Sunday, November 15, 2015


Couple of months ago, when I cleared the mounds from the North end, I extended the path right to the fence. I knew I'd need to improve the drainage once I'd done the levelling, so the new bit of path was laid on a couple of courses of bricks. I was going to do the same with the rest of the path, which is made of flag stones laid on the earth, no foundation, just the odd brick here and there. But it was bloody hard work, and I put it off... With the result you can see here.

It's actually worse than it looks in the photo - most of the NE bed is waterlogged. Heigh ho. Levelling the West Bed has had the effect of pushing the allotment's drainage problem over to the East side, and the path. I had a feeling that this would happen.

So, lift the slabs, dig down a spit, fill with three courses of bricks, lay the slabs back on them. I need to raise the whole path by about six inches: earth from the levelled west bed is spilling onto it, and the east bed will be raised too, with the spoil from under the path, and from the area where the fruit bushes were, which is (inexplicably) a spit higher than the rest of the bed.

Today, I was going to do all kinds. I've hardly been near this week, and this afternoon I just had to get up off the sofa and get my boots on the earth, despite the rain. Actually, the rain stopped for an hour whilst I was there. I cleared the cuttings from the fruit bushes and cherry trees, putting them onto the Frog's Winter Palace.

Well, I say cleared. There were three piles, and one of those was at the bottom end, in a lot of water, so I left that for another day. Then I was for sawing down the cherry trees. The saw I got at B&Q the other day isn't bad, but it isn't really up to this job. There are 2 trees, kind of, but each of them has 3 trunks, between 5 and 8 inches thick. I have a feeling that they might actually be wild cherry, growing from a rootstock. I don't know because the cherries were growing, like, 15 feet in the air, so the birds got them. Anyway, I sawed a trunk through, one of the thinnest, it was bloody hard work.  I started on another. The light was beginning to go, and that's when I thought, "Sod it. Pint."  And as I was putting tools away, the rain started, so that was that.

Here's the thing, though. I planned to work on the allotment right through the winter, spending whole Saturdays or Sundays there. But just as plants more-or-less go to sleep this time of year, so, perhaps, do humans. The allotment had a familiar but, paradoxically, alien feel to it this afternoon. None of my fellow allotmentistas were there, cabinned-up out of the rain with their Sunday dinners and a glass or two of wine, no doubt.  So, maybe that's it for this year, few hours at the weekend, weather permitting. I might not get everything done before Spring. Heigh, as I said, bloody ho.