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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

Introducing
The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

Watch the seasons unfold right here at our very own allotments

Click for the blog.

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Any comments, ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the website? Please email us.

Links

 

Here is a selection of websites that plotholders may find interesting or useful. If you know of any additional sites you think should be included, please email us at website@paddocks-allotments.org.uk.

 

 

Organizations and official sites

 

Allotments Regeneration Initiative

An organization that promotes the creation of new allotment sites and the regeneration of old, existing ones. Regular newsletters and downloadable factsheets and information packs.

 

Garden Organic

The UK’s leading organic gardening movement, originally the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA). Lot of valuable, downloadable information for paid members.

 

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners

Official representative body for the allotment movement in the UK.

 

National Vegetable Society

Slanted towards growing for shows and competitions – but lots of general information and advice too.

 

Richmond-upon-Thames Council Allotments

A total of 24 allotment sites in the borough – and no vacancies!

 

Soil Association

The voice of organic farming in the UK – campaigning for and promoting “planet-friendly food and farming”.

 

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General information about allotments

 

Allotments UK

A large community website with an extensive directory of UK sites and very active forums. It's good to know that we're not the only ones fighting Mare’s tail!

 

Allotment Vegetable Growing

Long-established site created by popular book author John Harrison. Practical information as well as lots of web links.

 

Allotments 4 All

A popular, wide-ranging forum site for allotment plotholders.

 

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Advice on growing

 

RHS Grow Your Own

Reliable, authoritative information from the Royal Horticultural Association on growing most fruit and vegetables, including common pests and diseases.

 

BBC Gardening

Lots of practical advice and growing tips, as well as links to TV’s Gardeners’ World and Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time.

 

Garden Action

Pretty good source of information about gardening techniques, with an emphasis on vegetables, fruit and herbs.

 

Grow Organic Food

Organic gardening news, views, interviews, help and support.

 

Grow Your Own Channel

Online videos on topics from sowing seeds and making compost to preparing your plot and growing strawberries.

 

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Local garden centres and suppliers

 

Adrian Hall Garden Centre

A wide range of sheds and building materials, as well as plants, tools, and other horticultural supplies. On Snakey Lane, Feltham, just off the A316. Adrian Hall has an “Allotment Grower Plus” discount scheme. Click here for details and a registration form.

 

RHS Wisley Plant Centre

A little bit farther to travel, it’s true, but the range is very wide and stock is usually of very high quality.

 

Squires Garden Centre

Probably the nearest large garden centre to the Royal Paddocks. Between Twickenham and Fulwell.

 

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Mail-order seeds and plants

The big names are well-known and easily googled: Thompson & Morgan, Marshalls, Dobies, Unwins, Kings, Mr Fothergill, Suttons, Victoriana, Crocus, and so on. Here’s a list of smaller, independent suppliers whom it’s worth supporting.

 

Chiltern Seeds

A good range of unusual heirloom, organic and Oriental vegetable seeds.

 

Chris Bowers

Specialist fruit nursery based in Norfolk. Extremely wide selection of new, modern varieties as well as unusual and rare traditional ones.

 

Heritage Seed Library

Part of Garden Organic. Heirloom seeds that can’t be bought and sold – but if you become a member you’ll receive a choice of up to six rare varieties each year.

 

Ken Muir

Top-quality, specialist fruit nursery – particularly good for pre-trained espalier and space-saving “minarette” fruit trees.

 

More Veg

Seeds come in smaller quantities to cut down waste – so prices are low. Good choice. Regular special offers.

 

Organic Gardening Catalogue

Perhaps the best of the organic suppliers. Run as a joint venture between Garden Organic and Chase Organics, who are based in Hersham.

 

Plants of Distinction

Over 1200 exciting and unusual flowers, vegetables and plants including a large collection of heirloom tomatoes and peppers. Order their excellent “Simply Vegetables” catalogue here.

 

Reads

Well-known long-established nursery specializing in fruit of all kinds – including figs, citrus, and grapes. Both traditional and modern varieties.

 

R.V. Roger

One of the country’s top nurseries for fruit trees and bushes.

 

Real Seed Catalogue

Husband-and-wife team based in Wales who sell “real seeds for real gardeners wanting to grow proper vegetables. You'll find no F1 hybrids or genetically modified seed here - just varieties that do really well in the UK climate and taste great when grown by hand on a garden scale. Many are rare heirlooms, and all are open-pollinated (non-hybrid) so you can save your own seed for future years.”

 

Sarah Raven

Good choice of varieties, with monthly sowing and planting tips. Very smart website and sumptuous catalogues.

 

Seeds of Italy

Franchi Seeds has been in business since the 18th century. Wonderful Italian varieties of tomato, aubergine, pepper, lettuce, chicory, beans, squashes, and other vegetables. But be warned: tempting as they are, most are native to the Mediterranean and need a hot summer to do well in the UK.

 

Simpson’s Seeds

Extensive range of seeds and plants. Lots of unusual varieties.

 

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Mail-order equipment and materials

 

Compost Centre

Bags of natural organic compost at reasonable prices. Based in Woking, but will deliver to the Royal Paddocks site.

 

Harrod Horticultural

Not cheap, but one of the best places for fruit cages, nets, cloches, tools, etc.

 

Labels 'N' Things

Labels 'N' Things have a comprehensive range of plant labels, ties and sundries available.

 

Two Wests & Elliott

Wide choice of gardening equipment – from propagators to polytunnels.

 

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Allotment blogs

 

Allotment 81

From “a south-facing plot on a sloping site in south-west Sheffield”.

 

Allotment Blog

Adventures with an allotment. “Pull up a chair, grab a rich tea biscuit, and hopefully somebody will stir their stumps soon to make a nice big jug of lemon barley water…”

 

At Last I’ve Got My Plot

Lilymarlene writes from an allotment plot on the Isle of Wight.

 

Down On the Allotment

An intimate account of “Matron”, a passionate veggie grower with an allotment in Hillingdon.

 

Duck Dinner Dash

Michelle Duck, plotholder from Sheffield.

 

Fennel and Fern

Self-proclaimed “stylish gardening blog”. Some practical advice, but best for ideas, inspiration and lovely photography.

 

Guardian Allotments

General articles and blog entries from a group of “Guardian” and “Observer” writers.

 

Horticultural

Author and “Guardian” editor/writer Jane Perrone.

 

My Tiny Plot

The now well-known diary of a small vegetable patch in Bath, England.

 

Otter Farm

Not strictly an allotment. This is River Cottage head gardener Mark Diacono’s blog about “the UK's only climate change farm - where we're planting olives, peaches, pecans, persimmons, apricots, szechuan pepper, vines and much more.”

 

Tilth and Tillage

The “reliably sporadic” blog of local landscape designer Cleve West, who has a plot on a nearby site.

 

Jolly Hockey Sticks!

A great blog by Kristina Collins from our own Royal Paddocks (plot 163). Billed as “Baking, knitting, gardening – but no hockey – at least not yet!”. Lots of terrific photos, plenty of references to the allotments, and masses of mouth-watering food.

 

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Do you know of any other links we should include here? Please email:
website@paddocks-allotments.org.uk