Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Two Allotment Afternoons

I had a good mental health afternoon on Monday and experience has taught me that I need to grab these windows and get out there. Toby stayed at home snoozing but Andrew and I went to the allotment and got started on a new year. Oh lord, how I love ripping old stuff out and seeing lovely rotted poop go on the cleared beds.
me, I was at the allotments! -

Andrew worked on 24a tiding up and mulching. He also pruned the espalier apple trees and gathered many wheelbarrow fulls of the horse manure that had been delivered to the field, for our compost bin. I was hoping to get a photo of garlic poking through the soil but we planted a little late this year and I guess we'll just have to be patient. Our garlic has never let us down in all these years so I am optimistic. Happily we also came away with some excellent beetroot from that plot. Still in the dark, damp days of winter, the allotment provides :)

We also have some parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli and kale going strong there.

I went over the terrifying-looking overgrown disaster that is 14b and began my attack. Goodness the yoga and hiking really has made a difference to the loads I can carry and the duration I can work for; it's nice to see some progress there - hopefully I'll start to tone up soon!

Anyhow, I just dived into the middle flower bed and ripped and hacked my way through it all. It was so woody that I couldn't even cut most of of it down for composting but boy did I have a grin on my face just getting rid of it all. I also cleared paths as I went and am resolute about getting some membrane and gravel down this year!

Once all the stems were removed I started on the weeds and lumps of grass that were thriving. But luckily Andrew made tea and I had a break with him just as I was getting weary and thinking how weeds are always going to be a huge problem there when you have three abandoned sites surrounding yours, grrr. Anyhow, calming lemon and ginger tea is wonderful and after it I was back and got the whole bed cleared. It was a good day for getting dandelion roots out too, the ground very friable though a little moist.

I have my plan for that bed already - sunflowers which simply last for ages and look sculptural in winter and some daisy-like happy flowers to cut for bouquets. I wasn't well enough to do the multi-flower bed last year so I am learning to live within my abilities.

Only two other couples came and quickly visited their plots whilst we were there, it seemed so funny not to see many more people, it was such a perfect afternoon for working. It was odd how Maggie's presence was strong and rather upsetting to look up and not see her. It helps to know she would have been fuming though - far too cold and wet for her, she was a sun worshipper that one :)

24a monday and horse poop -


But lo and gasp! On Tuesday I was furiously cleaning the downstairs of my house and when Andrew woke up we (actually I!), decided that for his last day off we ought to go back to the plots and continue our work. We went out for apple sponge cake and a coffee first but only so we had enough energy to attack those beds, hehe.

It was damp, that seriously cold damp that seeps into your bones and freezes your cheeks and hurts even your eyes. But damn it, I got almost all of the second flower bed weeded, Andrew pruned all the hawthorns, tided the rhubarb bed and gathered more wheelbarrows of manure and we had a goodish time.

14b -

We had tea and took a dander round our field and oh my, it was so upsetting, no, it was frustrating to see the majority of plots in absolute messes. So over grown, returned back to rumble sites covered in weeds and long grass. It truly made us think 'Why do we bother?'

Back at our plots we worked a little more but I was stiffing up now and had a headache starting. However, miraculously it started to drizzle and both of us were secretly very thankful to be 'forced' to go home to Toby and blankets and the fire. 😄

My cheeks took an hour to defrost, my nose was like an open tap, I got a chill and a migraine later on BUT it was worth it!

Carrie x


  1. An enjoyable post and good pictures. Well done, to both of you, for doing all that at this time of year. Flighty xx

    1. Thank you Mike! I'm still recovering from that chill but it really was good getting so much done xx

  2. It surprises me on our site that people will still pay a not an inconsiderable rent and not get anything from their plots.
    You have made brilliant progress.

    1. Truly i am caught between being upset and being so angry. And yes! These people do pay to do nothing!

  3. Great post keep up the good work

  4. Eww migraine from the cold, I remember that.

    But YOUR space is looking full of promise.

    1. Oh thanks Diana. We are going to really try and get as much out of it this year. We didn't care overly much last year.

  5. Looks fantastic! Well done to you. Cant have been as easy job, I bet that required a few flasks of tea and a few biscuits to keep the spirits high! Great work.

    1. Thanks! But we have a gas burner and kettle - fresh tea for us everytime 😀

  6. Gosh, so much work! Makes me feel both dreadfully lazy and sorry my little garden is frozen rock hard and covered in snow. I wont be able to do a thing to it until sometime in April. All I can do in these long winter months is plan... and get inspired reading about your labors!

    1. Oh no, don't feel lazy the winter always dictates what can be done. I still have a chill for goodness sake!

      I hope planning is enjoyable for you as it is for us. xx

  7. Happy New Year Carrie girl (I am so behind in chatting, sorry!) .. Andrew and you have made such amazing progress with the upkeep of your plots .. never mind the slackers, yours are beautiful!
    You are such an inspiration for me to start my yoga and treadmill work outs .. I have been delaying it for ages and feel terribly guilty .. how can I do that when you are working so hard.
    Speaking of migraines .. I have been up since 2:30 AM here ... it is now almost 6 AM ... headache is better but this is going to be a lost day .. I know I am going back to bed ... Sophie has been keeping me company though (she is asleep in here new play box .. haha)
    Hope you are feeling better ... all that work and fresh air is so good for you.
    Well done to the both of you and don't get discouraged .. you are doing wonders with the plots !!
    Take care sweetie !
    Joy : )

  8. Its great to take before and after photos while you are working to make you realise how much you have done. Your plot is looking good I can understand your frustration at the other ones around you. Enjoy planning your sunflowers. I love them myself.

  9. You did a great job! I love when winter throws in those sunny hopeful days. I am surprised that there are so many empty and neglected ones. Here in Surrey you wait ages to get one, there are waiting lists and everything, you wouldn't see a single one that is unused.


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