The plan for this week was to dig up as much bind weed as I could. Well, I’ve certainly dug up a lot of bind weed. Infact, it’s all I’ve done this week and I’m fed up to the back teeth with flippin bind weed.
Thursday and Sunday were the only days I made it to the plot. We’ve had storm Freya hit the UK this week with incredibly strong winds and lots of rain so it’s been nearly impossible to find a day that’s been clear enough to do any work on the plot. I couldn’t even take my helpers down there – it was just too wet and miserable. Instead, we went to Morrisons and had a cake and a drink in their cafe (I take them to all the best places!)
I managed a quick visit on Thursday and started the big dig of the green manure. In my haste to start work I completely forgot the instructions on the packet had told me to cut the grass down before I started to dig it in. I only remembered after I’d already dug about half of it. I cut the other half with shears and it definitely made it easier to dig. However, if you ever hear me mention green manure again please say the words ‘bind’ and weed’ to me. When I bought the green manure I had this wonderful vision of watching it grow, cutting it back and just digging over the whole area to create a wonderfully nourished bed, ready for planting. The reality hasn’t exactly lived up to those expectations (of course it hasn’t!) In reality it’s been more like, watch it grow (all good so far) notice some bindweed growing with it (not so good) completely forget to cut it back, then spend 4+ hours, in effect weeding the whole bed again to remove the bind weed I don’t want, which is now tangled up with the green manure I do want! Never again. As ever with this gardening lark it all sounded so easy on paper but so much more complicated when I came to actually do it. Please tell me it gets easier! (even if it doesn’t, please just lie because at this point I just really need to hear it gets easier)
As I approached the plot on Thursday it looked different. I couldn’t work it out at fiirst and then I realised one of the fence panels at the back of one of the gardens backing on to my plot was missing (so observant!) On closer inspection I could see it was laying flat on the neighbour’s lawn. It clearly didn’t survive the strong winds. Michelle told me today it had been like that since last Sunday. Hopefully it will be repaired fairly soon as I feel weirdly exposed with it not being there.
Next week is World Down Syndrome Awareness Week and on Thursday 21st March (World Down Syndrome Day) we’re asked to wear odd socks – I showed you a photo of our 2019 odd socks a few weeks back. My wonderful friend, James has completely embraced the whole idea and felt the best way he could help would be to raise awareness by sharing information on social media and asking his friends and work colleagues to buy a pair of Down’s Syndrome Association odd socks (he’s also doing a cake sale on the day) I think we all underestimated how generous James’s friends and colleagues are – he was inundated with orders for socks! He had already placed 2 online orders but still had more requests for socks so, to ensure everyone received their socks on time to wear them on Thursday James and I took a drive to the Down’s Syndrome Association head office in Teddington to collect the final sock order in person. We were made very welcome and came away with, not only the socks but also stickers, badges, posters and 2 collection tins. We were also shown round the museum. The building is very old and beautiful and well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. So, this Thursday 21st March please wear your odd socks for #WDSD19 #leavenoonebehind
It’s been so wet and windy this week I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get to the plot again but Michelle said she was going this morning if I wanted to meet her there and, lo and behold we woke to glorious sunshine. I was on the plot by 9am and Michelle was already there. More digging of the green manure and bind weed I’m afraid. I left at about 10.15 to go to my first pilates class (yes, you read that right – I went to a Pilates class) but I was back again around 2pm determined to finish the green manure bed. I nearly abandoned the whole idea when, literally the minute I arrived at the plot it started hailing. At first I thought it had to be rain (it’s March for goodness sake!) but no, it was definitely hailstones. I would have gone straight home but I’d walked down to the allotment so I took the easier option of sheltering in the shed until it stopped.
Michelle and I had discussed simply turning over the soil in the green manure bed, not worrying about the bind weed until it started to come through again and removing it at that stage but, when it came to it I couldn’t do it. I just had to remove it as I went. I finally finished digging the bed at around 4pm by which time the clouds had cleared and it was a beautifully sunny afternoon. I have to admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. It feels like all my hard work I did over the last year to remove the weeds has been wasted because the bind weed is just taking over. I’m wondering if I should have covered the unused beds over winter. I think I’ll do that next year, but in the meantime I have lots more digging to do to remove the bind weed I thought I’d already removed!
I noticed this week the fruit trees are beginning to blossom. I hope I’ll be able to harvest some fruit from them this year as I now have 5 trees. I still need to decide where to put the 3 potted ones as I’m not entirely happy with where they are currently and it was only ever meant to be temporary until I found a better place for them.
Look how well Rhubi is doing!
Here’s how I left the plot this week.