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A while ago down near the bottom of the 24/A I painted the bowl of an old green discarded wheel barrow with bits of black bitumen paint, giving it a sort of camouflage look. I turned it upside down and lent it outside against the chicken mesh of the fence. I placed it at this location because I had spotted lizards in this area when weeding within the allotment. Because of the mesh it’s actually very hard for predators to get into it and I reckoned they’d appreciate the cover as this is where they tend to live.

Today I found two lizards basking themselves in the sun on top of the barrow. It was incredibly rewarding to see this piece of wildlife habitat being used so effectively.

Some days at the allotment are defined by harvesting, some by planting, some by tending and some by just chilling. Some days are even DIY days; but today was a work day – a day where I just catch up with a whole bunch of tasks that I’ve been meaning to do.

A messy and wild, wildlife area

I tended to the main wildlife area around the newly built pond.  The pond was looking suspiciously lower so I may have to have re-line it (joy!), but I managed to move some Comfrey and a lot of soil from the old Kale patch to create a nice surround for the pond. It doesn’t look amazingly pretty at the moment but it is a good habitat.

Speaking of Comfrey I made some Comfrey tea as well. I confess to being lazy and just sticking the leaves in a 5 litre water bottle with some water. I’ll come back to it in a few weeks time and see how it’s going.

My path idea seems to be working so far. Where I have worked on it, it is now a uniform width and is also level. The grass has started growing so I’ve just stuck a couple of boards on top to protect it while I move my slats further up the path to start levelling and seeding the next part. I’m doing all this to make the path mowable with my Qualcast Panther hand mower that I got off Ebay.

The Bosch Clippers are working really well they’re great for edging and trimming, they feel like you’re clipping your hair and work very smoothly. They are much more accurate and safe than using a strimmer. Strimming on an allotment is a pretty dangerous way to trim grass, one false move and you don’t have a fruit bush! I’m so pleased with them that I think might well get the telescopic handle in the next few months; maybe something to add to my Amazon wish list hey!

Our autumn Savoy Cabbages, that the cabbage white caterpillars

massacred, have completely regrown after we removed the netting, waited, and then added it back again.  With a little earthing up they are looking healthy now and we should get a crop out of them in the next couple of months. The moral of that story is don’t give up too easily.

Unless of course your under-developed sweetcorn gets eaten by birds, or possibly the beautiful and huge rat that lives next door, in which case it’s onto the compost heap for them 😢 And yes I do like rats, I absolutely don’t encourage them onto our allotment but they are much maligned and misunderstood creature who have been blamed for a lot in western culture, not least of which is the Great Plague of London. Which it now seems they probably had nothing to do with.

If you’ve spent time with rats, wild or tame you can’t help but notice how similar they are to their cousin the squirrel. We used to have a nut feeder for birds on the first floor of our house that the squirrels always managed to get to (via a telephone line!). I woke up one morning to find a large rat hanging upside down by it’s tail munching on the peanuts, I realised then just how similar they are to squirrels, an animal that is often thought of as cute and sweet in the UK.

So it was sad to say goodbye to the failed and munched sweetcorn crop but we’ve had quite a good few successes this year and with our cabbage resurrection I really can’t complain too much.


Sown Outdoors

Sown Outdoors

The Bosch clippers I mentioned:

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