Tonight we waited until the scorching heat had abated somewhat before heading down to the allotment. Yet again, the temperature is above 30 degrees and it is sweltering. There is no breeze and the hot air hangs over Crewe, blanketing in the heat. It’s days like today that I wistfully daydream about my home town which has a wonderful onshore breeze most evenings.
With my husband taking a few days off work, he has been in charge of chickens and has done a fantastic job especially in refilling the water twice a day to ensure our girls have cold water to drink. In the garden, Coco has taken charge of the new silkies, positively ruling the coop with an iron beak. The last two days we have let the chickens free range for most of the day, allowing them to find shady patches under the bushes to keep themselves cool.
As my husband got busy weeding one of the beds at the top of the allotment, I grabbed the secateurs and began to hack back the willow. I swear I cut this back every other week at the moment! Resigning myself to being stung due to the plethora of insects crawling all over it, I made a start. The front and back of the willow screen was fairly straightforward but the top was a different matter. Even with the ladder, I still struggled to cut the top of the screen. I decided this would be an excellent job for my husband who has the benefit of being significantly taller than me with longer arms and no fear of heights.
Moving on, I worked my way down the path side of the willow arch before heading slowly back up the other side. At full stretch, I managed to prune the worst of the overhanging branches. I left the top of the arch for another day because there were so many other jobs to do. As I was trying to decide what to do next, my husband shouted at me to come and look at something. It turned out to be a strange insect – not quite a bee, wasp or hornet. We wondered what on earth it could be.
I ambled across to Geoff’s plot and cleared the weeds from the path before moving on to the beds. They took some doing as I have neglected the weeding for way longer than I should have. With two beds done, I headed back over to check on our plot. My husband had been busily working away and had done a fantastic job on clearing the top bed.
Just before we left, I noticed the pond was almost dry and as it refilled, I removed as much of the duck and blanket weed as possible. In the process, I also rediscovered the two plastic goldfish who are now able to float in the water as they were designed to do! Covered in dust and rather hungry, we called it a night.
I am afraid that gardening is no longer the joy it once was, what with the heat and some serious hosepipe bans. Hopefully, the joy will return when we finally get some rain!