Week 50 Snow and Swans

The UK has a had snow this week. This should come as no surprise really (it’s January, it’s the UK, we’re supposed to have snow) but it always seems to. Fortunately, the snow wasn’t deep enough and didn’t hang around long enough to have any real impact. I know, as a country we are well known for the lightest (and wrong type) of snowfall causing massive traffic and public transport disruptions and panic buying on a monumental scale but this week’s flurry had little to no impact. It started snowing late Tuesday afternoon, didn’t, at first look like it would settle but then did and was, pretty much all gone by Wednesday lunch time. I wasn’t at the allotment at all on Wednesday so no snowy plot photos just a picture of our communal garden at home, a couple of hours after it started snowing. The only impact the snow has had is it’s made the plot extra muddy.

I have a new compost bin hatch door. The compost bin was a donation from friends and didn’t come with a hatch door so I’ve been using a (very inadequate) dustbin lid just leant up against the gap until now. Since being given the doorless compost bin I’ve been looking for a door but hadn’t been able to find one. I eventually came across a company called Evengreener, based in Hull who were very helpful when I contacted them and confirmed, yes they did sell the doors separately. So £5 plus delivery and my compost bin (if not my life) is now complete!

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I’ve had 2 sessions on the plot this week. Both involved digging, ivy removal and getting really muddy (see the welly photo above). I’m still digging up lots of rubble which is being added to the pile awaiting the return of ‘rubbish man’. Aswell as the smaller pieces of concrete and rubble I’ve also come across really huge, immoveable chunks of concrete. Last week Michelle found what we both agreed could have been the beginnings of the foundations for a shed or greenhouse. I found one this week which broke my fork. I found the edge of it and, as always tried to use my fork as a lever but this thing was having none of it, simply would not budge and the fork gave up before the concrete did. Luckily I was using the old fork that had already been bent by a previous immoveable object – still a bit annoying though.

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On Friday morning I decided I would go straight to the allotment after taking Louis to college. So, as normal (when I’m going to the plot first thing in the morning) I didn’t bother to shower or do my hair and I just slung on my gardening clothes and headed out the door to take Louis to college. It was only on the way I realised I had booked the car in for a service at 10am. I drop Louis at 9.30 so no time between college drop off and garage to go home and change. I had no choice but to rock up to the Renault garage in my muddy jeans and scabby old gardening sweatshirt (thank goodness I had the car cleaned last week or that would have really put the tin lid on it!) To make it worse I hadn’t bothered to book a courtesy car – with a Morrisons just a 2 minute walk from the Renault garage I had decided I could easily spend the time the car was in the garage, in their cafe drinking tea and reading my book but, of course I hadn’t planned to do any of this in my gardening gear. The car needed a new tyre and I had to go to another garage to have that fitted so, what started as a quick college drop off turned into a bit of a mission, all while feeling decidedly grubby. I eventually made it to the plot at about 12.30 and worked until about 2pm when I had to stop for some lunch and to go and collect Louis from college. A productive day but not entirely in the way I’d planned.

I have continued with my C25K runs this week. I completed the 2nd and 3rd runs of week 1 at our local aquadrome (I stopped to take some photos of the swans) and I started week 2 of the plan at track club on Friday. I’ve shocked myself at how well I’ve done so far. I’ve always described myself as being built for comfort not speed so any running on my part is always going to impress me.

I had a peek under Rhubi’s pot this week. If I hadn’t seen how bad she’s looked in the past I might have been really worried! All the broken stems have rotted and turned black and she looks decidely dodgey but there are a few new shoots and I’ve seen her looking worse. I’m going to leave her covered for the time being as there’s still a risk of frost and snow.

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As well as digging the extension this week I also continued to pull away some of the ivy from the back fence. I’m taking this slowly and trying to be as careful as I can be because, as you can see, the fence the ivy is attached to isn’t exactly robust and I don’t fancy having to explain to the owner why I’ve pulled the fence down! Long term, I think another piece of ply wood to cover the fence panel may be a good shout – I could even ask my 2 helpers to paint it before I put it in place. I think they could have some fun with that.

Here’s how I left the plot this week. The coming week’s plans are still all about digging the rubbish and weeds out of the extension. I am going to try to be a bit more methodical in my digging as I’ve been a bit erratic this week and just been digging wherever I fancied. Not the best way to go if I want to make sure I’ve covered the whole area and removed as much rubbish and as many weeds as I can. As ever, must try harder!

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