Popped down to the allotment today, for the first time in ages, this year even. As the picture below shows, it was a bleak scene. Last night’s snow/sleet had faded but the whole place gave the impression of hunkering down beneath a lowering January sky. The swathes of black weed surpressing plastic that so many potholders have gone in for (myself included) merely added to the overall darkness of the scene. Despite the windy weather we’ve been having recently, ours seems to have stayed in place pretty well, pinned down by some of the old bricks we inherited on the plot.
Given the chilling wind and sodden ground I didn’t linger but ahead of this Sunday’s potato day it felt good to be scoping out the plot and thinking about what crops we might want to grow and what will go where this year. More flowers are on the agenda, and I’ve been eyeing up the Sarah Raven catalogue with a view to adding some more unusual dahlia varieties to our existing stock. But I’ll hold off ordering until after Sunday, as who knows what treasures await in the village hall courtesy of Pennard Plants?
Before scuttling back home to the warmth, I dug up some leeks (Blue Solaise, seeds from Pennard Plants) and lightly pruned the two apple trees. The Christmas Pippin we planted last year is looking very happy and I rather regret not planting it in the home garden. The garlic that went in before Christmas is already peeking its shoots above the soil, and the currant bushes are already fat with buds. The promise of new growth. The three non-producing gooseberry bushes are on borrowed time, however, and even as I plot their demise, I’m thinking about what might usefully take their place. A new strawberry bed perhaps?