All good plans have to change

Woke this morning with the issue of the garlic sorted. I need to get them in while this cold weather lasts, but I haven’t got the soil entirely sorted. So I’m going to do them in jiffys on the rooftop balcony. I got the idea from a picture in Monty Don’s book The Complete Gardener (complete that is, if you own five acres of land and have endless resources). He does his onion sets in them. So why can’t I do the garlic that way too. That way they also won’t be eaten by birds before they get their roots down. Naturally I have left the little package of sets in the shed at the allotment and must remember to get them back home. Much on the list today. David and I are going out this morning to look at progress and trying to get as much compost onto the soil as we can.

Well all good plans have to change. We were thwarted on the compost front. The little shop on site doesn’t open until 2:30pm on Saturdays, unlike Sundays when it opens at 10:30am. So we looked forlornly through the gate at the sacks and sacks of compost and manure and dreamed of breaking in. Instead it will have to be more trips to Homebase and lugging the stuff from the car. We did make progress on the paths mind you. David did the bottom one, I puttered about with the minor ones; marked out the little paths that I will need to put down at three metre intervals, and generally felt rather pleased with it all. We put the weed proof membrane down and it did look rather ghastly. The sooner I get the bark chips down the better. To cheer David up from our neat and rather uniform site I took him on a tour of the rest of the allotment. And my goodness people do have odd things in little pieces of land. Fences, cages, shopping trolleys, mountains of brambles, corrugated iron, weeds and muck. I hope he sees that ours is going to be neat for a reason. It’s more productive not to have to endlessly weed the paths. And the bark chips on other people’s plots don’t look that garish. We finished up with a visit from the resident Allotment Cat. She came leaping over the fields to get a cuddle and a hug and then trotted off.

And so did we – to Homebase. Three hulking packs of bark chips, three small bags of compost for our Primrose Hill garden and more metal pegs for £30. One of my cheapest visits yet. Surely this endless shopping will have to end soon and I can just get on with gardening.

Vegetable: Printanor Garlic Set
How many?: 20
How planted?: Jiffy 7s
Notes: Outside upstairs