Chippings and Clubhouse cleaning

Lack of sleep and an early delivery meant I was down on site much earlier than usual. Last night I spotted and bought a builder’s bag of cedar bark chippings. The seller was able to drop off the bag at the allotment early so I could spend a whole day sorting out the fruit section.

He arrived on time and helped drag the enormously heavy bag onto the bottom of Keith’s plot. I paid him off, grabbed a fork and a wheelbarrow and made a start. My first job was to top up the bark by the side of the shed. I originally laid weed fabric and bark down several years ago. It massively improved the area but over time the bark has compacted and rotted so there isn’t much left. The cedar has a beautiful red colour to it and it certainly brightens up the side of the shed. I carefully wedged the bark between the path and the shed to stop the infernal weeds.

I ran into Cliff who had come onto site with a beautiful pink hydrangea for me. When the blue hydrangea is bigger and has finished flowering, Cliff is going to have a cutting so he can grow his own blue one. I love the pink ones because we had a gorgeous hydrangea outside our front door of our old house.

Next I gathered the weed fabric, pegs, trowel, wheelbarrow and fork and headed down to do battle with the fruit section. Despite my best efforts, I haven’t managed to keep the fruit section weed free since I made it last year. I was initially worried that there wouldn’t be enough fabric to cover the whole area. I spent quite a while trying to work out how best to cover the area without using too much fabric. I chose to start behind the trellis and work my way across to the fruit trees.

Putting in the pegs to secure the fabric was difficult. Admittedly, the pegs are almost impossible to remove but equally difficult to peg down! Eventually, I managed to cover most of the area and left to join the others at the clubhouse for a well deserved break.

After a stretch, a drink and a chat with the gang, I went back determined to finish the fabric. As I left the clubhouse, I spotted Cliff being followed by a chicken. He really does have a way with chickens and this one follows him around the site. It came up to the clubhouse during tea break because she knew he was there.

Next, I took the wheelbarrow and fork up to the main gate and trundled back and forwards with the bark chippings. I tried to spread the chippings out evenly so that I could cover as much of the fabric as possible. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough to cover all the fabric. Once the bag was less than half full, I dragged it down to the plot and emptied it out around the fruit bushes. It does look rather snazzy though I say so myself.

Now to bide my time and find another builder’s bag of chippings for sale to finish off the job. Thinking about it, it may take 2….

In celebration, I went back to the clubhouse for a drink and a break. Cliff, Keith and his wife, Geoff, Mick the Greek and Chris were all enjoying a well deserved cuppa and a chat. I grabbed my usual seat in the clubhouse doorway and enjoyed the sunshine.

I went down to feed the chickens, wondering if Polly would be in the nest box. She was. But when I put out their food, she appeared. So probably not fully broody yet. I cleaned out the nest box and the roof after giving out their treats. With Polly outside, now was the time to grab the eggs before she went back. It didn’t work. But not because Polly was there. Emily was in residence and there is no way I am arguing with that chicken. I left the eggs. My fingers are more important!

Half wondering what to do next, I remembered that Cliff and I had thought about cleaning out the clubhouse. I swept out the floor before realising I needed proper cleaning stuff. I dashed home and picked up supplies before heading back to the clubhouse. I was emptying the clubhouse of stuff when Cliff came over and joined in. Between us, we cleaned everything including inside and outside cupboards, the table, got rid of out of date stuff, reorganised the cupboards, cleaned the table, organised the book shelf etc etc.

It looks so much better. I have no idea when it was last cleaned but it can’t have been for years! The worst part was beating the mats. Within seconds I was covered in dust. Even with repeated sweeping and beating, it simply wouldn’t give up all its dirt. I gave up when the entire a really around me was covered in a thick layer of dust.

We put everything back into place and will wait and see if anyone notices tomorrow.

My main job for tomorrow isn’t down the allotment. Cliff changed over the burner with a spare so I could take the big one home to clean it. To say it’s caked in dirt is the understatement of the century. First thing tomorrow, I am getting some extremely strong oven cleaner and a wire brush!

Apart from that, I think I will just enjoy some chill time in the shed. I feel like I have earned it!

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