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It’s been a busy working month so weekends at the allotment have been most welcome. We even had some unexpectedly warm, sunny days. I’m looking forward to early morning pre-work plot visits, but not quite at that stage yet!

Friendly Robin

Last Saturday was very windy with Storm Otto passing by to the north of us. It was grey and damp but it wasn’t cold or maybe that was because we were trench-digging. We managed to finish off the bean tunnel preparation which we started last weekend.

Bean tunnel prepped and ready and a weed-free garlic plot

I did some clearing on the HAHA wildlife plot including cutting back the buddleja and mallow. I didn’t want to clear all of the dead groundcover as we’re due a coldspell so the wildlife needs some protection, but there are some unwanted weeds on there that need clearing otherwise they’ll take over.

HAHA Wildlife Plot

Now that I’ve cut back the old flag iris leaves I can see new growth in the bog garden. A few bulbs are emerging and perhaps with a bit more light there will be some flowers next weekend. 
Meanwhile, Jamie weeded the brassica cage on Plot3. I had the last of the Cavolo Nero, but we’re still waiting for Purple Sprouting Broccoli harvests – we were tucking into it in January last year.

Cavolo Nero with chestnuts and What the Cluck

Last Sunday gave us blue sky – such a contrast to the day before – Otto must have blown all the clouds away!

Marsh Lane hedge

The hedgerow was full of birds with 3 robins competing for our mealworms along with the obligatory magpies, dunnocks, long-tailed tits, a male bullfinch. Kites, gulls and buzzards were overhead. Many more birds than we saw for the RSPB Bird Count – typical!


Such a beautiful blue sky and lots of plotholders turned out to make the most of it. We were all pleased and amazed at how warm it was for a February day and so welcome on a weekend! It’s good to see areas of plots looking loved and ready for a new year of growing.

Flower garden waiting

That’s the flower garden in front of our bench. It has a few perennials just beginning to show fresh growth and the ever-present nigella seedlings. There are bulbs growing in most of those pots but only one tiny iris flower on show at present. The Christmas rose Hellebore that my sister gave me is still full of flower at home though and there are plenty of snowdrops around, just not on our plots!

Christmas Rose

I’m very happy to see that my Egyptian onions have sprouted in the polytunnel. I hope a slug doesn’t discover them, they’re only tiny at the moment.

Egyptian onions have sprouted

Earlier in February we dealt with our 3 Daley compost bins, which have been getting on with composting over the last few years.

Lovely home-made compost

We’ve been topping them up with fresh waste but no mixing or turning. All that went in the trenches that we dug for the bean tunnel.

After a few more chats with plotholders we took our aching bodies home. What a lovely weekend. Not exactly relaxing, but very welcome work – ooh my legs! Hence the song provided by Turin Brakes – enjoy.

Published by Belinda Robinson

Photos of planting, growing, harvesting, (occasional) vegetarian cooking and wildlife - this is why the Marsh Lane Allotment site in Hungerford is such a fabulous place to spend time. A record of successes, failures and it's a handy reminder for me too. From 2017 each post title brings a song to add a little extra music to the world - enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Painkiller

  1. A most enjoyable post and good pictures.
    It’s certainly been good, and welcome, plotting month thanks to reasonable weather.
    Your comment about the Bird Count had me nodding in agreement. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi

    Just been enjoying reading your blog.

    Would love to know what you have been growing your Egyptian onions in?



    1. Thankyou. They are growing in our raised bed which has a mix of home-made compost and allotment earth. I haven’t topped up the soil for at least a couple of years. I hope they grow!


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