Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Didn't It Rain, Children?

Cabinned-up since Saturday. Rain, rain, rain. And windy too. By this afternoon I just had to get to the allotment, get some fresh air despite the rain. First the bad news: the area around the compost cage on the North East Bed was in two or three inches of water. The good news is, no flooding where I used to get it on the North West side. So I'm going to have to do something about that. Raise the path and the level of the bed, maybe. The sickening thought is that the three barrows full of bricks I removed from the North East boundary may have been acting as a French drain, and clearing them has led to flooding...

Heigh bloody ho. There's a bank of earth where the fruit bushes are. That will raise the general level when I get the bushes moved. And there may be surplus spoil from the pond. And I'm planning on tons of shit being dug in... So, raise the bed a few inches, and raise the path, putting in a couple of courses of bricks underneath it to help with the drainage. I was afraid that raising the level of the West side might push the water over to the East side, and, frankly, only put off raising the path when I realised how much hard work was involved. Looks like I'm going to have to bite that particular bullet.

I put the wellies on, and had a go at puddling the clay that I've exposed in the Old Greenhouse Foundations. There's about four or five inches of water lying there. Let me tell you: puddling clay is a lot of fun.

And then down to work, cutting back the fruit bushes. Despite the failing light, and the return of the rain, I actually did more than expected: that whole side of the allotment is being transformed. God knows when anyone last worked it. Several fruit bushes, I'd noticed, seemed to be growing almost horizontally out of the bank - I found today that was because branches had been growing along the ground, and managed to root themselves. I also got the top growth from one of the two cherry trees there, both of which I'm coppicing.

I have a rule: when I start to trip over my own feet because of tiredness, it's time to call it a day. And so it was today. Also, it was just about dark by 5pm.

Oh yeah, and I knew I had mice in the "shed", but I saw one of the little buggers tonight, so they're getting bolder. That shed just has to go, and soon.