Constant gardening

I went to the allotment today, the first time in about a week (is it sad that I’ve been staying in just to wash clothes? You see the drier part of our washer-drier is chronically faulty, the *ahem* Bosch engineer may as well camp out at our house, soooo because about 95% of the year it takes a long time for me to dry clothes, when the sun comes out for a good period of time I need to stay home and constantly feed the washing machine, so that I can turn our over flowing laundry baskets into something a lot more manageable, you know I actually managed to empty the kids’ laundry basket this week? That never happens). Anyway, this isn’t about washing, this is about how a week of inattention from me + a week of hot sun = green explosion, I could say the weeds are winning again, but they’re always winning, they’re just winning a bit more right now. But although the first words out of my mouth this afternoon as I got to my plot were “F*** weeds” (allotment gardening – it makes you talk to yourself and swear), the second thing out of my mouth was “Wow”. Now the below is not a good Hipstamatic photo (so they do exist) but this is what made me go wow.

My little flower area I scattered seeds on last year is really going OTT for a second year running, in fact a lot more OTT than last year.

Anyway, I had plants to plant, I’d ordered a constant garden from Rocket and the first instalment arrived today. Now obviously I had realised these plants were coming at some point, so I’ve been spending the last month or so digging over about a third of the plot, making sure that I was regularly hoeing those areas already dug over whilst I dug over new areas and that had been keeping things pretty much under control, even with the weeks and weeks of rain we had but I guess that was it, sunshine was missing (oh how it was missing, as one news report I read yesterday said (we’re British so we like news reports on the weather every time it does something other than be a bit grey and cloudy), we’d gone from mid winter to mid summer in a week this week, it won’t last). Anyway, all those weeds had obviously been underground, soaking up the rain, waiting for those first rays on sun and then bang, aforementioned green explosion. So before I planted I had to hoe and weed again.

Anyway, today I planted some salad leaves (planted the furthest corner away from the fence the adjoins my allotment, in the vain hope that the rabbits that get under the fence are lazy rabbits and won’t want to go that far (last year my salad was virtually next to the damm rabbit run and I lost so much), however considering my neighbours, Super Allotmenters have recently upgraded their rabbit protection to a Fort Knox like level and they’re even further from the fence, I’m not hopeful).

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I also planted three different types of cabbage, onions, leeks, carrots, courgettes, beetroot, perpetual spinach, sage and chives (as if I don’t have enough feral chives popping up all over my plot).

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I still have peas, tomatoes, potatoes, mint, rosemary and strawberries to plant, I will have to squeeze in time over the weekend (she  laughs hollowly). As it was I went to the allotment twice today, having to fit it in around other stuff and my feet are killing me now 😦 But at least during my second visit I got a visitor.

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Is that a frog or a toad? I think it’s a toad and I used to teach biology, sigh. Anyway, I had been wrestling with the netting tunnel that the rabbits laugh at and I saw something move out the corner of my eye, on the path that I was standing on, I clock what it is and immediately do the girly thing of doing a little scream and jumping back a little (I am such a wuss). The toad on the other hand clocks me and decides to act like a stone. I eventually finish trying to get a good photo of it (braver, but still slightly paranoid that it was going to suddenly leap on my phone as I was taking the photo, yep, I’m not worried about it leaping on me, I’m worried about my phone #priorities) and move me (and my bag, which is on the path a bit behind me) out of the way, standing off the path and watching the toad now moving along the path in it’s own measured, purposeful way. Don’t know what it’s plans were but it was going back down the path about 5 minutes later again. Poor thing, I have no idea where it’s come from, I don’t think there’s any suitable water for it on the site, probably come down a rabbit hole . . .

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