It was chilly this morning, but by late afternoon we were back in high summer. London early June. Hot with blazing sun. Sunburn weather, really. The big guy got back from work and we agreed to take a walk to the allotment. I wanted to call and provide an opportunity to switch the keys – and also request a spare key for Mr G. Despite dripping and soaked through after his four mile sprint home, he was amenable to the notion. ‘But only if we go down and water the grass seed first.‘
That would be the grass seed spread on the front woods lawn to the back and side of the ‘Michael Palin’ oak and new flower bed on Sunday last. So we did. He watered in repeated trips with a watering can, and I weeded and did some spot watering on the half circle bed in the woods, as well as somehow finding time to trim the tops of the side elevation bed’s currant bushes, thoroughly watering the raised bed with edible cherry, black currant and strawberries. (Amazing how currant trimmings actually smell like black currants! Try it! You’ll be amazed.) The espalier cherry are setting fruit, as are the currants and also the strawberries. There, hidden, nestled at ground level you could just about see the pale white unripe strawberries – still forming but most hopefully making their presence known. Yum!
And on we went until the mister thought he’d done enough watering and we were good to go. At which point I retrieved a portion of ‘found’ wooden lattice trellis to use as framing for our new plot – to divide the edge from the one in front of us, which presents a 3 foot drop from our level, and some of it into a sunken cast iron bathtub full of green slippery slimy growth and toads’ tadpoles. Gadzooks it’s dangerous. A restraining edge, trellis border, is most definitely required. And off we set.
We didn’t manage to swap keys or get an extra set, but we did go to the spot – still sunny in early evening. We dropped by the plot just in time to witness a tiny hummingbird flitting between our front facing allotment neighbour’s apple and fig tree. This little hummingbird was gorging itself, and was uncharacteristically for a hummingbird landing on slender branches to rest, panting, and catch its breath. Hummingbird H.Q. might be a good name for our new ‘territory.’ The mister is a hummingbird – chocolate and whipped cream doughnuts do nothing to put an ounce on him. Nor second dinners. Nor cookies after dinner either. Oh my!
So we hung out, he had a can of cold stuff, I watered our row of raspberries. A little crimson-breasted robin dropped in to check us out. We discovered a different kind of raspberry altogether** from the main ‘legacy’ bed of the former allotmenteers. Nestled in (buried) under wild blackberry vines that run along the other side of the arbor to the small red roses was a darker, woodier type of raspberry, with fruit clearly developing and leaves more rounded and somehow ‘furrier.’ The other main legacy patch is full of tender green tall and upright raspberry canes, but no fruit or flower bracts to speak of (yet – fingers crossed). And thus discovered did some un-covering and removed the blackberry brambles and revealed the singleton woodier raspberry and then duly watered it – fare thee well my sweet! Grow and prosper. The fruit is already set. We just have to hope to be able to taste them when they ripen – or in other words, to hope that the birds don’t get them first.
Another discovery was the fact that the large clump of flat broad leafed plant to the side of the raspberries is a type of small flowered yellow iris. A wilder kind than the large blousey blue iris on the back patch.
And that was enough for one night. It was getting on into the evening and it was time to amble back home. Dinnertime.
** The ‘woodier type of raspberry’ with furry leaves turned out, in due course, to be a loganberry, which grows as a vine and produces big juicy fruit that are a bit of a mash-up between raspberry and blackberry. Delicious!