With some – finally – sunny, warm and dry weather, and a couple of medical appointments looming, Thursday 27 May was ideal for a quick visit to the allotment. The best news is, that with a car boot full of things for the allotment, we can now drive down our lovely new access road, which saved hauling everything by hand.
The onions are growing well, and I sowed some carrot seeds in that gap (and the same the other end).
Park in the Past is taking advantage of lockdown to carry out some landscaping work. You can see the difference between these two photos, the left-hand image taken by me in early September 2020, the right-hand image taken by Sarah S, on 27th February.
As I understand it, the plan is that a 3 metre soil bank will be formed along this boundary in the next few weeks, which will shield the allotments from public view, create our own micro-climate, and is where our community orchard will be planted.
I’m pleased to see all my cages are still in place (I knew they couldn’t possibly blow away), but I wish I’d asked Sarah to take a snap of my onions; I’ll have to assume they are still there as I can’t tell from this angle. We are still allowed on site to tend to our vegetable, but apparently the whole area where we park, and access our own footpath, is a sea of mud and riddled with potholes. But I’ve sown some seeds in the greenhouse so I’ll be ready to go as soon as it’s feasible.
28 MarchPlanting the Community Orchard
Imagine mud so thick that it clings to your boots and doubles the size – and weight – of your feet. Mud so wet that if you stand still for more than a few seconds you literally cannot lift a foot out of the hole it’s made.
Imagine that it takes you one hour to dig a hole 18 inches square and 10 inches deep and all the time the rain is lashing down and you’re sinking deeper and deeper into the mud.
Imagine soil with so many stones in it that a spade will only go in an inch or so at a time and you can’t get enough purchase to use either of your feet to push the spade further. Imagine scrabbling on hands and knees to pick out flints. (That’s me, near the back of Picture 4, looking as though I’m about to head-butt a tree stake)
It’s been full-on in the garden this month as harvesting of potatoes, climbing beans and all things salad has continued. The freezer is slowly filling up with beans, and with foraged blackberries picked from hedgerows on our daily walk.
The weather has been ‘changeable’ (understatement) – which led to some lovely cloud formations – while Storm Francis battered the UK in the final week of the month. Damage in my garden was restricted to this pot of chard (past its best anyway), a tomato pot blown over but no damage, and a bent sunflower.
Bulbs, onion sets, and salad leaf/herb seeds have been ordered, though I’ve only received the seeds. The weed membrane for my allotment bed finally arrived, along with the tomato feed I’ve been trying to get hold of for months. (Note to self – stock up early next year).
Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the garden, another garden pest comes along to distract me. Initial research indicated a Japanese beetle; further research suggests a Garden Chaffer. It moved on before I could check its belly for spots.