Grass snake at large on the allotmentWednesday, August 24, 2016
For the first time in perhaps forever, I felt distinctly redundant at the allotment this weekend. Over spring and summer it's been a hive of activity with so many tasks clamouring for attention. Upon arrival on Saturday I took a lap of the plot to make a mental list of things to do but precious little presented itself. C had procured a (second- but don't get me started) rotivator which took a bit of a faff to get into the car. As designated labourer I knew that my priority was to barrow lots of well rotted manure from the big heap onto our plot, before C would rotivate it in. However, after an initial lap of the empty patch, the machine refused to work again. Cue me struggling to maintain composure when I was feeling incredibly frustrated. So my job was put on hold and instead I resorted to picking big stones out of the beds and filling the centre path.
C spent quite a while tinkering on Saturday evening after a good google and had the rotivator running again by Sunday morning. So back we went and thankfully all went well. C prepared the ground, I layered on the manure and C went back over it to churn it all in. Not only do the two empty patches look neat but also they're already enriching themselves for next year's growing season.
The biggest and most exciting news is that a grass snake (we've called here Sally) has taken up residence in our allotment compost bin. Apparently we came across a snake a few years ago but this memory has all but deserted me. Imagine my surprise when I pulled the lid off, poised to throw in a bucketful of weeds when a basking green snake slithered off down the side of the bin! I shrieked with surprise, then yelled SNAKE! As C would dearly love to see it himself. He missed it but we bided our time and saw it on several other occasions over the two days. I took a few pictures and even a video but from now on we'll give her a little more space and hope that perhaps she stays with us on a permanent basis.
I picked more of the gladioli that have come into flower to add to the few I already had in a vase. The two colours are so pretty and I like how they look together. Also (and daringly) I cut three little sunflower heads off one of the multi stalk plants. I love the simplicity of them, so cheery and bold, but wow they drop an awful lot of pollen! I'm collecting vases,jugs and vessels to display flowers in from charity shops. Next year should be colourful.