Ant Invasion

After a busy day out with the family yesterday, I headed down to the allotment to make a start on the seemingly endless battle against the weeds. My first job was to finish pruning the willow screen and arch, a job I started last week. I dread cutting the top of the willow. It’s a difficult job even with a ladder and each time, I promise myself I will buy tree loppers or hedge cutter. Either one of those would make cutting the top of the willow screen by the pond so much more doable. In order to cut the pond-side of the screen, I had to balance very precariously on the ladder and at full stretch hack at the willow with increasingly blunt secateurs.

Once that beast of a job was done, I moved onto clearing the bog garden. It’s a short job but it makes a massive difference although I think it needs some new plants to limit the expanse of weeds. The reeds are spreading, fully covering one corner which is great as I don’t have to worry about the weeds. On a roll, I carried on weeding as I moved up the path. There is still a lot to do but the main section of the plot looks more respectable.

By now it was well past lunchtime and I retreated to the shed to try and find some shade. The sun had appeared and the temperature rocketed up. Not long after, my husband came down and found me unsuccessfully trying to hide from the heat. He got to work on the strawberry bed as I wandered across to Geoff’s plot to clear the last bed.

With the first pull of the weeds, I discovered an ants nest. Carefully weeding around it, I carried on until I felt a sharp pain in my finger. Looking down, I saw the cause, a very irate red ant. Shaking my hand hard, I shook it off and nursed my finger. Leaving the offending insects alone, I headed to the opposite side of the bed and worked my way slowly back towards the front of the bed. Again, I came across another ants nest. I gave this one a wide berth and moved onto trying to get the chard under control.

By now I was covered head to toe in dirt with a sore finger and starving hungry. Not a good combination! I walked back to my husband who had cleared almost half of the strawberry bed. Leaving him happily clearing weeds, I headed home for a well deserved shower and a very late lunch.

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