Another long day!

Today I ambled down to the allotment determined to finish off the path and beds. Rain was forecast for this afternoon so it was a race against time to get it completed. Liz swung by before I started work to have a look at the new layout. She was staggering underneath an enormous pile of harvested crops. Very kindly, she gave us two aubergine plants – these will need to go in the greenhouse tomorrow. I started off cutting the boards for the sections down to size. It took quite a while to get them all done, a mini trench dug and the board put into place. Once the boards were in place, I was able to remove the string and stick markers to see how the new layout looked.

I stopped for a chat with Tracy, Andy, Mick the Greek and Geoff. It’s always nice to spend some time putting the world to rights when taking a well deserved break from work. Tracy was busy picking gooseberries for some baking and needed some mint. I offered her some of ours. She was very complimentary about the new layout and stumpery.

Borrowing some scissors from Tracy, I went off to collect some more weed fabric. Sarah, Liz and Andy call themselves Wombles and have generously let me use some of their wombled heavy duty weed fabric. I measured out the length for the side path and lugged it back to the plot. The fabric was too wide for the path so I folded it over and laid it out. The next part was to dig a small trench to drop the board into. An added complication was that somewhere I had buried the liner for the bog garden. The last thing I wanted to do is disturb or rip the liner. Carefully, I poked around with a spade and found the liner. Avoiding it, I dug the trench and dropped the board into it.

Next, I lugged the wheelbarrow to the car park to start filling in the side path with chippings. I found Steve and Will working hard, moving wheelbarrows of chippings into different chicken coops. Will kindly filled up three wheelbarrows for me. Two and a half wheelbarrow loads filled the path with the remaining half load, I filled in some of the bare weed fabric in the fruit section. Steve offered me the last wheelbarrow load so that he could clear the car park. As the paths were now finished, I used the chippings to fill the fruit section. When the site gets chippings next, we will see if we can get hold of one wheelbarrow load to finish off the fruit section.

By now, I was pretty wiped. The plot looks so much better and I am really proud of how it has turned out. Rachael popped by and we got chatting about succulents. I have decided I would like to have a vertical garden growing out of the pallets at the front of the fruit section. Succulent plants are relatively hardy and tolerate restricted soil conditions. There are so many different types and I left Rachael inspired to build my own succulent garden.

Back on the plot, I went to check on the chickens. Leia and her chicks were happy to see me especially when I appeared with two bowls of food. The chicks are continuing to feather up quickly and I would guess another week and they will have all their secondary feathers. A couple of the more confident chicks made efforts to climb out of the nest box. I stopped them by putting my hand in the way. The other chickens in the main coop are beginning to integrate more. Aggie is definitely more confident around the older birds although Tommy and Cassie are still very timid.

The forecast is for rain tomorrow so we won’t be able to do much. However, we have arranged to go across to pick up some more logs and even some rocks to start building the rockery.

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