Saturday, 2 May 2009

The new enemy...

We used to have a rabbit who had the free run of our garden who took great delight in eating what ever I was growing. Anything she didn't like to eat she pulled out of the ground anyway and her best trick was pulling up plastic row markers and tossing them in the air over her shoulder. To help me combat her effect, Nigel bought me a great book called 'Gardening with the enemy'.
My other existing enemies are slugs and snails - I've always thought that nature got it wrong when cats evolved to catch birds, it would be much better if they would catch slugs and snails. However the combination of a healthy pond with newts, toads and frogs, and a resident hedgehog have really helped keep the s&s population in the garden manageable.
Today's visit to the allotment though has brought a new enemy - one more ancient and menacing - mare's tail. I have had never had to deal with this before. Couch grass, bindweed, ground elder are all familiar and therefore defeatable, but mare's tail, that survivor from pre history....
Being totally organic, glyphosate is out of the question, so I'll just keep digging it out and digging it out and digging it out..(and on and on).
There's loads of good news though, Nigel got the compost bins sorted and into some kind of order; I got a second bed covered over with black plastic and got the final path dug out and contained. I just need to wait on another delivery of wood chippings to get it finished totally. The best news of all though is that I was the successful bidder for a bench at the monthly auction of rural and domestic bygones so we'll have somewhere to sit!
We also bumped into a couple of old comrades from our anti fascist activity days and also our old next door neighbours who have taken on the plot that we turned down in favour of the one we've got, so it feels like a really comfortable community there.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds idyllic Claire. We don't have an allotment but we have recently gotten a greenhouse where Debbie is growing aubergines, peppers, begonias, you name it. The courguettes went out too early and got done by frost. Jarek Kopec has an allotment which was transfered to him from Northgate School: unfortunately not enough interest there which is sad for kids.