Sunday, 17 January 2010

Belated Happy New Year!

I know, I know - how slack am I?  Well, there was a perfectly reasonably excuse and one I suspect will have affected all the allotmenteers and gardeners out there - the weather!  It seemed like there was snow and ice for almost the whole of December and it's only now, 17 January, following a rise in temperature and a night of torrential rain, that the snow has finally (more or less) disappeared.  And as the weatherpeople are apparently predicting yet another drop in temperature and potentially more snow towards the end of this week, I thought I'd better get down to the plopment to see what has survived the snow.

I was most concerned about the new fruit trees that I planted towards the end of last year - they're only babies and I was a bit worried that the weight of the snow might have brought them down, as it did to my Forsythia at home, but no, they were absolutely fine and, what's more, showing actual signs of growth.  These are the little buds that are forming on the cherry tree:

So fingers crossed that I'll actually get some fruit this year.

The view from one end of the plopment (where the fruit trees are) looking down is this rather unedifying spectacle:


But then, allotments are never at their prettiest during the winter.  The black fabric is covering areas that I'll hope to plant up next season.  The large green weedy square in the centre of the picture is where all my soft fruit is currently - there are about 50 strawberry plants hidden away in there as well as a couple of rows of raspberry canes.  Oh well, I'm not about to start weeding it all now, it can wait until springtime.

The view from beside the shed looking down sort of towards the fruit trees is equally unaesthetically pleasing:

But - look - lovely blue sky and sunshine!  It was also pretty warm, a balmy 6 or 7 degrees!

At this time of year about the only thing that the allotment produces is cabbages and brussels sprouts.  My Husband picked most of the sprouts for Christmas lunch (and very lovely they were too) but I have a few Savoy Cabbages which are looking quite splendid.  This one, in particular, is a good healthy size (I've placed a cane top next to it for scale):

Everyone else's plots seems to be just fine - there's no obvious signs of any damage except that a large polytunnel on a plot diagonally opposite mine has gone (or is in the process of going).  I don't know whether the weight of snow has pulled it down or whether the guy who works it has given up (he was suffering from ill health so wouldn't be surprised if he decided to take it easy) and the site is now being cleared.  Time will tell.

So, to finish, here's some arty shots of dead plants and bubbles frozen in ice in the water troughs:


Last, but by no means least, my holographic wellies: