! Lasting for 3 weeks it took me out of training. Sunday 3rd April was fast approaching and with the help of compression socks I got into the full swing of training again, but was no where near where I wanted to be.

I had signed up to do the Reading Half Marathon with a good friend of mine Izzy, and there we were on Sunday  3rd April 2016, ready to start the half marathon. Lined up amongst our fellow runners, nerves started to set in. Izzy and I went over our plan for the next thirteen miles, run the first two, then walk a mile, then run a mile, then walk a mile and so on till the finish. With Izzy having given birth just 9 weeks ago and my previous injury we thought this was the best course of action…and it paid off. We completed in under three hours, our target time and had the best time. The atmosphere and support around the course was brilliant. Training will continue and we look forward to next year where we will aim for personal best time. Here’s a compulsory pre race selfie and a few more snaps;

Izzy was running just 9 weeks after giving birth, she did amazingly well and I am so so proud of her. She was also running for Cancer Research, to donate to this very worthy cause here is her donation page:

http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action;jsessionid=CSvMTz4tOE9e-ycd-X7K9b0o.lgvappprod2:server-one?userUrl=IsobelTurner1&faId=672169&isTeam=false