Andrew worked on 24a tiding up and mulching. He also pruned the espalier apple trees and gathered many wheelbarrow fulls of the horse manure that had been delivered to the field, for our compost bin. I was hoping to get a photo of garlic poking through the soil but we planted a little late this year and I guess we'll just have to be patient. Our garlic has never let us down in all these years so I am optimistic. Happily we also came away with some excellent beetroot from that plot. Still in the dark, damp days of winter, the allotment provides :)
We also have some parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli and kale going strong there.
I went over the terrifying-looking overgrown disaster that is 14b and began my attack. Goodness the yoga and hiking really has made a difference to the loads I can carry and the duration I can work for; it's nice to see some progress there - hopefully I'll start to tone up soon!
Anyhow, I just dived into the middle flower bed and ripped and hacked my way through it all. It was so woody that I couldn't even cut most of of it down for composting but boy did I have a grin on my face just getting rid of it all. I also cleared paths as I went and am resolute about getting some membrane and gravel down this year!
Once all the stems were removed I started on the weeds and lumps of grass that were thriving. But luckily Andrew made tea and I had a break with him just as I was getting weary and thinking how weeds are always going to be a huge problem there when you have three abandoned sites surrounding yours, grrr. Anyhow, calming lemon and ginger tea is wonderful and after it I was back and got the whole bed cleared. It was a good day for getting dandelion roots out too, the ground very friable though a little moist.
I have my plan for that bed already - sunflowers which simply last for ages and look sculptural in winter and some daisy-like happy flowers to cut for bouquets. I wasn't well enough to do the multi-flower bed last year so I am learning to live within my abilities.
Only two other couples came and quickly visited their plots whilst we were there, it seemed so funny not to see many more people, it was such a perfect afternoon for working. It was odd how Maggie's presence was strong and rather upsetting to look up and not see her. It helps to know she would have been fuming though - far too cold and wet for her, she was a sun worshipper that one :)
It was damp, that seriously cold damp that seeps into your bones and freezes your cheeks and hurts even your eyes. But damn it, I got almost all of the second flower bed weeded, Andrew pruned all the hawthorns, tided the rhubarb bed and gathered more wheelbarrows of manure and we had a goodish time.
We had tea and took a dander round our field and oh my, it was so upsetting, no, it was frustrating to see the majority of plots in absolute messes. So over grown, returned back to rumble sites covered in weeds and long grass. It truly made us think 'Why do we bother?'
Back at our plots we worked a little more but I was stiffing up now and had a headache starting. However, miraculously it started to drizzle and both of us were secretly very thankful to be 'forced' to go home to Toby and blankets and the fire. 😄
My cheeks took an hour to defrost, my nose was like an open tap, I got a chill and a migraine later on BUT it was worth it!