Parental Visitation

The weekend was scheduled for the installation of the guttering and water butt, a task I’d handed over to Lynn but not before I had passed on the benefit of my huge and heroically unsuccessful experiences. I’ve been spouting tales of woe for the last week, predicting DIY disasters of monumental proportions and just to add to the pressure I thought I’d invite my parents down to witness the whole event.

Of course my parents are renowned troopers in the allotment world so I might also have hoped to benefit a little from their digging prowess and work ethic as well.

Kinky Boots

This shot nicely captures Lynn’s fear as she spots the kinky boots I bought my mum a couple of Christmases ago, I like to think she’s wondering desperately how she can backtrack and remove wellington boots from the xmas wishlist she left me with.

Too late though I’m afraid.

I’ve been revisiting an old book “Companion Planting” by Gertrud Franck and it triggered a little obsession with the mass planting of spinach seeds. I sourced a bulk supplier, Seeds By Size, awaited delivery of my 25,000 spinach seeds and then waited for the general mocking and guffawing from the children to die down, before sitting down myself and wondering if I’d gone ever so slightly nuts.

I am reasonably content that the mocking will die down when they find plate-fulls of slimey green stuff turning up day after to day but between then and now there is a lot of planting to do.

Spinach Sowing

Luckily my Dad was quite prepared to get stuck in there and start me off with the first row.

I think the general idea with the spinach planting is to cut and leave in-situ as a mulch or green manure but I’ll worry about the specifics later.

water butt

Heading back to the water butt, I’m afraid there is very little left to say.

It was disappointingly uneventful.

The guttering was erected in moments, Lynn and my mum sorted the trajectory without recourse to swearing and the whole thing was dressed up like a work of art before I had chance to get my hands dirty.

Sync Dig

My hands may have remained relatively clean but I didn’t let my folks get away with anything easy.

All in all they transplanted two fruit trees, dug the grotty front patch, planted a rhubarb crown, transplanted a row of spring cabbage, commenced the sowing of the 25,000 and demonstrated a bit of synchronised digging.

I did give them a cup of tea though.

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Secret Stash

At Work

We decided to show mercy to our remaining forks by building raised beds in the concrete zone and filling them with the soft crumbly mound of compost piled high in the Clampett’s yard section of the plot.

Lynn spent the best part of two days trying to clear this area of unmentionable cruddiness. Hundreds of decaying carrier bags billowed up like a detritus confetti shower when the grim piles of stained carpet were hauled away.

The strawberries were collected from around the plot, pretty much the only surviving plants from the previous tenant. They are temporarily in situ, awaiting arrival of the fruit trees and weed suppressant fabric when they will go back in for good.

Hidden Stash

The whole nasty little job brightened our lives somewhat when the second depressing mound was cleared to reveal this stash of treats. We’ve got Victorian edging stones and classy looking paving slabs just waiting to transform our plot into something very special. What a find!

I’ve already gone mad with my seed catalogues and can see my completely frivolous purchase of three assorted crowns of rhubarb sitting quite at home in a geometric bed of terracotta tiles.

Vene, Vidi, Vici

I’ve started digging in the second bed and it was considerably easier than expected. It was clumpy clay soil but at least I could get my fork in and out without requiring a trip to Homebase with my receipt.

Two rows of garlic have gone in and maybe the broad beans will join them next week.

The results of 3 weekends labouring are mapped out on the images below, top row showing the view from the bottom of the plot and the bottom row shows the top down view:New Plot - Week 3 Progress

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