Bird Watching

Aside from watching the plot thrive over the last month, the most joyous thing has been the sound of bird song, especially the robins.  This season I think we have two families in residence, nesting in the undergrowth at the back of the plot next to us.  As soon as we arrive they appear, impatient for us to start turning over the earth.

In lean times we have supplemented their fresh food with dried but undoubtedly it is the newly dug up worms that they prefer.

The keeness of their eyesight and the precision when they swoop to kill is nothing short of awesome and if I am there on my own they will come surprisingly close to where I am working.

It is no surprise that the RSPB say they are our favourite birds in the UK and the pictures here really don’t do them justice (play spot the robin in the one above) but of course as soon as they know you are aware of them and especially if your carrying a camera they disappear straight back to their nests.

If you would like more about robins the information is here.

Progress

The best advice we have ever been given when it comes to allotments is ‘little and often’, that is to say if you can get a job done here and there on a regular basis then progress WILL be made. The last month has been all about that given the rain and this weekend was no exception.

Potting on the sweetcorn….

….. and some very neglected curly kale and celery that we bought a month ago put in the cold frame and promptly forgot about.

While I did that Derek constructed the frame for the climbing beans and laid a new path on the main bed to make it easier to water once it is fully planted.

We also managed to finally start planting the new herb bed (you can see it in the above picture, but more to follow), mow the grass paths and weed the raised beds, then finally beaten by the rain took a trip over to Ayletts to pick up some annuals to plant around the gooseberry bushes which I hope to get planted today. Rain allowing of course.

Yesterday afternoon I received an e mail.

Dear Member,

I am writing to remind you that the trading team will be at the Trading Hut this Saturday and Sunday 10.30 to 12 noon for the second weekend of plant sales.

We will be having a wide range of plants this weekend including tomatoes, peppers incl. chillies, herbs, vegetables, annual bedding plants, basket plants, geraniums and fuschias.

We will be selling our normal stock from the hut plus there is a raffle.

Look forward to seeing you at the weekend.

Alan Thomas

Trading Secretary

It might have been from the local garden centre, they always seem keen to sign customers up to a loyalty scheme or a mailing list for their monthly newsletter. This however was from Eastcote Horticultural Society who run the Trading Hut just around the corner from Southbourne Gardens.

Two things struck me, firstly how lucky we are to have such a resource so close to our site, in addition to the items listed it stocks everything you might possibly need in the pursuit of gardening as well as plentiful help and advice. Secondly having lived in Eastcote for nearly fifteen years why did I only became aware of it when I took over the plot.

Wondering if horticultural societies have become a scarce commodity I googled, pages and pages appeared based all over the country and some dating back to the early nineteenth century. Ours seems fairly recent by comparison having been founded seventy years ago as a response to the introduction of food rationing and the subsequent scarcity of fresh fruit and vegetables. Although, clearly, that is no longer the case it is still well supported with some three hundred members at the last count. The atmosphere is always lively and if you’re lucky and the queue at the checkout is not too long you might even be offered a cup of coffee.

To read more: Eastcote Horticultural Society