Victory Garden

Follow me in my attempts to turn my neglected allotment in Walthamstow in to a food factory Victory Garden that the Ministry of Agriculture would be proud of.

In The Beginning...
In February 2011 my best friend Diane and I managed to acquire an allotment! Now, I'm no gardener, I've killed many a spider plant in my time, but I had managed to grow a few veggies on my balcony without killing them, so I was over the moon when we got the plot, finally a chance to do some proper gardening! It took me a while to mention it on the blog, as I was a little worried that it may be a monumental failure, as you will see from the pictures it needed a heck of lot of work...oh and a massive skip!

We progressed nicely, and after many visits to the tip, much digging, weeding and best of all planting our little junk yard looked like this...
May/June 2011 - Lots of digging was done but the ground was becoming too tough to dig as it was very dry. I never thought I would wish for it to rain! Planted Peas, Onions, Runner Beans, strawberry's, sweet peas, beetroot and broad beans.
Over all we had a great year and had lots of lovely veggies to show for our hard work...Yumm!  {Read more about our first year here}

2012 Was Another Story...
Sadly 2012 was a bit disappointing for both crops and for my enthusiasm. With the rotten weather (I can't believe I wished for rain in 2011, I would've given anything for more sunshine) and my partner in crime becoming pregnant early on in the year our grand plans of growing simply potatoes & onions whilst we set to digging and clearing the rest of the plot fell by the by. Also with addition of a garden at home for me to look after, I battled to keep on top of everything and failed miserably, meaning our poor little 'Lotty' ended up getting a little neglected and more than a little over grown.

From this...
May 2012 - Ooh a sunny day!! The weeds are being slowly fought back in to submission as the potatoes are and Strawberries are this only a month or so later

June 2012 - Oh 2012 why were you so crewel?! Not much to say really is just a sad weedy disaster!

By the end of last year I was considering giving it up, my friend has understandably more important things to worry about, so it was going to mean another year going it alone, battling to keep on top of the weeds and make progress with the digging. I'll be honest I was not sure I could summon up the enthusiasm!

So on to 2013...
That was until early in 2013. I had popped over to see just how bad it had become and was hit with a huge pang of guilt. So I started there and then to pull up some of the weeds, the more I pulled out, the more I realised just how much I enjoyed it, the more ground I cleared the more resolute I became that 'NO' I was not going to give up so easily, this massive plot and its bazillion weeds was not going to beat me. So my resolve led me back to my original dream, of creating a wartime 'Victory Garden', I was going to Dig for Victory and the war I am planning to win is against the weeds!

Wartime Gardening Resources:
Earthly Pursuits - Ministry of Agriculture Allotment & Garden Guides 1945
Earthly Pursuits - Ministry of Agriculture Dig For Victory Leaflets

Pre & Wartime Vegetable Varieties:

Broad Beans: Early Magazan, Broad Windsor, Seville Longpod, Eclipse, Giant four-seeded Windsor, Harlington.

Leeks: Prizetaker, Walton Mammoth London Flag, Musselburgh, Rentons Monarch, The Lyon, Emperor.

Lettuce:All the Year Round, Feltham King, Lobjoit’s Green Cos, Arctic King, Stanstead Park, Hardy Winter White Cos, Webb's Wonderful, Tom Thumb, Black Seeded and Jumbo.

Onions: Bedfordshire Champion, Ailsa Craig, Rousham Park Hero, Up to Date, Giant Zittau, White Lisbon, Improved Banbury, James' Long Keeping, Potato Onion, Rousham Park, Hero Sutton's Globe and Giant Rocca, The Queen, Unwins Reliance, Silver Skinned.

Potatoes: Arran Banner, Arran Cairn, Arran Chief, Arran Comrade, Arran Crest , Arran Pilot , Arran Victory, Doone Early, Doone Star, Duke of York, Dunbar Cavalier, Dunbar Rover, Dunbar Standard, Eclipse, Fir-apple, Great Scot, Home Guard, Immune Ashleaf, King Edward VII, Majestic, May Queen, Ninety-fold, The Congo, Gladstone, Great Scott, Epicure.

Pea: Alderman, Alaska, Autocrat, Blue Bird, Blue Prussian, British Lion, Cloche Wonder , Duplex, Early Bird, Essex Star, Eight week, Foremost, Forerunner, Giant Stride, Gladstone, Harrisons Glory, Kelvedon Triumph, Kelvedon Wonder, Laxton's Progress , Laxtons Supurb, Lincoln, Little Marvel, Lord Chancellor, Miriacle, Meteor, Onward, Pilot, Provost, Quite Content, Senator, Standard, Springtide, The Daisy, Thomas Laxton, Timperly Wonder.

Rhubarb: Appleton's Crimson, Appleton's Red, Early Albert, Linnaeus, The Sutton, Victoria, Dawes Champion, Hawkes Champagne.

Shallots: Ryder's Giant, True Shallot, Russian Shallot, Dutch Shallot, Jersey or False Shallot, Yellow Shallot.

Spinach: Long-Standing Summer, Round-Leafed Victoria & Prickly, King of Denmark, Monstrous Viroflay, Reliance, Blanchford's New Prickly, Giant Lettuce Leaved, Long Standing,The C.O.


1 comment:

  1. Your garden is spectacular. I have a small victory garden, but yours is huge! WOW!. WTG! I know how much work that is!