Meet the Plot Pt II

the-bankWelcome to the sizzling second part of the estate tour around Plot 3…

Last time I covered the actual plot itself; this time it’s the turn of the steep bank adjacent to it, upon which my shed and sundry utilities live.

Basically there’s a long, grassy sward that runs down the side of the site. It’s far too steep for anyone to successfully rent, so it’s kept as access. The council cut the grass every so often but most of the time it’s up to us to keep it more or less neat.

long-shot-slope-2-low
This shot, by Paul Lindus, was taken for a story I wrote for Vintage Life magazine about the practicalities of working in Women’s Land Army uniform

The bit right by me was a total mess when I first moved onto the plot. A gigantic, very thorny wild rose had gone berserk and become a thicket that was dangerous, messy and meant the council workmen understandably refused to go near it.

So did I – for the first three years – merely putting up a shed and balancing a couple of compost bins where I could, but when I’d finally tamed the main part of the plot I decided to tackle the bank.

Over the past two years the rose has first been cut back then more or less removed, un-choking a beautiful Iris that my predecessor Cyril must have planted. The bank now nearly cleared of weeds (only the ghastly green alconet to go this year, and that will go with persistence). I’ve introduced wild primroses and some daffodils, and, well, the rest is coming.

shed-from-the-bank

So I’ll start at the top of the hill with my lovely shed. I’ll take you on a tour of that some day, but for now, suffice to say it’s a great place for a cuppa.

Next to the shed, my lovely allotment pal Paul and I built a flat area out of second hand paving stones. The travelling tool box, one of the water butts and extra pot-space  go here here, as do several tubs of Whitecurrant Blanka and very happy they are too.

hardstanding-by-the-shed

Less happy are the saffron crocuses in the window box. They’ve been growing for the past six years with absolutely no flowers. I am told the bulbs must have been too small when I got them. The table everything’s sitting on is a knocked-up bench made – and dumped – by some builders on a job up the road from me. Note the splendid lumps of wood that Paul found in a skip the other day. They will be part of my next project, later this year.

quince-3

Behind the concrete area, up on the bank, lives a tiny Quince Meeches Prolific. It fruited properly for the first time last year.

Next to the concrete area is my pride and joy – the mini greenhouse, made by Paul (THANK YOU!!!) from all manner of salvaged stuff. Not a single penny was spent on the project, but it looks fantastic. He’s a genius…

mini greenhouse low

Moving swiftly on, are my two compost bins, both second hand. One was a lovely surprise, that I received when visiting my great friends Mike and Sue, who presented it to me ‘gift-wrapped’.

The day my compost bin arrived

Behind the compost bins live a rather hastily constructed leaf-mould cage, then comes the nice little iris and some spare currant bushes in pots I don’t have room for on the plot.

plot-from-the-bank

Then we come to the Woodpile of Shame.

This is going this year. No really, it is. I am going to stop skip-diving forever (yeah, right…) and, instead, create a lovely bench where all the spare wood is now.

the-woodpile

It’s a dream, anyway. And it does normally look a bit less messy than this, but I was searching for a suitable bit of wood the other day and then Storm Doris arrived and, well, you know how it is…

There’s just one more chap you should meet on the grassy sward. Gary the Shed Demon, who guards Plot three with his very life…

gary-the-shed-demon

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