February 2007

Full moon over Hill Rise Allotments. The picture on the left (click twice to enlarge) was taken to the West as the sun rose in the East at about 07:00 in the morning (that picture is at the bottom of this blog). I do most of my allotment work early Sunday mornings, with a break about 10:00 for breakfast back home, returning for the rest of the morning if there are still things to do. I’m also getting into the habit of doing a couple of early weekday mornings as well & going into work later.

First thing I normally do Sunday morning is go for a root through the skips on the industrial estate a mile or so away. Unbelievable what great bits of wood can be ‘rescued’. I’ll never buy wood from a DIY store again!

Yesterday I took ownership of 4 posts that will form the basis of my new shed. New shed … ‘what’s this all’ about I hear you cry.

My existing shed acquired a stylish gait last month following the strong winds. Having ruminated over what to do for a few weeks I’ve decided to build a new shed. I suppose it’ll be ‘son of shed’, taller & wider than it’s father (as is the case in so many families these days!).

And here’s the latest bright idea … I’ll build the new shed around the existing one, demolishing dad when I’ve got the front wall & door of son ready to install. I like this idea since there’ll be no loss of facilities during construction, the new shed will be made up from scrounged bits (much more in keeping with the allotment ethos) & it’ll have more room for drying onions, herbs etc. Possibly even have some kind of greenhouse attached.

Of course that then raises the question about where the greenhouse bit will go. Looks like I’ll be moving the compost bins yet again to sit along the side of my patch.

It’s going to take me ages to do … probably well into next winter since there’ll be increasingly less time for such things as spring and summer arrive. And I recognise that my startling success with the cold frame (as per the picture on the right) has probably gone to my head. The pallid attempt in January has blossomed into something that could actually be recognised by an independent third party as possibly a construction for garden use. Nothing gained …

And at last there arrived some severe frosts, as show in the picture on the left. The lumps of clay that form much of my allotment have broken up really well. I started carting the contents of one of my compost bins onto a raised bed yesterday, disturbing a nest of baby field mice in the process. Managed to relocate them safely before covering in younger compost from the bin next door, part of the airing process.

I’m also thinking seriously about paths. Last Sunday it was wet & muddy & as I carried two heavy bags of grass cuttings (first grass cut of the season) towards the compost bins my foot rested for a moment on a slippy bit of old carpet & up in the air I went. Must have been suspended momentarily in mid air before gravity took hold of the bags of grass & back to earth I came bum first. I’ve been swaying between gravel & grass but I’ve realised that a heavy wheelbarrow going up & down will soon mash up anything other than a brick path. Just got to get the bricks for gratis now.

I prefer to cycle up to the plot if I can. Depends on the amount of stuff I’ve got to haul up. Not cycled much recently since I’ve had to take my tools up there, but the weight of load hasn’t necessarily put me off in the past. I’ve hauled big bags of composting material on my bike, marked by a significant wobble & the odd ‘whoops!’ as I’ve landed in a ditch.

A couple of weeks ago I arrived at the ditch that marks the boundary between a wooded area & the allotments, only to find it presented a more significant barrier than in the past … in fact I couldn’t get across now & had to wander down to the ‘official’ entrance. The change is part of work being done by the groundsmen to extend the cemetery … I sometimes muse that when they peg me out I’ll still be able to keep an eye on my allotment on wild & windy nights when the dear departed are allowed to wander across the land.

Along my detour I spotted some logs piled up following the clearing of trees. Another free opportunity … I’d been considering something to sit & eat from, or for my grandchildren to sit & play on during the long Summer evenings. So I’ve now taken ownership of suitable sized logs for some seats & a table as shown in the picture on the right. Just need to find the table top now.

One of the comments I got last month was a question why I don’t give more information about what’s currently growing on my plot. Good thinking! It’s supposed to be about plants isn’t it, & I’m conscious I’ve been getting carried away with construction over the last couple of months.

So I’ve made my first attempt below at including a table of the top 4 growers this month... being my first season I've not got a particular good 'stable' of over winter vegetables this year, not even any delicious leeks. Will do better! I’ve also put the extra photos at the bottom of the blog into a table to make it tidier. Off on yet another tangent, understanding more & more about HTML programming.

Thanks for reading my blog. John

Top 4 plants this month

First appearance of garlic from the cloves I grew last year.

Swiss chard ... appears to be able to survive anything, even a mid winter transplant.

Chicory ... gave it a go but not sure what to do with it now!

My surviving globe artichoke, which is really doing well now & from which I'm looking forward to some produce this Summer. Will also try taking some root cuttings in a month or so.

Other photos this month

Sunrise over Hill Rise allotments.

An earlier photo of the emerging cold frame.

My grandson Sammy's 'pit'. When he visited last month it was full of water & too tempting not to sling in a few stones & a stick.

1 comment:

  1. Hello - I have 2 plots in Cambridge - not far from Huntingdon. I have just finished building a shed with most of the cladding coming from old fence panels. Good luck with yours!



You might also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...