Weeks 6 and 7

were a bit lax with little digging and weeding being done. My excuses include it being too hot, too wet or doing other things!

Having looked through the pile of assorted items that are sitting in the north-west corner of the plot I’ve decided that I can’t use, or don’t need, any of it so the council are going to remove it all. Hopefully that will be on Monday.

Where I’ve started digging over ground that I’ve already forked I’m finding it fairly easy going. Roots, weeds and sundry items, like rusty nails, are being picked up as I go. As yet I’ve found nothing of interest such as any coins.

I’ve had second thoughts about where I’m going to put my pallet patio and sentry box shed. Instead of being in the north-east corner I’m thinking of putting them about a third of the way down the eastern edge.

I’ve been browsing through several of the gardening books on the bookshop shelf and have made a list of annual flowers that can be sown direct onto the ground in the autumn. I shall check these in the seed catalogue* that I received earlier in the week.

I’ve also been looking at floribunda roses, in books and on websites. I particularly like the look of Valentine Heart among the handful that, for me, stand out.

[* I shall be doing a separate entry, hopefully sometime soon, on the joy of looking through a seed catalogue. ]

Too hot !

Last Friday afternoon I went to Plot 124 but really didn’t feel like doing very much.

As the wind was in the right direction, that is away from the the nearby flats, and there was no-one else working on the site I burnt the large pile of weeds that had accumulated since I started. Being dry it burnt well and what was left I can dispose of in one rubbish bag.

When the temperature goes over the low 20sC, especially when it’s humid, then I wilt! Yesterday it was around 30C here in London so I stayed home and continued reading James Fenton’s A Garden from a Hundred Packets of Seed.

This is a small, slim book and to quote the cover is A simple, refreshing way to start a garden from scratch.

The majority of the seeds mentioned are listed in the Chiltern Seeds catalogue. I have ordered a copy and will enjoy looking through it and making up my own list.

The forecast this week is for dry, sunny weather with the temperature in the low 20sC. That means I should be able to get on forking and weeding for a couple of hours on two, or even three, days.

Call that a shed !

I reckon that a couple of more weeks will see me finish the initial forking over and weed clearing. I hope so as I now feel that I’ve had enough of doing this!

I mentioned a shed last week, which I’m going to put at the north-east corner which is where the pallets are which are visible in the photo in that entry.

A week or two back I had a look round the site at all the sheds there then spent a couple of hours looking at ones on the web.

Bearing in mind that it’s only a small plot, and I’m somewhat of a minimalist, I’ve settled on a rather small one with a footprint of only 3′ x 2′, so it’s really just a storage unit which I think will be ideal for me. I don’t need it just yet so I’ll wait a couple of months and buy it as a birthday present for myself.

A shed for my 60th…what more could I ask for!

Last week I treated myself to a hand-fork.jpg and hand-trowel.jpg

This morning I was working away when I stopped and looking round saw a fox sitting down no more than ten feet away. Later a handful of chattering magpies strutted their way across the neighbouring plot.

Weeks 4 and 5

bring this blog right up to today!

Despite all the rain I’ve been lucky in that the weather has been fine on all the days that I’ve been here over the past couple of weeks.

Digging and weeding still continues to occupy most of my time, with the former being just a bit heavy going in places after last Friday’s deluge.

The weeds are contributing to an ever growing heap down in the far corner, and will probably be burnt later on.

Around three quarters of the plot has now been forked over. This view is from about half-way down the western side of the plot looking towards the north-east corner. The two pallets are where I’m intending putting a very small shed (more on this next week) and rest area. You can see the roadway, and above the pallets on the other side is the water tap and tank.

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The three brown sticks in the picture are last years sunflowers which I shall remove eventually!

On Sunday fellow allotmenteer Leslie, kindly gave me a marrow. I’m not that keen so today I gave it to Cally at the bookshop who does like them.

Joe, a diminutive Italian in his late 60s, also said to help myself to a marrow and lettuce. I said thanks and would later on in the week. His plots are a superb example of what can be achieved, being full of vegetables, flowers and some soft fruit. I see him most days I’m there and we always have a chat.

Week 3 and Today

Week 3 can be summed up as more steady digging and weeding. I worked on the plot on Sunday and Thursday for a couple of hours each day.

I remembered to collect the remaining sunflower seeds, but appear to have lost the poppy pods that I’d done the same with!

Today I got home to find a padded envelope on the doormat.

I could see that it was from Nikkipolani, and contained a card, a pair of swish gardening gloves, various packets of seed and two pages with details and pictures all about them.

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I’ll mention the seeds again once I decide on what is going where, and of course when I sow them and they start growing.

In her card she wrote Until you can plant enjoy dreaming and planning.

I will Nikki and thanks !

Week 2

Monday I didn’t work as I was having the car looked at. Thankfully it was a minor problem, easily sorted and didn’t cost much.

So after lunch I spent a couple of hours digging and weeding, stopping once, for five minutes, to shelter from a fairly hefty shower.

I went home when the skies became very leaden for a well deserved cup of tea and a biscuit or three. It turned out to be a wise move as it later rained cats and dogs !

Thursday it was more of the same workwise. I stopped to eat an apple whilst watching white butterflies flitting around and bumble bees on the white clover.

You can tell that I’m not used to doing this kind of work as I got a blister on my left thumb, despite wearing gloves and taking it very easy!

One of the really nice things about allotmenteering is chatting with fellow plot holders. Everyone says hello, some chat for longer and there are absolutely no pretensions which I find so refreshing.

So another week when I’ve made good, steady progress as you can see  sscn0147.jpg

Week 1

Standing at a corner of Plot 124 after lunch one day early last week looking at a somewhat overgrown allotment sscn0111.jpg I wondered what it would look like in a years time.

I walked round it noting not only the weeds but poppies, three sunflowers from last year now brown and over at an angle of 45 degrees, a few marigolds and some onions that had gone to seed sscn0119.jpg

I worked for a couple of hours, at a very leisurely pace, stopping to chat with people or to look at the occasional aircraft 1180770.jpg landing at RAF Northolt.

I went again later in the week, again working for a couple of hours.

Yesterday rather than doing some ironing and vacuuming I went again, just to potter around for a while looking at other plots and thinking what I’d like to do with mine.

I feel that Week 1 got off to a good start. I was lucky with the weather being pleasantly warm, if somewhat breezy, and no rain!

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