I have a rule when I go up the allotment weeding, I’m not allowed to go home again until I have filled my weeding bucket (one of those little plastic tubs with handles), three times. Now if I’ve been good and have kept on top of my weeds, it can take quite a long time to fill three buckets worth because the weeds I pull are quite small but if I’ve been bad and oh I have, filling three buckets can take next to no time, as the weeds are quite big. I think this little rule of mine (I think it’s more like a game actually) may be why I’m subconsciously not weeding as much as I should be, as I prefer pulling big weeds over little ones but we’ll stop the psychoanalysing of my gardening habits here. Anyway, today the weeds were so big I thought I’d better stretch it to four buckets and I managed to get rid of the big weeds round the wild flower bed (removing the dying flowers as I went to, to make room for the new ones still springing up), the lavender bed, the herb bed, the aubergine bed (aubergines have flowered but are now resolutely doing nothing, I’m beginning to loose hope on that particular vegetable), the courgette bed and the cucumber bed (where to my surprise I did find some baby cucumbers, that bed had been particularly bad with weeds and I had been looking earlier for baby cucumbers and hadn’t found any). I am left now with the two salad beds and the fruit bed, the fruit bed is the worse, possibly because until I cleared it earlier this year, it had been part of the overgrown raspberry patch where just about anything and everything had been growing underneath, so there’s still a lot of weed root and weed seeds in the soil there. But even when I’ve got all the big weeds removed, it’s going to be difficult to get it perfect, the whole place needs digging over again to remove the smaller weeds but that’s a bit difficult when there’s still crops growing there, although I may be able to dig over a few bits here and there where the crop has gone. So there’s a lesson to be learnt for next year, don’t even stop for a minute with the weeding once the crops are in the ground because if you let it get too bad, there’s nothing you can really do to get rid of them short of digging over again, although in my defence I did stop weeding at the time because of my knee, which was (to make it worse) a gardening related injury in the first place.
It is only a few weeks away from my allotment’s first birthday and it was beginning to look almost as bad as when I first inherited it, the only difference being at least this time there are crops growing there (and not – with the possible exception of the aubergines) being too affected by the weeds. But it is not what I had dreamt of it looking like after a year of ownership.
And because no allotment blog post is complete without photos, two bees who obviously think my allotment is just fine enough as it is.
PS My new job is so far going well, if being a little quiet. I absolutely love working from home, in my last proper job (once I had graduated out of the labs), my workplace was relaxed enough to allow a little personalisation of your desk but it was nothing like the pleasure of being able to come to my work area at home (which so far is remaining lovely and organised, possibly because now I have to use my desk, I know it can’t be used as a dumping ground, which had been a big problem previously), as my work area is so ‘me’. I’m sitting at my desk now typing on my laptop writing this (whereas previously because of the whole desk as dumping ground situation I would have sat with my laptop (or iPad) on my bed) and from my seat (bearing the patchwork cushion I made the other day) I can see my sewing machine tucked neatly at the back of the desk, my two new pretty magazine racks, one holding patterns and other important craft stuff whilst the other holds my work stuff. I have two framed prints sitting on the desk at my side and my big tin of embroidery floss, which heck, even when I’m not using it just looks pretty. And to my side (on a separate smaller table) is my big light box, which is big enough and at a sloping angle that makes it just perfect for me to open the folders and the notebooks I need when I’m working. So even when I’m working the day job (although it’s not a day job, most of my hours are currently in the evenings or weekends) and I’m not being crafty me, crafty me is still there, in a way that if I went to say working back in my old job, it wouldn’t be, which is nice. And of course my odd day job hours means plenty of time to be crafty / (possibly writer-y – I haven’t given up on that) / garden-y / mummy me when I’m not working, I am lucky to have found this job.