Tackling A Problem Area on Plot Four (Part Two)

Don’t forget I will be back on Monday 24th February.

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Happy Valentines Day!

I did my romantic bit today and gave Mr Thrift some homemade shortbread hearts.  Shortbread is Mr Thrift’s favourite biscuit and they are so easy to make and taste really good too.  The recipe I used is here.  I just ‘poshed’ them up by using a heart cutter and sandwiched them together with buttter icing and jam to make them a bit more special.

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Well it’s been another wet and windy week, but I am grateful to say that we haven’t been suffering from floods as some parts of the country have been.  I really feel for the people affected.

In between the rain this week, I did manage to get down to my allotment a few times and finish off the area outside my polytunnel.  This is the area I began to write about on Monday, that I have been working on for the last few months between other jobs.

Just in case you haven’t seen my blog post on Monday, I took on plot number four in January 2012:

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  The area outside of my polytunnel had bugged me since I took on the plot, but I had concentrated on other areas of plot number four first.

The area was made up of a mixture of crazy paving, mowed couch grass, slabs (of different shapes and sizes) and little round pebbles which I have slipped on at various times, nearly injuring myself.  This area was also plagued with ‘horsetail’ (Equisetum arvense), which is really hard to eradicate.

January 2012 after strimming the weeds and grass.

January 2012 after strimming the weeds and grass.

At first I put my cold frame in this area, as I didn’t know what else to do here, but I found that this made it even harder to weed between the slabs, as my seed trays were in the way.

So after two years of weeding between the slabs and crazy paving and weekly sessions of strimming the couch grass, I decided enough was enough and it was time to do something about this area.

I started in Autumn by lifting the slabs and crazy paving (which is when I strained a ligament).  Most of the slabs were normal sized slabs, but one of them was enormous.  You can see it in the photograph below in front of the two blue waterbutts on the top right hand side.  I haven’t got a clue how it got there.  My brother-in-law managed to move this slab for me as I would never of managed it on my own.  He also re-laid the row of slabs directly outside my polytunnel afterwards too, which I was very grateful for.

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I used some of the slabs to widen the path near to my blackberries:

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And Mr Thrift helped me to lay another row of slabs outside of my polytunnel, so it would be easier to get my wheelbarrow into it.

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I also dug up all the couch grass.

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I then cut back my blackberries as they were becoming overgrown.

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You can see from the photo above that I had a piece of weed suppressant underneath the blackberries, which was held down with some old bits of wood.  I decided I needed to neaten around my blackberries too, so I did this with wood that I had sitting around my plot.

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The area next to my blackberries used to be an old ‘dyke’ that dried up many years ago.  Occaisionally when we have excessive amounts of rain in one go, then the ‘dyke’ runs again as you can see in the photo below, taken in November 2012:

I decided to lift all the old carpet that was in the dyke and replaced it with weed suppressant.  The carpet shouldn’t really have been there as it is banned from our allotment site due to the chemicals it can contain.

I am now planning to grow some plants through the weeds suppressant, when I get around to it, to pretty the area up.

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I had spent many hours wondering what to do with the area outside my polytunnel, now that it was cleared.  I have quite enough growing space on my other three plots for all the vegetables I want to grow, so I didn’t really want to use this space for that and after all, as I said previously, this area was plagued with weeds, especially ‘horsetail’.  I also thought about planting a tree here, but I didn’t want to shade my polytunnel either….

I mentioned on Monday that plot number four was turning into my ‘pleasure plot’, as here I have my wildflower area, my woodland area, my dad’s area, my polytunnel and my fruit tree area.  So after lots of thought I decided to have a ‘peaceful’ area, where I can have my lunch or just sit and relax when I am tired.

So I bought some weed suppressant from my allotment site shop  (it’s really cheap from there) and laid it over the area

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I used prunings again to edge the two fruit bushes that I planted here last year and made three more small beds too

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Then I laid wood chippings over the area

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I split and transplanted grasses from my other plot and added some stepping stones.  I also made a low fence all around the area made with prunings from my apple trees:

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Finally I moved my old bench from behind my polytunnel to finish it all off and I am really pleased with the result:

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I am really looking forward to sitting in this area.

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Next week is half term for my daughters, so I will be taking a week off blogging to spend some quality time with them.

