Sunday, 30 January 2011

Chopity Chop !

Busy weekend at the lottie ... it would have been even busier if the ground wasn't still frozen (will it ever thaw I ask myself !)

The pond appears to have been frozen for 3 months solid, so in a bid to let what little sunshine we have at this time of year into the plot I decide to have another chop at the overgrown hedge.

I asked for battery hedge trimmers for Christmas and Santa sent me some money to go and buy some ... but I haven't made it to B&Q yet to see what they've got ! So annoyingly, I've yet again spent hours and hours with my loppers chopping the flipping thing down. My new loppers are great though, they sliced through sizeable stems and even a couple of small trees ... now if only I could find my secateurs LOL.

When you are up close and busy chopping you really feel like you're doing a great job and everything is level .. then you stand back to admire your hard work and end up laughing your socks off at the crooked donkey-leg mess in front of you. Never mind, it is chopped and the sunshine is indeed hitting that side of the plot.

I spent a few hours shifting frozen bricks yesterday - and knocking a bit more of the old greenhouse down. It's getting there slowly ... slowly being the operative word. Still lots to do.

I wish I could clone myself, how wonderful would that be !

That lesser spotted furtive creature, the OH, was finally persuaded to come and do something with my bonfire today - he was kept busy for 3.5 hours gathering stuff to burn.

The lottie is definitely looking better .. which is lucky as my next door neighbour is expecting the new allotment officer to visit her tomorrow. She has been making tremendous progress and rather depressingly has received one of the letters saying 'get cultivating or else'. Needless to say she was furious and called them up to put them in the picture as to what a state it was in when she took it over. Hopefully they are coming to help remove a tonne of rusty metal, sacks and sacks of broken glass, a toilet (don't ask) and tonnes of other crap ... she's decided to keep the two baths and also the 35 tyres - apparently she has potatoe plans for them ... bonkers in my opinion, but still, whatever turns you on.

My seed order has arrived - I'm too exhausted to open it and see what I ordered. Plus I'm sure it will never warm up enough to ever contemplate germinating them. Someone on one of the forums that I look at has already started off tomatoes (tomatoes in January !), beetroot and some other bits and bobs.

On the plus side my squashes are still keeping well and we are gradually eating our way through them - my new latest obsession is Jamie's 30 minute meals, so they'll hopefully be disappearing soon. Sadly I've run out of garlic and am having to get it from the shop ... and onions too ... oh the shame. Call myself an allotmenter !

Where's that clone button


  1. I he is anything like our allotment officer he'll have no idea what gardening is all about. Ours seems to pick some plots at random to chastise whereas others in a worse state are left alone.

  2. Are you sure it wasn't just 3 months since your last visit? ;>) It did thaw out a week or so back, albeit briefly. Cold this afternoon though wasn't it?

    Can I recommend you get your Association to apply for some funding to get some petrol hedge cutters? Ours are great, they save stacks of time and we all have wonderfully neat hedges - not!

  3. well we are very lucky to now have two allotment officers for Sheffield. One is a he and one is a she ... we have the she :)

    Both have their own allotments, the 'he' officer runs a self managed site in Nottingham and has a landscape gardening background. The 'she' officer comes from an environmental / country background I think, so in theory they know their stuff.

    They are trying to get the various sites back into running order after a long period of neglect (it was way too big a job for the previous chappie to do single handedly).

    It's just unfortunate that they are not seeing and recording the state of some of our plots - next doors had not been worked for the 4+ years that I've had my plot, so you can imagine the mess. They've told her that they'd like her to achieve 75% cultivation by Spring !!

    I'm torn as some people do bugger all and then give up the plot, whereas others are making real inroads, but due to the state, it's hard to see what they've done :(

  4. Rob you are so cheeky - which one of us got the 'get yer ass in gear letter' LOL

    We keep skirting around community power tools, but can't get to grips with insurance and how we'd operate the lending system etc. Plus we'd need additional insurance for petrol in the outbuildings. We're in the process of trying to reduce our outgoings. I'm sure it'll come up again in the future though, so you could send me details of how you run your tool bank if you have time ?

  5. Bath Tubs, Ducky?

    Ideal for blueberries (as per Bob Flowerdew): three per tub.

    Toilet - you're on your own!

  6. it's a pink toilet Mal ... very fetching amongst the daffs :)

  7. My first tom has just germinated, will be interesting to see how it matches up to the next batch I'll sow in a month's time. I'm just too impatient!