Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday 26th February 2012 - weather: spring like and beautiful

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It has been 138 days since my last confession.

So, what news beloved readers. October half term was spent with mum, hub and the kids in Portugal, not the Algarve but just down the coast from Lisbon. October ended with me trapsing the streets with number one son and his zombie girlfriend and they 'tricked and treated' on suitably bedecked houses around the village. Buckets full of sugar and additives were brought home to be consumed over the coming days. November arrived with it's usual 'oooos' and 'aaaahhhs' as Guy Fawke's night was upon us. We celebrated with friends in the village. November 22nd, my 41st birthday. I know, I know, I don't look a day over 31, I blame the fresh air and allotment veggies. Then before you can say 'Holidays are coming, Holidays are coming', Christmas was upon us. I did scoot to the allotment for the Chrissy dinner veggies, sprouts, cabbage, leeks and carrots. What did January bring? I detest January. It didn't bring a thing. February saw snow, a whole week of the white stuff. It engulfed us on Sunday 12th and was almost all gone by Sunday 19th. And now, now we are in the throws of balmy mild weather. Temperatures up in double figures, unseasonably mild, temperatures not seen in February since 1998.

So now, now that it is warm, now that the days are noticeably longer, I have resurfaced, out of hibernation, and have re-embraced the garden and the allotment. (To be fair, I hadn't really hibernated terribly well as I have been working in other peoples gardens whenever the weather has permitted.)

I had been to the allotment during January and spent a day completely clearing the top of plot number one where my strawberries, garlics, shallots and Japanese onions are planted. Once they were cleaned, the strawbs received a good dressing of my well rotted manure and the alliums received a dressing of special allium fertiliser that I purchased using some vouchers I had received. Today I didn't intend on digging, today I thought I would just have a potter and a tidy, but I had four hours to play, so digging I did. The bottom of plot number one, from the apple trees to the shed was clear, but compacted so I dug and dug (and boy am I paying for it now). The ground is so soft, it turned easily and the weeds came out with ease.

I have new neighbours at the top end of this plot, Barry and Tracy, who are very enthusiastic and spent the afternoon laying a sleeper base for their new shed. I wish all new Allotmenteers were as enthusiastic as there are several plots, all paid for, thick with grass and weeds. After a nice 'getting to know you' chat, I left them in peace and went over to plot number two. After a good pick up of plant labels and bamboos, I started digging again and cleared half way towards the tomato house.

I fear I have been lulled into a false sense of weather security as I sowed a row of radish and a row of mixed salad leaves. Well, the rhubarb is poking it's nose out of the soil so it must be spring.... right?

I am back on the plot tomorrow, our 13th wedding anniversary, hence I have the day off. Apparently, this one is lace and the flower associated is Hollyhocks. I shall make sure I wear lacey knickers and I have some hollyhocks in a pot to go out, so I may well plant them on the plot tomorrow.

p.s. I promise not to leave you so long in future, loyal readers.

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