The success of our small strawberry patch last spring heartened us to increase its size. We’d left all the nigella (aka Love-in-a-Mist) to flower and go to seed, and now have dug over the previous wildflower plot, added some manure and extra soil to improve the clay, and started a new bed. We’ve also raised the height of the bottom bed to help level the ground and make it easier to tend.
The shed is pretty much complete, with a working water butt with eavestrough. And the box planter on the bottom of the side of the shed that faces down the stairs has been installed, with attractive scaffolding supports. The plan is the hang some pea netting on the side of the shed under the windows, and grow low-growing snap and sugar peas in the box planter.
The next pressing development is therefore the installation of a workable ‘summer shower’ set-up. The key here will be cuteness and ease of use. I’m thinking an old tin watering can with a large gentle flow. I want to embed the ground with broken paving stones as a standing area, and interplant it with low growing herbs. That way the water used will never go to waste, and the area at the side of the shed on the upper (most private) level of the allotment will be attractive and also still a growing space of sorts. The great gardening Malink will no doubt engineer something superb.
Even in late September we have a late batch of radish sown into the wicker basket, now moved to the steps that run to the bottom of the new shed.
A new addition to the allotment is a raised bird bath – set into the boundary hedge. The base is heavy cast metal – a discarded side table base that I picked from the garbage outside an Marylebone embassy.
I’m a big believer in riches from rubbish. This time it was heavy garbage and getting it home cost me the price of a taxi, but worth it to save something useful from landfill. That was years ago, and now it lives on in glory as a wonderful bird bath stand. It had a broken stone table-top – a half-circle of stone that now acts as a stepping stone settled in the midst of the rhubarb patch.
Currently the bird bath basin is a plastic tray, but we’re on the hunt for a nicer alternative. With our luck of finding useful, good garbage, I’m sure something will show up in no time at all.