Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Bluest of Skies, the Leekiest of Leeks

Time at the allotment has been somewhat lacking recently. Work work work, socialising, weather. They've all conspired to keep me stuck indoors, feeling disconnected from the plot. So much so that I actually woke in a panic at midnight the other night, saying out loud "what will it do without me?". 

Yes, mad. 

The answer, obviously, is that it will keep on growing and doing it's own thing. After that midnight awakening, I took an hour off and headed up to the site. The sun was shining from an innocently blue sky that seemed to say "storms? What storms? Yesterday? Oh no, that couldn't have been me, look how blue I am."

Indeed, it was very blue. The sun shone right in my eyes all the way down there, forcing a squint. When I could open my eyes fully, it was just lovely. The still-wet grass shone, beaded cobwebs sparkled and I felt my spirits lift. 

What does work matter when there is this? 

I walked the boundary, as is my habit after reading The Garden Awakening by Mary Reynolds. I'm not much of a one for fey, wafty thinking, but for some reason, this book really stayed with me and I'm slowly adopting some of her tactics. The beating of the bounds is my favourite. I walk slowly round the plot, drinking my coffee and just looking. Since doing it, I feel like I've properly seen the space for the first time since getting it. 

After doing that, I set to the buddleia with the pruning saw, taking it right back to the ground. I am not, I confess, much of a fan of buddleia: I don't like the smell or the look, but I let it stay because the insects blinking well love it. Then, once October rolls round, I hack it right back to the ground. It's not died from this treatment yet, and comes back strong every spring. 

Whilst up there, I harvested the leeks. In truth these had probably been in the ground too long but like I said, life gets in the way. We haven't eaten them yet but given the smell, I think these may be the leekiest leeks ever. 

Whilst up there, I could hear buzzards screeling through the sky above my head. This is the first year I've seen buzzards in the city and it makes me feel like this is the place I'm settled in now (sorry N, sometimes it takes more than a mortgage). They are my favourite raptors ever since I stood on a hill and watched them ride thermals beneath the overhanging hilltop. The patterning on the tops of their wings are just beautiful.

Since then, I’ve managed another hour to take the beans down and put some onions in. I’m hoping to carve out some time later this week but the weather may conspire against me: downpours, not just showers are predicted. 

Still, it will tick along until I get up there. And I’ll walk the boundary and feel grounded again.   

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