greentapestry : Digging Myself Into A Hole

Monday, 26 April 2010

Digging Myself Into A Hole

My love affair with the allotment is at a low ebb at the moment. Those "lazy hazy crazy days of summer," when I will be munching fresh sweet peas, crunching crisp salad leaves and salivating over strawberries seem but a cruelly teasing mirage. Have you ever started on a task and then wished you had left it well alone? Well that has been the case at the allotment during this last week. When I took on the allotment five years ago I inherited some undesirable and unwanted features which I have slowly been working our way round with some much appreciated assistance from the muscle that is himself. The boundary fence has been replaced, the raised beds have been renewed and the layers and layers of carpet have been removed. There remained a couple of tasks for this year. One of them is to completely empty the shed. I think that I am wary of doing this because there are bound to be gigantic spiders or worse lurking in the inner depths. The former occupant's taste in interior design is not mine but I have been reluctant to remove his Liverpool Football Club memorabilia and do not have the heart to paint over the names of his grandchildren, which are written above the doorway leading into the lean-to/semi greenhouse. So up to now I have sorted through cupboard and shelves but have still to sort out the underneath clutter. At some stage though this summer though there will be a grand chucking out and brushing down.

The other task this year was to remove the gigantic slowly rotting wooden cold frame with its impossibly heavy lights, freeing up more growing space in doing so. Last weekend himself was in a demolition mood and having enlisted his help for the morning I could not stand in the way of so called progress. Within an hour the cold frame was reduced to smithereens which for the main part fitted nicely into our trailer for a journey to the municipal tip. What I have been left with though is a veritable crater full of grotty bits and pieces including a myriad of shredded bits of plastic. To add insult to injury himself emptied out the contents of a big bucket onto the ground sending rusty nails, nuts and bolts, old light bulbs, door knobs and other unidentified objects scattering out out in all directions. So this last week has seen me crouched on my haunches picking up the bucket's contents as well as riddling through the general debris. This is a work in progress and I will be there for some time longer before the space will be clean enough to add some top soil. Meanwhile the allotment inspections looms omniously near on the horizon and of course my plot would have looked better with the cold frame intact. Urgent cosmetic surgery is on the cards. In the meantime I am consoling myself that I read on this week on Carrots and Kids that rusty nails can be a beneficial addition to the planting hole when you are planting blueberries. I just happen to have six blueberry plants rescued from the cheap and cheerful section of the garden centre waiting to go in.

In the meantime if you are wondering where the brunnera comes into the story, I could not bring myself to photograph the hole so will leave you with an image of what has been bringing a smile to my face on my return home after stints at the allotment.


  1. Hi Anna,

    Ouch, it sounds like you are having a rough time at the moment with the allotment! I cannot begin to imagine the amount of work needed… I’m the type which has all intentions of getting the job done, then part way through begin to wonder what on earth I’ve taken on and why I bother. So I begin to dither and feel like I’m well in truly out of my depth… I force myself to slog on and eventually get there.

    I hope you get the allotment finished soon, just imagine all those lovely fruits and veggies to look forward to… :)

  2. Oh dear - this is exactly why I'm glad there is a long waiting list for allotments here. I put my name down a couple of years ago in a moment of madness but I think if I had got one straight away I would be feeling like you do.
    As for the shed, I hate sheds due to the potential for spiders etc.

  3. Anna .. you are a garden warrior ! LOL .. luckily spiders don't invade my garden until later this year mean while as I dig holes I am fairly safe .. for the moment ? LOL
    Brunnera .. who can resist them ?
    I am collecting a small collection because they fascinate me .. from flowers to foliage .. so far my favorite is Jack Frost .. my first love out of these amazing plants : ) good luck with the garden missions girl !!

  4. Anna, I have so many uncompleted projects just because I get to feeling as you do--the task seems so overwhelming or it's something I just don't like doing, so I put it off. I'm glad I don't have an allotment inspection here--I'd surely be kicked out:)

    I've heard the idea of putting rusty nails in with some plants before; I suppose it must add some iron to the soil?

    I have to agree with you on the brunnera--mine brings a smile to my face every day as well.

  5. This sounds like a mammoth task Anna but it will be worth it to have the allotment looking as you want it to. Clearing the shed definitely has to be one of the worst jobs ever but you are almost there by the sounds of it.

    Good luck with your blueberry planting with the aid of a rusty nail or two ... your brunnera is super pretty!


  6. You have a beautiful brunnera - so glad you posted that rather than a picture of a hole.

    Why is it that things always look temporarily worse after you have tackled them in the name of improvement?

  7. It will be worth all the hard work once it's done. Just think ahead to everything you will be harvesting come summer and it will make it all seem worth while.

  8. It is always energy sapping when there is lots of clearing up and preparation before getting started on proper planting. I am about 3 weeks late with all my vegetable sowing etc - and I haven't got a shed to tidy or things to demolish :-)


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.