1 April 2011

A Man of Leisure

Today was my first day out of work. Naturally my thoughts turned to the allotment, especially with the promise of the temperature reaching 20C.

Looked out of the window as I got up, it was raining. Went down stairs, picked up one of the cats off the chilli plants. Got down to plot no. 1 some time later to this:

Not the best start to the day. I'd taken the greenhouse down the plot to get it out of the garden and put most of my seeds in there to keep the cats off them. I managed to salvage some of the larger seeds (sweet peas, sunflowers and broad beans) but the rest were lost in amongst the mess: Dill, Parsley, Thyme, Sage, Orange Thyme, Coriander, Beetroot, Lettuce, Brussels and two different types of Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Bugger.

It was a bit windy yesterday, and to be honest I'd had my mind on other things for the last few weeks (which might explain the lack of updates to the blog too!). So I hadn't thought to tie it down at all. This has now been rectified:

OK it's not the best of jobs but it was all I had to hand, and it's not like there are many seeds in there now.

Stepping back a bit, whilst I've been a bit quiet on the blog, fortunately I've been busy on the plots...

You know it's a good bonfire when...
... you light it one day and several days later it's still going!

Day 1 - plenty to burn
Day 3 - still going strong
Day 5 - running out of stuff to burn
The more observant of you will notice the lack of a tree in that corner too, hence the huge bonfire to clear the area.

Mango Chutney Anyone?
I now have a couple of water butts on plot no. 1, courtesy of Duck's Dinner Dash and her allotment association:

I managed to fill them both via the stream running down the site by connecting an old squash bottle to the end of the hose pipe then using gravity to get it down on the plot - there are advantages to having a plot on the side of a mountain sometimes. These have proved to be a bonus over the last few weeks when it's been really dry and I've been needing to water stuff already.

What Lies beneath...
Up the hill on plot no. 2 I've been trying to get to grips with the ground elder and bind weed. Obviously that's a battle I'll be fighting for, well ever really.

The horrors under the pond liner

Around the (leaking) pond I've also planted some flowers. Yes, flowers. Gladioli (Sancerre, Traderhorn and Velvet Eyes), a Lily (Casa Blanca) and a few Dahlias (Little William, Arabian Night, Black Narcissus, Boom Boom Red, Honka Red, Mary Evelyn, Lavender Perfection and My Love). Not to mention some cornflowers, foxgloves and carnations.

Well they're good for attracting pollinators, not to mention keeping the wife in flowers.

First Harvests
The first crops of the season have been daffodils (perfectly timed for Mrs D's birthday) and forced rhubarb - although the normal stuff seems to be ready at the same time too???

Hopefully more regular updates from now onwards.