Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunshine On A Rainy Day

My Second Day at the Allotment/Wilderness saw the sun shining momentarily between storm clouds. I spent three and a half hours there today trying to do some more clearance, and clearing the roots and weeds I left in the first bed.

The birds were singing and the wind blowing. Apart from the childrens school at breaktime it was perfectly quiet.Good reflective silence to imagine what this wild plot could look like..

This Ladybird sat on a leaf by the edge of the allotment where I share with Mr Saddiq.
I looked at his six small dug beds, and bet they he found it hardgoing just to dig them.He must have realised that a whole Allotment plot was just too much work.
I wander how long it had been since it was last cultivated, so thick is the grass, and so fat the perennial weeds have woody stems and taproots that go down a few feet into the clay soil..

The only evidence I saw of previous cultivation was this Alium globe head. I tried to dig down for it but severed the main stem. It was overrun by grass and weeds though.I had cut the tall red weeds down to near the ground leaving enough stem to show me where they are when I come to clear the ground.
There was also a solitary Spring Onion which has been rehomed in my garden. All other signs of previous cultivation have been obliterated. The wild nature has reclaimed the land back from the

gardeners who had been before.There were small shards of a smashed pot decorated in Dutch Delft design but I have only a few bits.
I borrowed the Black tarpaulin to cover the bottom half of the plot. The cleared debris from the top bed is what is holding it on, with a free scavenged bricks.
The Clay soil was waterlogged and it is still raining now so it will be still. I took some bark chippings to make a temporary path around the first bed. It needs a lot of organic matter.I will use the manure that is piled up and pay a contribution when the Allotment holders return from holiday.
It needs lots of organic matter and raising up to help the appalling drainage.The last photo shows the thirty feet by twelve feet plot though. The muddy paths show which way I have trodden. I tried to avoid it today to let it dry out a bit and for the grass hopefully to regrow.
My muscles are still aching.It has been hard going with the rain and clay. I'm working nights again soon so maybe a few more hours tomorrow. I have some summer bulbs and seeds to plant still in the garden.

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