So I will be back on Monday 24th February

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Parsnips, celeriac, cabbage and swede from my allotment this week.

Parsnips, celeriac, cabbage and swede from my allotment this week.

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Just before I go, I thought I would share something with you.  It was my eldest daughters 16th birthday this week.  I can’t quite believe that I’ve a sixteen year old daughter…the years have flown by.  She has turned into a beautiful, caring young lady who I love spending time with.

My daughter loves the pop group ‘One Direction’ and again asked for a ‘One Direction’ cake.  I cheated a bit and bought the pop group figures made of icing, but the rest of the cake I made and she was really pleased with it.

Just in case you are wondering, the hearts all say ‘1D’ which is short for ‘One Direction’:

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

Don’t forget I will be back on Monday 24th February.

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20 thoughts on “Tackling A Problem Area on Plot Four (Part Two)

  1. Hope husband enjoys the biscuits, they look lovely.
    Weather is appalling, I too feel for those people under water.
    Enjoy half term, it brings back happy memories.
    Best wishes,
    Angela (Devon)

  2. What a busy week you’ve had! Hope he likes his valentine surprise -my husband cant have sugar so wouldn’t be a good idea for him sadly . Happy Birthday to your daughter she sounds lovely -how could she not be with a Mum like you : ) Enjoy half term lets hope we get a little taste of Spring to get out & about in.My youngest son is aged 7 and has to do a project on Spring so that should keep us busy. My oldest son was 32 ! last Monday so that is making me feel ancient (I was a youngish Mum when I had him & an older Mum when I had Tom (and 2 daughters in between)so I’ve had a good share of projects to do in half term. What on earth do working mums do with full time jobs ? There aren’t enough hours in the day as it is ? Love your new plot -especially the little fence of apple tree prunings very good idea. What fruit have you got in there ?My mini green house took off this week in the high winds in Gloucestershire -I found it upside down and as it was full of plants in pots etc I thought it was weighted down enough. Can’t wait to get out working on the garden but it hasn’t stopped raining all week My friend is having a macmillan sale so I hope to make a few deep sea style( icing fish.starfish, coral etc cupcakes for that later.Rather ambitious for me- I hope I can do it Have a lovely half term with your family

    • I’m sure yoy can do it carriet with a bit of imagination. What an age difference between your youngest and eldest, you must have seen some changes between your first born and your fourth child…my two are only 21 months apart and things changed even between their births lol.

      I agree, there really isn’t enough hours in the day and I don’t know what people do when they have to work full time as well…I’m glad I don’t.

      Sorry to hear about your mini greenhouse…were your plants ok?

    • My daughter has a friend who is another One Direction fan and she loved the cake too. I did cheat and I bought the figures made of icing from Ebay which did make it expensive, but I knew she would want to keep bthe figures and not eat them so I didn’t mind lol

    • Oh thanks Jean I’ll tell my daughter you said that.

      I am so glad you have left this comment as I haven’t heard from you for a while and you haven’t written your blog for a couple of months, so I was doing my ‘mum’ bit and worrying about you. Glad you are well.

  3. Its wonderful the transformation to part of plot 4, it will be lovely to sit and relax there, a happy birthday to your 16 year old, my youngest is 22 oldest 28, i feel so old lol
    Have a lovely half term with the children, i hope to be out gardening if it would stop raining.
    Sue

  4. Yes,thank you I rescued most of them .The rose scented geranium looks like it had had it from the frost anyway! I nearly always have to buy new ones.Luckily I hadnt started any seeds yet or that would have been heartbreaking .Lots of changes during pregnancies and births(I had 4 Caesarians 2 with epidurals -What an amazing experience !) What you can eat & what you cant during pregnancy and especially on weaning.My eldest was on solids by about 6 weeks (chocolate rice pudding) now they say 6 months lol Guess it didnt do him any harm & I think they sleep better with full tummies. Look forward to your next post in 2 weeks Take care, C x

  5. Fantastic photo’s to cover your gardening journey 🙂
    1D, of boy. Our 13 year old African friend is dotty over them, and my husband only rolls his eyes at her. LOL, he can’t stand them, LOL!

  6. Brilliant, the area is looking wonderful now, you really have worked miracles. And weed suppressant fabric is definitely the way to go, it will free you up from weeding completely. Brilliant cake by the way, I bet she absolutely loved it.

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