Saturday 2 May 2009

What a difference a (rainy) day makes

Some decent rain over the last two or three days, and the allotment is so grateful. So are the weeds, of course, and they've sprung up in abundance to celebrate today's warm sunshine.

I have got those taters in the ground at long last. I'm weeks behind the old chaps, but no matter; they have their reputations to maintain, and I can always help them with that by being a hapless if hopeful type of gardener. The real achievement will be if the potatoes come up in a straight line; wonky planting, even with a string and peg to guide me, is my trademark. If I had a garden (ie one attached to my house) I would plant in lovely blurred drifts, but when it comes to vegetables, I aspire to regimental lines, and largely fail.

For a long time this morning, I was the only one down there, and how serenely beautiful it was! I had only popped down to plant potatoes, but I couldn't tear myself away. I planted the peas and fenced them off to save them from the ravening hordes of pigeons. I know they were watching from the trees, muttering darkly into their breast feathers. I hoed and weeded, looked in vain for our five donated tadpoles in the new pond, and looked with success for the first signs of carrots in the sand barrels. I pulled some more rhubarb, thin, dark, rose-coloured stems, that will be used today in some form, and I tried to repair the bird table, which falls apart with monotonous regularity. Is it because of the weight of the marauding squirrels, I wonder? All of Eddie's bird feeders have had the bottoms gnawed out.

There should be a bumper crop of gooseberries this year, although I will be tormented at picking time by my failure to prune the bush into the decreed goblet shape last year; gooseberry thorns are vicious beyond belief. Nature doesn't give in without a serious fight.

Eventually, and reluctantly, I had to heed the insistent call in my head: "Cup of tea! cup of tea-eeeeeeeeeeeee!" and come home, sandpapery tongue hanging out. I will be back tomorrow though; too much to do, and those weeds won't take a day off.


Anonymous said...

Hello Rachel,

What a lovely post! I've been visiting your blog regularly over the past few months, reading about your cats, renovations, frustrations, and quiet moments of joy. It's always entertaining and thought-provoking — oh, but in a gentle way! I just thought I'd let you know that you're a delightful part of my day.

Good luck with those pesky weeds!

Veronica said...


Last time I dropped in I thought you had only just started your allotment. I must have been reading a really old post or something.

I would like to experiment with soya beans too. Have you tried growing Chick peas? (or sometimes called garbanzo bean I think, depending on what part of the planet you're from)

rachel said...

My fellow-allotmenteer Roger is trying chickpeas, left over from a sprouting mix, so I'll watch with interest. So many things won't grow for us, though, as we're quite far North, and cold and damp too!

The recent photos of the allotment date from the week we were given it, semi-derelict, in 2004. It looks slightly better now!

Veronica said...

Great I'll look out for some chickpea updates in the future!

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