Wombling free

· gardening ·

I went to the allotment this morning to do a bit of tidying up and to define the beds a bit more. It was a really glorious morning -- very bright and sunny, with a fresh breeze and occasional brisk showers -- and it was wonderful to be out in the fresh air doing something practical. We marked eight beds out with pegs last time, but ran out of string half way through marking them out, so I finished that off. However, we needed a more permanent way of marking the beds out and defining the paths between.

There's an abandoned plot next to ours, with a very old and collapsed shed lying in pieces on a nettle-strewn compost heap. The shed was too badly damaged to be able to salvage and rebuild (a pity, as we could really do with a little shed). So I decided to be a good Womble (saving money in the process) and reuse the panels for planks to form nice borders to our beds. I spent some time prising the planks off, removing nails and sawing up some of the battens to form pegs to hold the planks upright as a border. It's a fairly rough-and-ready construction, but it defines the paths better and makes the plot look a bit more cared for. It also satisfyingly combined clearing some of the junk off the plot with getting raw materials for free. Actually, that's one of the things I love about allotment sites -- everyone constructs these Heath-Robinson constructions out of whatever they can scavenge, and it gives the place a very quirky, hand-made feel.

I was going to sow some radishes, but we've had a lot of rain recently turning parts of the plot into a soggy quagmire, so I decided to leave it to dry out a bit before sowing. My wellies got sucked down into the mud a few times when I was hammering pegs in, and there was a certain amount of comedy wobbling about and nearly falling flat on my face, as I tried to pull them out of the mud, accompanied by a satisfying sschlooock sound. At the moment, it looks like we could grow rice quite successfully, but I hope it drains a bit in the next few weeks, because I'm itching to start sowing into the ground.