Sticks and string

Today I walked down to the allotment armed with my monkey puzzle tree. I bought it about eighteen months ago and it’s now too big for its pot. It was time to pot it on and move it into the greenhouse. The kitchen windowsill isn’t big enough to accommodate a bigger pot! I rummaged around until I found a good sized pot and transferred it, giving it a good watering.

Moving on, I walked around checking on the chickens. All the girls seemed happy and I topped up their food and water. I was again met with minimal eggs in the nest box. Rolling my eyes, I told them to get their act together. Especially after their treat of sardines last night!

Opening up the shed, I stopped for a quick drink and a chat with Geoff and Mick the Greek. Upon seeing the string I left in the shed a couple of days ago, I decided now was the time to work out how to box off the plot. Both of us are tired of endlessly digging over the middle section of the plot. As soon as you get to one end, the other is covered in weeds. It’s rather demoralising. A couple of weeks ago, I spent an evening trying to work out how to solve this problem. My design didn’t seem to work well on paper but I knew what I wanted it to look like. Maybe it would be easier to mark it out with string and sticks?

I made a start, using sticks I scavenged from the plot. There were nowhere near enough. Remembering the massive pile of junk on the car park, I suspected I might find a few broken bamboo canes. I walked carefully around the pile and spotted several hidden under some wooden planks. Carefully, I managed to get a good handful and headed back to the plot. Utilising the main path I marked out two days ago, I started to mark out three chevrons. Andy came to have a look and declared that it would looks great when it was done. He helped me work out how many decking boards I would need to complete the main path and also the first couple of chevrons. I then added two more boards to box off the base of the trees.

Rather pleased with how it was looking, I then came to the middle of the plot. The chevrons are designed to draw your eye towards the back of the plot. But they don’t work well by the little bench under the willow arch. Initially, my design for the plot included a section of beds radiating out from the crazy paving. Surely there could be some way to include this into the design? I hollered for Tracy who kindly helped me work out how it should look, marking out where sticks should go and helping me tweak everything into place. It was hard to see how it would work just with the sticks but the addition of the string, it became much clearer. It will of course mean we have to order more decking boards but I think it will be worth it!

Rummaging around the shed for some more string and I discovered I had a long measuring tape. In my design, I wanted to box off the trees and cover the boxed area with a layer of bark. Using 4 sticks and another mile of string, I measured a box 11″ from the trunk in a diamond orientation. The diamond shaped tree boxes would then fit the chevron design better. Again, it means more wood but it will limit the amount of fiddly weeding which is always a bonus!

I left to go home for lunch after spending some more time with the chicks. They adore mare’s tail which means I have three feathery bins when I dig it up!

Later in the afternoon, my husband and I drove across to my colleague’s house and picked up the pallet. It’s not quite the same as the other one but with a bit of tweaking it will be perfect. I am planning on using them towards the bottom of the plot. I haven’t yet marked out the base of the plot because I can’t quite work out how I want it. Also the broody coop is rather in the way. Our first job tomorrow is to move it!

So tomorrow we will move the broody box, get some plants in and try to source some decking boards!

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