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You know you’ve neglected your allotment when grass has grown over the hosepipe, so much so you have to pull it free!!! I feel I should point out, just so you don’t get completely the wrong impression of my allotment husbandry that the rest of the plot is fine its just the storage part that is looking a little unkempt. No doubt my New Year’s resolution will be to keep this part of the plot tidy but I know even now, as with most resolutions, that this is more a triumph of hope rather than reality.

Anyway, after a couple of weeks of painting sheds, cold frames and kitchens, all those jobs I wanted to do in Spring but was too busy sowing seeds, laying paths and weeding I thought I should spend a day on the plot.

The weather was beautiful, although I was a little overdressed in 2 fleeces and a t-shirt. I know, I had heard the forecast its just I’ve been so used to going up there recently and finding I was cold and I also find you can never have enough pockets when you’re gardening. Somewhere to put the plant labels you rescue from burial in the soil, somewhere for the ripe seeds that you didn’t bring a paper bag for, the wire that was tying the french bean teepee together.

I decided to tackle the french beans which had stopped producing and were looking like they’d had a hard life and for french beans they had. My plot is exposed with the prevailing westerly wind whipping straight through the site and we’ve had some pretty strong winds recently. The beans had suffered as a result with torn, shredded leaves and wind burn, so they came down and so too did the disastrous sweetcorn.

There had been, lets say a discussion between Wellyman and myself over the sweetcorn. I knew weeks ago they had failed as a crop and would have taken them out there and then but Wellyman wanted to wait. I wasn’t quite sure what he was waiting for but he is an optimist.

Well I waited but when I chopped them down yesterday a variety of little creatures had moved in to complete the look of decline. Well at least something was getting a meal from them!

With the ground cleared and prepared I sowed some green manure. I thought I would find the autumn tidying of the plot a bit sad but I’ve found it satisfying to make it tidy and prepare for next spring. Its all part of the cycle that attracts me to gardening and how can you be sad when you’ve got beautiful flowers like these to pick.

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