20 June 2010

Not everyone likes the new path!

Today I received a letter from the allotment officer 'kindly requesting' I sort out the state of my plot (plot no 2), officially a 'part cultivation' letter. The shame of it!

Maybe I should spent a bit more time weeding rather than working on the path.To be honest looking at certain parts of it, I can see where he's coming from but Mrs D was not so happy. She was of the opinion that it's obvious that I have been working the plot and with so many plots not being worked at all... But rules is rules I guess, even if they are a little vague, and I've got 28 days before I get send a more serious letter!

Suitably admonished I took the camera up there to record the shamefully scene, only after taking the photos and taking the camera home I realised there was no CF card in it... Wasn't all bad news I did at least start on the tidying up. Realising first impressions count, I figured the patch on the left at the front of the plot should probably be first on the list.

Earlier this year the plan was to give this spot to the kids to grow some stuff themselves, but a distinct lack of enthusiasm on their part combined with my tendancy to throw all of the weeds and rubbish on this part of the plot meant it was in no condition to do anything with. Most of this space does seem to be covered in old carpet I've 'harvested' from elsewhere in the plot which is a little frustrating as I'll need to get it off site somehow - as seen below once camera and CF card were reunited - and this is after I'd made a start on it!

A couple of very hot and sweaty hours later, it's looking slightly better at the front of the plot and the main path is a step nearer to completion. There's a big pile of weeds - that I'm officially referring to as a compost heap for now! - in a contained area, an equally large pile of old carpet (have I ever mentioned how much I hate carpet on allotments...?), and several miles of old hose pipe...

Further up the plot...

There's an apple tree in there somewhere!

After a few more hours, it's looking a whole lot better, most of the front corner has been cleared and I'll get that planted up with either salad leaves, herbs or green manure once I've given it a proper dig over. The 'compost heap' is growing ever larger, the hedge on the right hand side has been largely tamed (together with the neighbours), much of the grown elder and weeds further up the plot have been cut down, but large amounts of comfrey remain. The previous plot holder was obvious a big fan. The stuff is everywhere, I obviously have the invasive type. Whilst I do use some of it I usually end up leaving it to go to flower which the bees adore, but it does tend to look a bit unsightly all over the place - and probably isn't the best idea if it's the invasive type! The problem is I'm loathed to cut it down when it's covered in bees, sounds like a job for when it's raining.

In amongst all the plot tidying...

Unfortunately I'd let the radish go 'too far' and it was hollow inside. The coriander is self seeded from last year and the strawberries are just beginning to take off - the defences against the wildlife are a bit OTT this year - it took me half an hour to pick those few!


Green Lane Allotments said...

You could make a comfrey still as it is a great plant food.

Hope you sort out to the allotment officer's liking in the given time and avoid a serious letter!

Woody Wilbury said...

The council are a curious mixture of being a bit 'vigorous' about what they see as plotholders lack of action, yet with a curious blind spot about their own failings.

When I took my plot over the hedges were, without a word of exagerration, 12 feet high. It took a year of hard graft to get just the infrastructure under control. They should have done that before offering me it. It still irritates me that they bang on about keeping the hedges under control, so you do your best, then they come round without notice and cut the external hedges again. Total waste of my time in doing it in the first place. If you're reading this, council, get a grip and communicate!

And commiserations on the plot notice; we're all just a whisker away from it!