I had a day at the allotment yesterday...it was meant to be sunny but wasn't, booo. But it wasn't rainy either, so that was alright. I was glad I had an extra body warmer in the shed though as it was a tad chilly (especially as I was expecting sun).
When I took on the plot there were several rose bushes, all in the way, so I've been digging them up over the years and moving them into the bramble boundary hedge. They're mainly lovely fragrant varieties, so I didn't want to get rid of them completely. The last one was next to my shed and was always rubbing against it in the wind, plus I want to grow a grape up the side of the shed, so it had to be moved. I pruned it quite low and set to work with a fork and spade to get as much root out undamaged as possible. It came out easier than expected though I did have to chop a couple of roots off a bit. It'll take a couple of years to settle back in as no doubt I'll forget to water it this year. The last couple I've moved are still hanging in there!
I then got sidetracked pruning brambles, cutting out the old dead ones and trimming those growing out over the path. I basically wanted to make it as easy as possible to pick the delicious fruits later in the year, the old dead stems would get in the way when I reach through, and those thorns are vicious. I also pulled some of this year's stems closer to the path for easier picking.
I continued to weed around the base of my fruit bushes too and discovered a lovely little froggy when digging out the compost heap. It settled down into a corner and seemed happy enough, protected.
My two robin friends came to say hello in the afternoon, such a beautiful song. I think I might try and train them to eat out of my hand :) a blackbird came to say hello too, pecking around as soon as I moved a little bit away from the area I was working. This is good news as they'll be eating up grubs from under the fruit bushes, like the gooseberry sawfly larvae.
So what's my secret weapon? Well, not quite as exciting as it sounds but in the lean-to I have the tubs that I grew tomatoes in last summer. In late summer I sowed some oriental greens into one of these and they've been coming up over winter - I gave them a bit of extra protection with bubble wrap over the top of the tub too. Because it's dark in the evenings when I get back from work I've kind of ignored them for a while but decided to pick some the other day to add to a noodle soup. I wish I'd done a couple more tubs of these.
We've had the last tub of strawberries from the freezer this week :(
But spring must be on its way because I've just sown my toms and peppers etc
I have them under bubble wrap on the top of the drawers by the window. Grow little seeds, grow!
Linking in with Harvest Monday over at Daphne's Dandelions.