Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sunday wasn't a day of rest!

So, first things first - I've been away for a week, skiing :) Had a lovely time and contrary to this photo, it was glorious sunshine most of the week. In fact at times it was too hot! I'm the one in the pink, my little bro is next to me, and his girlfriend's the one on the end. I missed my usual ski pal though, my dad, who couldn't make it this time. Next time eh, pops! ;) x

I was still feeling pretty healthy and energetic, the sun was out, so I went to the allotment for a dig on Sunday. It is official - Spring is here! I have evidence...

These pretty purple and yellow crocuses are growing next to my shed. They're so lovely :) Anyhoo, back to digging. Yep, I dug myself a new bed. Aren't I good?! So far I've just de-turfed it. I am going to bury the grass, grass-side-down, a spade's depth in the bed. (I read that is what I need to do!) That will be next weekend's task. I got a bit bored of digging after two hours and had some other tasks I wanted to do too. However, I was very proud of my achievement :) Look what I made...

Yes, it is a pile of turf and a muddy strip in the grass, but it is just so noble and magnificent... :P

Here, I took another pic of it to show the position, next to my two other strip beds at the 'shed end'. The ground was nice and soft to dig, which was a relief. (Cath - I used your Xmas pressie spade. Worked a treat and easier to use than my bigger one, which I try to load up with too much at once!)

Next came the fun part - having a fire. This went reasonably well, until I got a little nervous when the flames got pretty big and I suddenly realised I hadn't got the two watering cans of water ready in case it got out of control! I ran into the shed and got that sorted just after I threw some damp grass on to calm the flames :) Phew! Clears a lot of space, having a fire.

While the burning was happening, and I kept one eye on it, I had a poke about the rest of the 'shed end' of the allotment to see what was coming through, as well as tidying up and throwing any dried dead stuff onto the fire. I was very pleased to see some of the annuals starting to show new growth:

Both the lupins are coming through again, one more advanced than
the other. They were really pretty last year so I am happy they
made it through the snowy winter.

Mrs Bradshaw, my double geum is also showing strong signs of life.
I look forward to enjoying her again this year :)

The aquilegia is also emerging. I have now pulled off all
the dead stalks from last year's growth.

I was concerned last year that I'd wasted my money on the
caraway plant I bought. It spent most of the summer being floppy
then died back to nothing in autumn. However, it seems to still be
alive and has put on some healthy-looking growth already.
Let's hope it fares better this year :)

The tree onions I moved last year are making an
appearance, so they're still happy.

I wasn't expecting to see the spring onions, already in the allotment
when I took it on, coming through again. Hopefully they will be ok.
I'll see, andif not, they will have to go.

The three globe artichokes are all coming through again. I love the
thistle-type flowers they put on and they taste lovely so I look
forward to munching these when they are ready :)

In the strawberry bed there is this line of daffs. They were
flowering when I took the plot over almost a year ago so I
was expecting to see them again.
Note to self: change straw under strawberries once you've weeded ;)

And look at this - the garlic I planted before Xmas is making
a strong start :) The other bulbs I put in at the same time are
all coming through, some slightly more advanced than others.
Photos will be taken to show their progress.

This is a snap of the herb bed, next to the shed. I have now pulled out the dead growth and have tidied it a little. I managed to edge one side and will do the other next weekend. The caraway can be seen on the bottom edge of the photo - a bright vibrant green. I am still surprised to see it!

Another job I did was I finally trimmed out all the old wood from the raspberries and pruned the black/red/whitecurrant and gooseberry bushes, so this summer I can actually walk around them to harvest the fruit, without being impaled so much! They did fight back though and my arms look like I've lost a fight with a cat! I know really I should've done this job in the autumn. I didn't get round to it then, but I found it easy to spot the new canes v the old canes on the raspberries, as the new ones had buds on, the old ones didn't. The buds & new growth on the currants etc also showed me where to cut the branches back to. Maybe I've mucked it all up but there is only one way to see - wait a few weeks :) I am hoping that it is all pretty resilient and I've not messed up the growth too much, if at all.

I worked right up until it went dark and felt a big sense of achievement. Seeing the new growth coming through and anticipating the new growing year ahead I am now officially excited :)

I took my seed box home with me to plan what to do over the next few months. I can see I need to buy some seeds, as well as wait a while and cheat with some seedling plants. ;) I've been perusing my allotment books and I look forward to going down again on Saturday (still too dark in the evenings at 6.30pm when I get home from work). This time I'll have a helper so I should get twice as much done!

Edit: Oh, I didn't mention that I noticed John, my next-plot-neighbour @ the 'shed end' must be giving up. I didn't see him much over the late summer. His sheds have gone and his plot seems pretty much abandoned. :(

I also managed a whole lottie time without being interrupted, just me and ma tunes! Huzzah :) Get so much more done like that. I will be more sociable soon, I'm sure!


Kella said...

You did really well and your plot is surely coming alive, can't wait to see what you'll be planting this year.

Jo said...

You got plenty done. It's nice to see lots of new growth.

allot of veg said...

I hope you know how lucky you are to have all that lovely lottie time to yourself! No wonder you were aching. Loving the flowers.