Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Path Runs Through It


Sometime ago, one of The Predecessor's daughters paid a visit. She told me that she, and others would say to him, "Dad, an allotment should have a path right through the middle of it. Why don't you get a path through the middle of it?" But he wouldn't. "He's a stubborn old man. A stubborn old Irish man." She was right about the path, of course. South of the old greenhouse foundation area, there were no discernible paths. Until this morning.

The "before" and "after" photos are taken from the POV of the old greenhouse/concrete structure, facing South. What the left hand photo doesn't show very well is how hillocky the ground is. This part of the plot was partly a hollowed out area, partly a thickly infested nettle bed. It was all lumpy because I'd hacked into it with the Libyan hoe. I had to level the course of the path first, about an hour, taking it easy, and then lay the path, another 40 mins or so.

My philosophy of allotment paths is that they should be made of bricks. Then, each brick has a story to tell, probably of tenements a century old when they were demolished in the 60s. It feels a bit shoogly at first, but it'll soon settle down with walking and rain, when it gets earth between and beside the bricks, and when I get the creeping thyme planted between, and the comfrey planted alongside.

Plenty of tripping hazards. But that's ok. If a late night, uninvited visitor takes a header in the dark, well dear me, what a pity. I know the hazards, and can point them out to invited visitors - few in number, anyway.

Only about 15ft of path, I know, but now I have a path from end-to-end, like a proper allotment. That was a good morning's work.Here it is in its entirety. Got rid of two big piles of bricks I'd dug out lately, too.