Sunday 8 April 2012

Allotments Available Up At Big House!

Hi Folks,

I thought I would show you a few pictures of allotments and working kitchen gardens at big houses in County Cork.  The allotments at Bantry House have been made available for members of the public to rent.  Perhaps this is the way forward for people who can't get a council allotment?  I believe that the National Trust in Britain has created a thousand new allotments for people to cultivate the vegetables and fruit.  You can also make yourself a garden with flower beds and a lawn and a shed and your very own piece of Eden.

A great site for you to peruse is you want to live the good life on a smallholding or an allotment:  Land  Go on get yourself an allotment.

Allotments at Bantry House.   County Cork, Eire.
Overgrown Allotment in need of TLC at Bantry House.
Working Kitchen Garden.  Lisselan Estate  Clonakilty , County Cork.
Old Hot Bed: Lisselan Estate Clonakilty,  County Cork, Eire.


  1. Some nice pics, just trying to imagine what it was like it in the hay-days of the big houses, walled gardens and high farming.
    Even nicer to see some of them coming back into useful production.

    Didn't know the National Trust have created 1,000 allotments, a step in the right direction.
    I'm sure similar large land-owners like the church, railway companies, forestry commission, councils, and even large farms with odd-shaped off-hand fields. As well as neglected big house walled gardens.
    I've started looking with renewed interest for odd little bits of "waste" ground, and they turn up in some unexpected places. Not all suitable, but I'm sure quite a lot are.

    Another idea, don't know if it ever got off the ground, was for young fit people with no garden but wanting to have a go, to cultivate the gardens of older or decrepit (or even lazy) people and share the produce.
    I realise this idea could lead to a few problems, but the principle is sound, just a few common-sense rules needed.

    A man walks into his bedroom and sees his wife packing a suitcase.
    He asks, "What are you doing?"
    She answers, "I'm moving to London.
    I heard prostitutes there get paid £400 for doing what I do for you for free."
    Later that night, on her way out, the wife walks into the bedroom and sees her husband packing his suitcase.
    When she asks him where he's going, he replies, "I'm coming too I want to see how you live on £800 a year".

    Raggy cat fast asleep on my chair.

  2. Thanks Cumbrian. I still watch the repeats of the Victorian Kitchen Garden on Sky. Harry Dodson was a great character and what he didn't know wasn't worth knowing.

    The land offers land and asks for land(often domestic and kitchen gardens) for people to cultivate crops.

    I bet there's many a experienced and knowledgeable gardener who's too old to do it themselves, yet they are only too willing to pass on their growing tips? You're right Cumbrian. All that is needed is a few common sense rules.

    Raggy cat must have been working hard last night?


  3. Haven't seen the TV programmes, never did watch much telly (idiots lantern) in fact didn't have one for 5 years, got one now for my wife.

    Just had a look at Landshare. Not much in our area though.
    But you're right about all the local knowledge wrapped up in the heads of the old boys, it used to get aired in the pub.


    Last night my wife and I were sitting in the den and I said to her, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all, If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

    So she got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

    She's such a bitch.

    Raggy cat's gone out, always asks, and it's raining, must be something really important.

  4. Idiots lantern. I like that! I have also heard television called: the 'electric fish tank'. I like the following title for radio: the theatre of the mind. Brilliant.

    You can see parts of the Victorian Kitchen Garden and the Lost Gardens of Heligan (I adore that place) on good old You Tube.

    I Once went to Heligan in Cornwall. It's fantastic and it's got a unique feeling all of its own. It was incredibly poignant to see the gardeners graffiti in their sheds. The same people who served and gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918 and never returned and the gardens fell into disarray, until they were restored back to their former glory.

    There's some great walled kitchen gardens to visit in the UK. One of my hobbies is visiting the big houses gardens in County Cork and Ireland. I will show you some more pictures in the next blog.

    The Landshare hasn't taken off here either. I would love to turn one of my fields into vegetable allotments (no chemicals please!) and meet other vegetable growers. People just don't seem to have the same enthusiasm down here at the moment.

    Your computer joke sounds just like me.

    Thanks for your comments.

  5. Just had a look at You Tube, Yes, a nice place with some exotic vegetation we don't see up here. The Cornish climate is a bit different from the Cumbrian weather.

    Good idea about your field, but unless you get the right people, some of them will just become breeding grounds for weeds, it only takes one and the weed seed spread quickly. That's probably why land-owners are shy about letting out land, but a few sensible rules would help.
    Dunno if you've ever seen the French allotments, I've noticed them from Northern areas (close to the Belgian border) next to the English Channel, and down to South-East areas (Landuoc-Roussilon region if you know your wine) next to the Mediterranean. They all seem to conform to a pattern, on flat bits of land, laid out with military-looking precision, each with the same shed and nothing else, no fences even. All well looked after. I was told the rules were "Don't look after it and we'll take it off you and give it to somebody who will". It seems to work.

    Things Got Ya Down? Well Then, Consider These . . .

    In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 am , regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the super natural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11:00 am Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 am all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11:00 , Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper , entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.

    Still Having a Bad Day????

    The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska was $80,000.00.. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.

    Still think you are having a Bad Day????

    A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

    Are Ya OK Now? - No?

    Two animal rights defenders were protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn , Germany . Suddenly, all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly. The two helpless protesters were trampled to death.

    What?!? STILL having a Bad Day????

    Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with 'Return to Sender' stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits. God is Good!

    There now, Feeling Better?

    Raggy cat's come in, soaking, presently happily sleeping on my chair again.

  6. I have been having a look at two walled gardens in Cumbria; Dalemain and Hutton in the forest. Or if you're feeling really flushed there's a Georgian mansion for sale complete with walled garden: Warcop Appleby in Westmorland Cumbria. WWW.carterjones.couk/ I like it very much. Think we will have to have a go on the lottery this week.

    You're right about people not looking after the land. Also they would want a water supply and public liability insurance. Why is everything so difficult these days?

    I like having my own smallholding but it would be good to have somebody to help you work the land and to share a laugh or ten. That's the great thing about allotments. There's always somebody to help or even not help you.

    Went to see the big cattle this morning in the rain. Found them with their heads sheltering under a fuchsia hedge. They just looked at me as if to say:

    "What are you standing outside in the rain for?"


  7. Yes, some animals sometimes do seem to have more sense than some people.

    Off down the road tomorrow, back in about 2 weeks.

    Raggy cat's a self-supporter for this time, it gets 2 gravity feeders of biccies left in the greenhouse, they're always empty when we get back. Either he likes them a lot or I'm feeding a load of vermin.

  8. Some animals are sensible and some are daft as a box of frogs. I had a heifer who was tame as a dog and would rub her side against you to stroke her. We also had a Limousine heifer who thought she was a show jumper and she could clear any farm gate with ease. All creatures great and small!

    Raggy cat sounds like he could teach us all about self supporting.

    Look forward to hearing from you in 2 weeks Cumbrian!!


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