There will, I hope, be more posts in the next few days but this is a memorandum of the weekend’s work.
On Saturday P and I went down to the allotment, which had been left to its own devices for a few days. P trimmed the long grass round the edges of the beds while I weeded out the potato ridges and around the courgettes. I’d done Middle Third a few days earlier and it was still looking clean and tidy. Back on Top Third I also trimmed back the leaders on the blackberry bush as they were threatening to swamp everything, while P turned over the compost heap and watered it.
I always feel slightly guilty about the blackberry hedge as I inherited it and have really done nothing to it except hack it down brutally at intervals, treatment it apparently relishes. We had blackberry and apple crumble on Saturday evening, and it was delicious.
Fired with enthusiasm, P also laid out the new stepping stones in the front garden for me on Saturday (there will be photos later) and it is now ready for me to start planting once I’ve worked the ground over a bit, cleared out the latest crop of stones and dealt with the weeds that are already returning. I’m planning to order some bulbs to put in during September, though I am still trying to decide what to get. I think at this stage I shall settle for a brave show.
Yesterday we went back to the allotment and attacked Bottom Third. P put in the last of the three slabs to make the path in front of the compost bins, after which we pulled up as much bindweed as we could, got rid of the huge thistley weeds, the name of which I don’t know, and cut back the long grass. This means that the tiny path between Bottom Third and the next plot down the slope is now visible, and I can see the bottom edge of my allotment again. Putting in the third slab emphasises how sharp a drop there is at the bottom of the allotment, and I will have to think about terracing of some sort to stop the soil slipping away.
We have also, finally, figured out a way of dealing with Rosa the Cat’s nocturnal gardening adventures, something else I’ll post about in more detail later. Basically, I have built some little cloche bunkers out of chunks of polycarbonate roofing panel, and we have stretched crop netting over them. It’s taken a bit of experimentation and a few harsh words between the humans, but we now have the logistics sorted out. They don’t look very pretty but neither do beautiful rows of salad greens scratched out by the cat. I may try to buy another sheet or two of polycarbonate and build a few more cloches; we’ll see how it goes. The idea is supposed to be that they are temporary but Rosa is a remarkably intelligent and persistent cat. This is why we love her.
Today, so far, I’ve been tidying up the back garden again, and tomorrow I shall be down at the allotment starting something I never thought would happen, namely digging Bottom Third. So, finally, the entirety of my vegetable empire is under cultivation, mostly weed-free and growing what it should be growing.