The Perpetual State of Incompleteness

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and that’s because I wanted to write about jobs as we completed them. Allotments, as it turns out, aren’t as ordered or linear as that – or maybe it’s just our concentration spans. We’ve been busy, that’s for sure, but I’m not certain we can officially tick anything off our To Do list.

So, how does our allotment look at the start of this year? Well, I think ‘building site’ covers it!

Rob has started laying paving slabs along our main pathway as and when we find them on Freecycle. We discovered the wood chip we previously used rotted away too quickly – we must have the dampest plot on site, and as it’s lower than any on our row there’s a good chance the other plots drain into it.

The jingliest plot on the block.

As you can see from the photo, we’ve removed the green netting from the fences. Whilst it put the rabbits off, it became brittle due to sun exposure and ripped whenever there was a breeze. I’ve added bells to the fence instead. I’m hoping the jangling scares the rabbits away and the extra rows add height that will prevent them from jumping over.

We’ve also been busy on shed work. Rob has relocated the cold frame from the south side, where everything in it was being baked, to the east side, and I’ve planted the little area along the north between the shed and fence.

A wild hop grows along the back fence and in front of this, I’ve planted foxglove ‘excelsior hybrid mixed’, an acanthus mollis ‘rue ledan’, and an asplenium scolopendrium.  I’ve relocated the wild garlic to this shady spot too.

We were rather neglectful of winter sowing last year so the only crop we currently have growing is Solent Wight garlic. This year we hope to overwinter leeks, and maybe some Brussel sprouts if I can sneak them past Rob!

Our bath overfloweth with weeds.. Oh, and here’s a little bed of garlic.

We’ve dug and mulched most of the beds. Some are covered in cardboard and some in plastic sheeting recycled from 2017’s bunny adventures. I still have two beds to create. We were given some gladioli bulbs last year and I’d like to grow them where the cold fame used to be. It should be a nice sheltered position and in sun for most of the day, but I need to work on drainage as it’s a bit sticky with clay. I’d also like to dig a circular bed beside the wildflower meadow for this year’s sweet peas.

All the beds put to bed. And some dead stocks.

We’ve trimmed and mulched the asparagus with spent hops, and I’ve mulched around our globe artichoke. I was waiting for cold weather before I pruned it, but now I’m wondering whether I should cut it back regardless?

We’ve also started tree work. Rob has pollarded the pussy willow, and I’ve started to coppice our hazel. I’ll use the branches to make supports for the sweet peas.

The wildflower meadow is showing signs of growth, but it’s still muted at this time of year. We planted at least 300 spring bulbs, but so far only one camassia leichtlinii and three tulips have broken the surface. I’m hoping our plot is just slow to come to life as there’s no sign of the daffodils, grape hyacinths, snowdrops, snakeshead fritillaries, or winter aconites. Since bringing this bit of land back into use it’s become a favourite spot for moles, so maybe they’re hoarding my bulbs somewhere…

And that’s winter, so far, on our plot. I guess we really should be planning what we’re going to grow this year. I’ve a feeling Rob will be monitoring my pumpkin and squash habit so I’ll have to figure out how to get a few extra varities past him!


7 thoughts on “The Perpetual State of Incompleteness

    1. Thank you! Oh, it’s endless isn’t it, but amazingly rewarding! I rather like how different the plot looks each month of every year. It might be less noticable as we build more permanant beds and get more of the structure in place. Have you decided onwhat you’re going to grow this year? I was so excited about plot plans that I stayed up to 2am staring into my seed tin – I might regret that this morning! Zzzzz!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your post has given me an idea and a brainwave! Are you using those two palettes for peas or beans? We have three palettes to use up and I wonder whether they could make a sweet pea or a pea wall? Also for the last two years I have been trying to source hazel ‘benders’ for my roses, like they use at Sissinghurst, but can’t find a supplier. But it just occurred to me that we have a hazel at the front of the house -durrr! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob has his eyes on those palletes to make a bench and/or table. Our little woodshed is made from pallettes though, and I’ve been toying with the idea of maybe growing mini pumpkins up them – the south side is inaccessable at the moment, and I’m not sure facing north would be any good. I get a bit nervous about trying these things out! I do like your idea of a pea/bean wall though, and Rob would like to try growing soya beans this year. It could be worth a shot!
      Glad I could provide the lightbulb moment for you regarding the hazel. If it’s any consolation I spent all of last year wondering where I could get some cheap hazel wands and one day our hazel smacked me in the face as it’s now so large it overhangs the access pathway. I took it as a sign!


  2. Looks like spring is going to be beautiful in the garden. I love all the areas. I love that its still January and your our there prodding and pulling getting ready for the sunny months to come. Can’t wait to see how it will all of a sudden be green and beautiful again. I love the bells, hope it works on the bunnies. We have way to many bunnies for me to plant off the deck. They keep my iris trimmed down I noticed so its like I have bonsai iris’s LOL Happy Spring! kat


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