Week 36 – Spider Webs and Squash Beds

My first week with no job and I’ve had a busy 7 days with lots of hard work on the plot. The squash beds have been cleared, I planted what felt like about 200 onions and did a bit more tidying of the extension.

I had my 2 helpers on Tuesday (they still haven’t mentioned the sweets!) We spent about 45 minutes tidying the extension. Louis got a bit bored so I suggested he plant the aliums I’d bought a few weeks ago to brighten up the plot. I showed him how to plant the bulbs and where to plant them and left him to it. I’d asked him to plant them in the 2 end beds BUT I made the fatal mistake of not supervising him while he did it. We now get to play the really exciting game of ‘Guess where Louis planted the flowers’! Even Louis gets to play this game because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t remember where he planted them either. I’m sort of looking forward to watching them pop up in random places all over the plot.

I’ve tried to visit as much as possible this week mainly because I know how much work it’s going to take to make any headway in the extension. It really is as bad as I was expecting and I’m sure that area will be a good few inches lower after I’ve removed all the rubbish. I’m not even being particularly methodical. The plan, such as there is one, is to remove as much rubbish as possible, working my way to the back where the mural is. Once I’ve done that I’ll start again, digging it over properly and removing any rubbish and weeds that I missed the first time round. I have to remind myself, almost every time I’m down there, this is a huge task and is going to take a long time. Oh! and I found another shoe! Serioulsy, how many shoes does one person need?

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I was on the plot early Saturday morning. It was a beautiful autumnal morning – bright sunshine and just the right side of cold. I was on my own for the couple of hours I was there so I was able to get on with working on the extension.

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Early start again today. A.A. has been nagging me about buying and planting winter onions so, this morning I decided to clear the squash beds ready to plant onions (if only to stop the incessant nagging!) Michelle was on the plot, and she fancied a trip to the local garden centre so we jumped in my car and headed off to search for onions (we also stopped for coffee and cake – come on! you have to allow us that, we’d already done 2 hours work by then) We found onions. I chose red ones. I had totally forgotten how many onions come in a bag – there were loads! I filled one squash bed, over flowed into the old carrot bed and ended up clearing the squash bed on the other side of the shed and I still had some left.

I picked 3 Turk’s head squashes and 2 butternut squashes from the cleared squash beds. I also picked as many peppers as I could. None of them were particularly big but I can’t leave them much longer as we’re due a frost this week.

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The lovely benefit of emptying the squash beds is I can now see the gladioli (admittedly they’ve taken a bit of a battering) and the chrysanthemum which is looking great. I even spotted the first signs of flowers – looks like they’ll be pink.

It’s spider season so loads of amazing webs all over the place. I spotted one on the main gate as I arrived this morning and there was one on the waterpipe to my water butt. I love them (not so fond of the spiders though) I must take my camera with me to the plot as they’re quite difficult to capture on the phone camera.

The rubbish pile has grown again thsi week. Looks like I’m going to have to make at least one trip to the tip this week to reduce the pile as it’s already taking up quite a lot of space and I’ve hardly started on the extension. I also need to buy more rubble sacks (really strong ones!)

Rhubi’s looking very well. Louis watered the whole plot, including Rhubi on Tuesday after he’d randomly planted all the flower bulbs (I’m half expecting aliums to start popping up all round Rhubi!)

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As it was my first week with no work I chose to spend some of it away from the plot. On Friday, another crisp, sunny autumnal day I drove over to a local nature reserve and spent a couple of very relaxing hours just sitting and looking at the birds. I regularly see a kingfisher over there and Friday was no exception. I saw the flash of blue but it was far too quick for me to get a shot. I did, however manage to take these shots of a heron. The allotment is my favourite place to work, this is my favourite place to just be.

After quite a productive week the squash beds are looking remarkably tidy. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of the extension area but we’ve at least made a dent in it and all that rain last weekend not only nearly filled the water butt but also made it so much easier to dig.

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