Compost, cleaning and cooking on cold days

Wow, what a wild few months it has been! For those who think winter in the garden is time for 'a well-deserved rest', you are very, very wrong. I'm not sure I've ever worked harder on the allotment! The shed has been revamped with a few luxe elements, the beds have all been topped with two tonnes of fresh, peat free compost ready for the year ahead, the swing seat has been rebuilt, the entire plot has been re-chipped and I have dug up COUNTLESS brambles, nettles and raspberry canes. It's been hard graft, but I really do love to be busy and exhaust myself over the weekend ready for a fresh week...

That's not to mention all of the smaller jobs the I always forget have been done. But it's been really great, I've enjoyed almost every minute of it. Luckily the luxe shed is the perfect place to hideaway when the cold really sinks in, and the camping stove means we've been eating gourmet meals (read: cheese toasties, bean chilli and bacon sandwiches) in between jobs and drinking copious amounts of tea to keep warm. I've had an army of surprisingly keen volunteers despite the cold too which has really been the reason we've made such a dent in all of the tasks to be honest. Solo Shan is very productive, but only up to a point.

I've decided to start sharing monthly updates in a form of a blog post, more for my own benefit to reflect on the month past than anything else, but some of you might be interested to hear a little more than the short captions I pop on Instagram, so here you go!

A little 'exclusive' for anyone reading, whilst I can't allotment after dark because I am, to be perfectly honest, VERY scared of the dark, I've been working on some little side projects. Podcast recordings have filled lots of my recent evenings, as have planning workshops, but my multi-skilled brother has been helping me out with some podcast 'merch' too! I keep pushing back the launch date because it's making me nervous, but the whole idea of them came about whilst I was looking for some posters to decorate my flat and I couldn't quite find anything that I wanted. My brother had a few goes at creating something I might like, based around the branding of the podcast and within a few hours we had a basic concept that I loved, yipee!!

Flash forward a few months, after hours of back and fourth, samples, Pantone colour swatches and edits and I'm really happy with the final pieces and I thought I might share the posters with you all too. They're basic, bold and I think quite funny/quirky, so I hope that someone else has the same creative eye as me.

I'm looking at ways of making them suitable for putting up in the shed as they would be really fabulous shed decor (why isn't that more of a thing?!) But it's still a work in progress for the moment. I'll update when we're nearly there.

Back to the gardening life and looking forward, this year is all about flowers and I couldn't be any more excited. The majority of the plot is now dedicated to flower beds split between focal, filler and foliage for a nice balance in bouquets. I've read all three Floret Flower books and listened to many, many hours of flowery podcasts noting down everything I *might* want to grow and then whittling down lists which are now almost finalised for the year eeek. Now it's the patient wait for March to start sowing and planting out.

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