Slow allotment gardening in the life of a busy family
Sunday, 21 December 2008
After a day of gale-driven heavy rain on Friday the soil was too wet on Saturday for any serious digging. All rather frustrating, since the rampant wild forget-me-not is spreading. However, it's easy to dig out once things dry up a bit, so I mustn't get too downhearted about its onward march. I cheered myself up by a bit of year-end tinkering: checking the netting over the broccoli and spring greens and pegging it down more firmly, and planting some very late bulbs up against the shed, where the sunflowers had been in the summer.
The bulbs were the result of an exuberant order from Avon Bulbs in September, when I was confident of finding time to plant them up both at home and at the allotment. As it was, only my daughter got her share in on time, planted up in the courtyard of the Music School at her school - the beautifying of which she and a friend have taken on off their own bat. I was especially keen to finish planting, as the leftovers included some rather lovely White Parrot and Abu Hassan tulips. We'll see what manages to come up from this Christmas planting. As well as the tulips I popped in the last of a bargain bag of narcissi, reckoning that cheap and cheerful might have to carry the day.
I pulled a couple of leeks, sorted out some shallots to take home from the rack in the shed, and with daylight waning went for a muddy stroll round the site to see what was happening. There are always plots which I look at enviously - pristine, dug to perfection - and those which make me feel that others are in the same boat.
Evidence of Friday's gales - this tree was well and truly blocking the main access road.
Some greenhouses had broken panes, and sheds had tar paper ripped off the roof. I didn't take photos of those, but I felt that this lucky glass shed cum greenhouse deserved to be featured. One of the classic do-it-yourself allotment constructions, all tidy and ship-shape for winter, and eco-friendly down to its little push mower.
That was probably my last visit to the plot for this year. Very shortly I'll be heading north, to what looks like being a warm, wet Christmas.