Busy Sunday Afternoons

Shortly after lunch, I dragged my somewhat hungover husband down to the allotment to make a start on the jungle. As he fed the chickens, I walked around the plot, trying to work out a plan. I decided that if we could clear some of the main beds then other jobs such as clearing the weeds behind the Nest House, could be done another day.

Setting my husband off to weed one bed, I slowly worked my way down the three beds adjacent to Mick the Greeks plot. I’d left it too late to harvest the best of the potatoes but I persevered. Half a bag for life full will keep us going for several weeks! I think the ground was very hard due to the lack of rain and heatwaves which must have restricted the abundance and size of the potato harvest. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long to weed both potato beds so I moved onto the courgette bed.

The courgettes are enormous. Again, it’s entirely my fault for not picking them sooner. But as we store them over winter to provide the chickens with treats, it doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, the logical place to store them would be the shed, which over winter is frequented by small brown mammals who like to eat everything, edible or not. So I suspect I will have to lug them home to keep them safe from the mice and haul them back one at a time.

I moved across to the bed between the Bog Garden (currently an ironic name!) and the sunburst wildflower beds. Here I rediscovered a couple of rows of potatoes. These ones seemed to have faired better and although there were fewer, they were a much better size. I wondered whether I should weed between the wildflowers but decided against it. To do a good job, I would inevitably pull out some of the flowers or squash them as I weeded.

My next job was to top up the ponds. The heatwaves combined with the seemingly endless lack of decent rainfall has led to the water level being very low. Borrowing a hose, I quickly refilled the pond by the shed. The blanket weed had taken over again, so I spent several minutes removing as much of it as possible. Quite where my second plastic goldfish has disappeared to, I know not. Hopefully, with some more restoration work, it will turn up! I tested the pond pump but it has broken. As we don’t have any fish in the pond, it’s not essential but it’s important the water is oxygenated to support the water snails and any other wildlife living in the water. The pump I bought was very cheap and hasn’t lasted very long. I might explore getting a better solar powered one for both ponds.

Just to make life difficult, the borrowed hose wasn’t long enough to reach the Bog Garden pond. Irritated, I decided to stand as close to the pond as the hose would allow (roughly halfway down the plot), put my thumb over the end of the hose and angled it upwards. The increased pressure forced the water out of the hose upwards, looping gracefully through the air and landing with a splash into the Bog Garden pond. It didn’t take long to fill the pond but the wind made constant adjustments to the angle of the water necessary.

After I put the hose away, I discovered that my husband had finished weeding his bed. But there was no sign of him. Where had he gone?! I looked in the greenhouse, walked around the different chicken coops, but he seemed to have disappeared. He had to be somewhere! Wandering back up the plot towards the shed, I spotted a pair of black boots sticking out of the shed. Closer inspection confirmed that the boots were attached to my husband who had taken advantage of a comfortable chair in the shed. He woke up as soon as I tried to put the tools away so I passed him the bag of potatoes and we headed home.

The plan for the next few days is to clear the remaining beds and clear the back section of the plot behind the Nest House. With the forecast for rain all next week, I suspect my grand plans will be delayed but it will be good for the plot to finally have a proper amount of rain after weeks.

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