An Explosion of Activity

The recent rain has been keeping us off the plot for the most part, but as the rain has let up a bit recently we’ve managed to get a few things done. Simon was toiling away last weekend setting up the frame work for our fruit cage. We’ll be needing it soon as the currant bushes are already starting to set fruit! So far no bird damage, but I feel we’re operating on borrowed time here. In typical fashion, the netting I ordered off of eBay arrived as I was at the plot this morning. I’ll have to find so time in the upcoming week to collect it from the local Royal Mail depot and put it up next weekend.

Fruit cage.

It’s a thing of beauty.

Currants

Baby currants.

There’s also been an explosion of growth thanks to all the rain, mainly in the form of weeds. Scott and I are going away for the long weekend, so I took the day off work to get ready. In between doing the laundry and running errands, I naturally spent a couple of hours down at the plot. A full wheelbarrow load of weeds later, things were looking much tidier. The soil was still very moist, so I kept my efforts to removing the “biggies” like nettles, thistles and %#&^%&! bits of artichoke that insist on springing up everywhere.

Beds

Before: super tidy!

Beds 2

After: not so much.

Even through the curtain of weeds I can see lots of seedlings fighting their way though. Radishes are going strong, I just kind of wish I hadn’t packed so many in, as they’re getting really over crowded already. The beetroot and most of the herbs are coming along as well. I did have to lean right over the beds and peer at the soil surface from about two inches away. I kept thinking I was just looking at more weeds, but I could often just make out the long, deliberate line of seedlings. I even managed to keep my dignity by not falling face first into the wet soil. Leaning over the mounded beds with my backside in the air was undignified enough…

I’ve even managed to add a few decorative touches to the plot. The bee house got an added lick of paint and was made to match our shed, which was suggested by our flatmate, Lindsay. I think it was a stroke of genius and I love the little matching buildings.

Bee house

Looking rather spiffy.

I was doing a rather wet and muddy garden clearance on Thursday and we spent all day pulling masses of ivy off an old brick wall which was due to be torn down. Lots of rotten rubbish was uncovered, but I did find a lovely terracotta bust. Covered with ivy for years, I loved her rather rough looks and slipped her into an old compost bag and then into the back of my van. I just hated the idea of her being dumped into a skip, so she now resides by our herb patch. I’ll get some reclaimed bricks and give her a proper pedestal. Just need to come up with a name for her. I was thinking Matilda, but am open to suggestions. Any ideas?

Bust

Who could resist that cheeky smile?

5 responses to “An Explosion of Activity

  1. The two good things about some weeds is that they add greens to the compost heap and others can be fed to the chickens.

    • We’ll be setting up some nice big compost bins, it’s criminal wasting all that nutritional goodness to the communal green waste bin.
      Sadly, our allotment site doesn’t allow any livestock, not even bees. I wish we could have chickens, they’re lovely pets and egg producers!

  2. WillowCottageGardeners

    Your patch is looking great! I love the fruit cage. Our one fell down and is currently being held up by a piece of string! I think I have fruit cage envy! Her x

  3. Long Neck Lemur

    The bee house is fantastic! I have never seen these before. However – I was searching a bit for more information on them and it seems they are usually for the orchard mason bee – a N American native. Have you had any residents in your bee house yet? If there are (northern) European species that make their home in them I might try to put one up in my lot here in Sweden.

    • No residents yet, I expect the adults won’t be really actively breeding until June. There is a Northern European species, the Red Mason Bee. According to a quick internet search, they are found in Sweden.
      Not sure how far north they get, much further than honey bees I’ve been told though.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_bee

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