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Clearing the New Plot

The last few days have been very strange, it’s not been raining! So, I’ve really cracked on with clearing the walled garden, with a little help from my Land Army Girls (AKA the sheep!). One slight problem with them is that they find the privet hedge more to their liking than the grass.

I did have a bit of a surprise with one of them, well more of a shock actually. I looked at one of the ewes and noticed she had swollen udders which is a bit odd as they don’t have any lambs with them. Then I realised ‘she’ was actually a ram and his ‘udders’ were in fact part of his male anatomy! I may need to see a psychiatrist as I’m developing an inferiority complex.

There’s very little waste wood left to burn now. What there is left is so tangled in the grass it will have to wait on the sheep nibbling the grass down further. One thing I’ve discovered is how tough privet is. Some of the sticks left lying on grass were gamely producing new shoots and trying to root, those that escaped the sheep, of course.

Getting rid of the brushwood has opened up the whole walled garden, I’m wondering why I ever thought it small. However, the clearance hasn’t finished yet. Much of the wood was thick enough to be worth cutting into logs for the wood-burner and I’m not one for waste. So I’ve two days work with the chain saw ahead of me at least.

Once the sheep have reduced the grass down, I’m going to need to repair the gate to keep them out. And I thought rabbits were a nuisance until I met sheep! One interesting discovery is that there was a lean-to greenhouse of sorts in the walled garden in the past. It’s pretty obvious from the slate-edged borders and paths.

Unfortunately there’s a couple of apple trees inside those borders and they’ll have to go. I looked for a graft on the trunk and couldn’t find one so I think they’re pip grown. Whatever, they’ve not produced any fruit to speak of for us and look in pretty poor condition.

When I come to rebuild the greenhouse, I think it might be appropriate to see how cheaply I can do it using recycled materials. Mind you, to really be in keeping with N Wales maybe I should use slate instead of glass!

This late patch of good weather has been a real spirit-lifter. After a summer that seemed to be nothing but rain followed by more rain to get a run of days where I can make progress outside is fantastic. They’re on about it turning cold at the end of the week but that’s OK so long as it doesn’t rain.

I know a lot of growers have been disheartened by the weather this year and basically written it off as a bad lot. What does worry me, at least a little, is what if this pattern of bad summers continues? Then I remember even the great Victorian gardeners complained about the weather, slow springs and wet summers. Next year.. next year.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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