Thank goodness for the rain, has been the recent cry around my house as it means we can neither go anywhere and face the crowds of ridiculous people, nor were our watering skills needed at the allotment for so long, my allotment neighbour sent me a message to check I was okay.
Another reason for being thankful is that the ground has finally softened enough for me to begin digging over the space where the fruit cage will go. The earth is full of roots - bindweed, bramble, thick tussocky grass - as well as bits of plastic, pottery and interesting stones, which bring a pause in proceedings as I check them out for fossils. No luck so far.
The great runner bean project is now well underway with the beans making their winding way to the top of the poles. Planted between each one is a beetroot. Truly, the boyfriend has an autumn of pickling ahead of him.
The squash and courgette I planted in early May has recovered from the frosts and there are now tiny yellow courgettes on the one below. I won't leave it too long before harvesting them as I prefer my courgettes small and tender, rather than large and tough.
The remaining potato plants are resolutely refusing to put out any flowers, so I'm not sure if they're ready to harvest yet or not. I figure they're not getting into any harm in the ground, so there they stay for the time being.
And the wildflower patch is buzzing with life. Last time I counted 10 bumbles going nuts amongst the purple blooms, wriggling and buzzing like children round a chocolate trifle. This makes me smile. The bottom of the plot does not. There are 2 downed elder trees that I can't chop up and burn as we still have a ban on it at the site, plus they are currently the only thing holding the Japanese knotweed at bay. This is spreading along the canal bank and I know, from my Dad's days as a landscape gardener, it's harder to get rid of than a boring (and toxic) guest at a dinner party. As we don't know when the council will be out to deal with it, I'm not in any rush to clear the area.
At home I have sprout, purple sprouting broccoli and standard broccoli seedlings on the windowsill. They'll be going in the potato plots once that's been cleared and fed. I'm hoping to grow a few parsnips over the winter too, as well as swede. The raspberries will go in the cleared fruit cage area and then I can turn my attention to the potential asparagus bed and orchard area (right where that troublesome knotweed is).
My birthday looms in mid-July like a big looming excuse to treat myself, take some time off and generally have a reason for eating all the things I like. I've asked for, and been promised by the boyfriend, a small shed for the allotment, so I no longer have to carry every tool up there. A shed! Can't believe I'm so excited by 4 wooden walls, but there we are. I have grown up, it seems, although I also got excited over a new boardgame at the weekend, so not that grown up.
I shall paint it blue with a yellow door, a cupboard inside with a camping stove and a kettle, and a curse on anyone who breaks in and nicks anything.
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