Morning, everyone. For the first time in ages, I have woken while it is still dark. Three thirty, to be accurate, which is plain daft but I have had a great night's sleep and I shall use the time to get more stuff back down again.
It's dark, it's cool, it's lashing with rain. Perfect really and I have slept really well snuggled under the covers.
The rain held off until the afternoon yesterday, although there were a few moments earlier when it felt and smelled as if precipitation was imminent. However, it didn't so Beth and I were able to put in a couple of hours of allotment work. We weeded and watered as usual and then harvested some courgettes and some peas while I found a potato that I had left on the soil yesterday.
Then we turned our attention to the cleared section which had ground elder growing through again. We forked as much as we could of that (and roots) up before levelling it, digging a trench and putting in a 'sleeper' to mark the narrow pathway the other side from the bins. Beth will get some membrane down at some point soon and then we can cover with bark chippings as the spirit moves.
She took a few photos of the front of the plot. Here's one.
What comes to mind are the words from 'Oh, what a beautiful morning':
The corn is as high as an elephant's eye
And it looks like it's climbing right up to the sky . . .
Beth tells me I have to wait until August for the corn to produce though. Shame!
(mind you, the weeds under the corn are shocking, but they can't be seen so they're not really there! OK?)
Our new allotment neighbour to the right is going great guns. In a week he has cut back branches, built and painted a shed, built a compost container, laid a little 'patio' in front of the shed and cleared his plot of surface weeds, of which there were many. He's obviously an allotment mover and shaker!
His new shed and our shed have created a little sheltered hidey-hole sort of space for our table and benches. Really nice and cosy and fairly private as you can see from the photo. We will be painting the shed, the table and the bench with Cuprinol in shades of green so it should all look a bit more classy once done, but it's a really nice place for us to sit, chat and plan as we have our coffee and/or picnic.
The bed that you can see is going to be raspberries and, probably, strawberries (runners from mine at home). We want to have some summer fruiting raspberries and also some autumn fruiting ones, bushes rather than those that need supporting, and we need to start looking. Any recommendations?
We had a think about layout once that 'cage' has gone. I will miss it - or, rather, I will miss the nice shapes it creates and the impression it gives of a little walled garden but it is rotten and a weed trap and needs to go.
What we don't want is an allotment that goes from side to side in rows so we talked about how we can use some portable 'slabs' we have to create squares and rectangles to maybe make it a bit like patchwork. It may sound silly but, actually, how it looks is important to us as well as what it produces, like a garden is. Fortunately, the slabs are light and easily moved so we can experiment a bit, once the front is more or less cleared. The back will be permanent once the raspberries are in.
At home, I have my first sweet pea flower with plenty of buds coming. Thank goodness for that. I hope I will be very busy cutting them for indoors as the more you cut, the more they come. Everything is looking very healthy at the moment, especially the potatoes. Beth told me they aren't Charlottes as I had fondly imagined, they are maincrops that she dug up and which she didn't use in our potato patch, so she reckons September. All I can say is, if they keep growing the way they are, they will take over the garden! There's loads of tomatoes too but I must look out for blight in the wet weather. I will get warnings from blightwatch if it's lurking around.
Enough of plant stuff - sorry, I have gone on rather - I've been thinking out loud really.
Once home, I did my planning and tuition. I was really pleased with how things went, despite some extreme tiredness at the end of the school year. I well remember the feeling! Both yesterday's student (or their parents) want to continue during the summer holiday so I am keeping my diary strictly up to date!
Then it was telly on to watch some Wimbledon and I caught the Jo Konta match which was pretty exciting and didn't she do well?
Today is busy. In school am for a meeting and then to watch the Y5/6 show, Pirates of the Curry Bean and then planning, housework and tuition pm. Well, I say 'busy' but it's not really that bad and the show will be sheer fun: I have slowed down a bit and what is busy now used to be a minor bustle three or so years ago!
As I keep saying - loving this life of retirement!
Light is now dawning and, yes, it is still raining. Good-oh! Time for a second coffee, I think!