Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Finally finished amazing weedy seedy shady bed. I can't believe now that I was ever moaning about weeds before. This bloody thing wasn't just weedy, it was a perennial weed convention. The only things missing were the alcohol and the nametags. How does an eight foot root get in a six foot by four foot bed? And that was where I was so carefully nursing my seedlings (bindweed). No wonder the poor little sods didn't grow. Well, the bindweed did.

Realised three quarters of the way through that half what I was pulling out belonged to the apple tree. Not enjoying creaking noises from above.

Have begun another bed, for hunions, which are languishing at the post office because I was too hungover, again, to go and get my bike this morning. Stayed up late drinking beer and looking at cactus photos. Honest to god. This bed is also incredibly weedy which I don't really understand as the others I've dug have been OK. Or maybe I was weedblind? And now I can see them, like the way people say that if you're trying for a kid everyone's pregnant. Not my best analogy.

Pulled a bit of plastic off to rough dig another bed and there is nothing on it but bindweed. How? Not another weed to be seen. And yet the bits I've left uncovered have hardly any bindweed; mostly what I'm fervently praying is the rye grass I sowed. I can't imagine it's been crowded out; judging by these last two beds it's a bloody miracle anthing else gets a look in. Apart from the crouch, of course, with which my paths are riddled. Note good grammar. I am proud of my small successes.

Should go up tonight but it's just beginning to rain. Yay! Crap TV and Horlicks for me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Another photo! (singular, again, I'm not pushing my luck)

Yay! A second photo. My plot, before I did anything daft to it, like attempt to grow something. Halfashed at end, note artistic positioning of clouds. Good, innit?

Actually what it is is bloody huge. Will try to remember to take camera up tomorrow to show evidence of attempts to grow stuff and the way the black plastic sheeting accentuates the vast swathes of weeds that I now have growing in what would be the foreground of this picture.

Photo! (singular)

Finally some photos! This is the before picture of the brambles, complete with halfashed. Impressive, isn't it? I think it's a testament to my hurricane-sized ignorance that this seemed like the perfect plot to me. La-di-da, hello brambles, hello sky, I can't really see you lalala, you're actually a lawn with a pond and some cast-iron furniture, tra-la-la.

Ok, one photo. But it's a start. I never suggested that I was any better at blogging than I am at gardening.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Well, it looks better than it did

Now have two beds netted. However, should a sparrow with half a brain venture along, he need just lean gently against it to either bring the whole lot down, or bounce close enough to my three cauliflowerlings that remain to scarf the lot.

I say three; of course I haven't gone up tonight yet. Am expecting Slugstock 2005; mud and excess and general celebration from all except the great big fascist Man, which would be me of course. Am going to take Nixon-era steps and consider outright warfare against these long-haired layabouts (add the hair yourselves, use your imagination).

Should perhaps bring you up to date on a couple of bullet points I threw at the blog a week or so ago. Remember weedy seedy shady bed? Where I was carefully nurturing spinach, cress and rocket?

Nuh-uh. Bindweed.

Ahem. Moving swiftly on. Have liberated garden fork from uncultivated next door allotment BUT with permission! Ah hah hah hah! Turns out bloke who rents it drinks in my local; one of the boys on the committee is his neighbour, happened to be out for a drink with him the evening after I'd asked if the plot was rented, and of all the bars they could have walked into, they had to walk into the one with the best and cheapest gin and tonics and hence me. Bargain.

Must go, want to spend money at Homebase because I can.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Of cabbages and things

How not to prepare brassicas for overwintering:

(i) Make sure you're not in when the Dobies plug plants arrive, so the friendly helpful people in the bookies downstairs take them in for you and keep them for a couple of days until they see you.

(ii) Upon eventual receipt of plug plants, leave them sitting in box for two days because work's really busy and you keep turning up late and thus staying late. Notice on Thursday evening that the box says 'Open Immediately'. Bugger.

(iii) Open box.

(iv) At least 24 hours after (iii), try to close box in order to shove into rucksack. Turn it sideways so it fits. Ish. Take plants up to plot. Realise that, at most, you have enough beds prepared for two-fifths of plug plants. Also notice that they're turning yellow. Muse aloud that yellow is probably not the colour they ought to be. Get strange looks.

(v) Spend the whole of Saturday digging frantically and trying to hoik out perennial roots. Make sure you don't allow enough time for this, as there's nothing like a half-arsed job to ensure that you get to repeat it all ad nauseum on a weekly basis. Shove plug plants in. Take care to plant them in such a way that any future rotations of vegetables will require the advice of a chess grandmaster. Fill shoes full of mud (not necessary, but you do get bonus points).

(vi) Return Sunday, much later than planned, to find plants already nibbled, yellowing, and in some cases broken off at stems. Decide, with no time nor forward planning, to string netting across cauliflowerlings to protect them. Choose piece of netting that's far too small. End up with layer of netting just the right size for birds to rest themselves while leaning through holes and helping themselves. Run out of time so that'll have to do. Trip over netting, fall in mud, narrowly missing leeklings. Curse (this should be taking place at regular intervals). Trip over bike, causing chain to come off and necessitating a light covering of bicycle oil to go with mud. Curse some more. Cycle home like lunatic to get washed and changed for work.

On the upside my spuds have finally come up. Things seem to grow as long as I leave them the hell alone. Odd.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Am in long, slow recovery from week of debauchery. What I need is soothing embrace of couch grass and bindweed to remind me that actually, by comparison, hangovers are my friends. Will get round to posting photos tonight, honest, guv.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How Crap Am I?

Just a very brief post to apologise for not posting since this time last week. Actually found myself having to do some work in the past week, very unusual occurence. Many apologies to all four of my readers.

Brief plot news teasers which I will elaborate upon later:

- Neighbouring plot from whence I have been scrumping/pilfering tools is occupied
- I can't tell the difference between a plant and a weed
- Related to above, I have now been forced to prepare beds properly
- I know someone that isn't bored by me wittering on about allotments
- I have photos of amazing bramble patch

In other news, still haven't picked up free tools. Or recieved Dobies' brassicas. Just in case you were holding your breath...


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