Saturday, 19 November 2016

Allotment Week - Day 6 - Filling the bed

So today's the day when the wife got to see the new flower bed. Brownie points for me... she loves it. The first thing we did is started planting the daffodils.

We only did the very back of the bed. The rest of the bed will follow in the new year as we start getting things ramped up. We have all the seeds that we saved from the wildflower wheel barrow.

Meanwhile the willow that I scavenged from the waste area has not gone to waste. I wanted to make an archway leading into the flower bed. But unfortunately the willow is not pliable enough to be able to form on of sufficient height to allow people to walk underneath comfortably. So instead I opted to making a small willow fence between the water tank and the shed. It should stop the rhubarb from getting out of hand.

Tomorrow's weather forecast says that it's going to be chucking it down all day. So I guess this is the end of another Allotment Week.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Allotment Week - Day 5 - Complete

Well the final touches were put into the raised flower bed. Wife gets to see the full effect tomorrow. Could have finished it yesterday but the wind and cold was just a bit too much.

And once again I went scavenging through the trash pile. Somebody threw out bags of leaves and grass clippings. Seriously? Don't they know that sort of stuff makes excellent compost? Oh look, I have a nice new flower bed just waiting for stuff like this.

The leaves and clippings just about filled up to halfway across the very back of the bed. Obviously it'll squash down once we start putting soil/compost in there, but they'll certainly breakdown over time and provide nutrients for the flowers. All the daffs will go across the back, so I think they'll be off to a good start. We'll be planting them tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Allotment Week - Day 4 - Construction

Didn't get as much done today as I wanted to.

Popped down to Wickes first thing to get the remaining wood, and woodscrews, then back to the plot. Construction was going OK, but I was kind of fighting the weather. There were spurts of rain (which meant I had to bundle the equipment - and me - into the dry), but all the time it was blowing across the plot a bitterly cold wind. We didn't have the wind as bad as some, but even so it was enough for me to consider that retreat is the better option. Just managed to grab a quick photo before  left.

As you can see, it's starting to come together now. The loose planks at the back are the very back wall. They're obviously not fitted yet. The boards towards the front are actually the right hand outer wall. Need to cut the weed membrane at the front and place it to the right... but trying to do that in a wind is not going to be fun. So I guess that'll be for tomorrow. If it stops blowing so much.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Allotment Week - Day 3 - Construction begins

Last night it rained. No big deal surely? Err. No. Ever tried sawing damp wood? Not nice. The saw kept getting stuck as I was attempting to get it chopped to the right lengths. But I eventually managed to get the planks into the 5 & 3 lengths.

Putting things together started to go a little easier. Although I did make a change to how I usually build. In previous builds I used two screws per plank. But this time I decided to only go with one because this time the build is a little larger than normal.

I put down a weed membrane over the area because there is still this very large issue with bind weed and couch grass.

Then it's a matter of putting together the parts. I used the 3ft off cuts with the full 8ft lengths to make a start.

Just as an after thought, I placed some more of the 3ft lengths at the end as a kind of seat. Not sure what the other half will make of it, or indeed if she wants a seat area. But the option is always there if needs be.

I also mentioned whether I could build an "arch" over the entrance to the 'U' bed. She definitely liked that idea. And it might be a little easier because somebody threw away a whole load of willow branches.

It's not the first time I've scavenged bits from the waste bays. But maybe these will be just as useful. Need to go back to Wickes in the morning to get more wood... and more wood screws.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Allotment Week - Day 2 - Materials

Not a very photogenic day today. All I did was spend money acquiring the necessary goods ready to build the raised flower bed. Well sort of...

These are only 2.4m (8ft) boards. What I really wanted was 3m (10ft) boards, but a) the didn't have any and b) there were enough problems trying to get these to the allotment. No way the longer boards would fit in the car.

So this means I have to seriously revise my plans. What I wanted was a space 10ft long by 7ft wide. Chopping 3ft off the 10ft lengths would give the 7ft lengths. Chopping 2ft would give 8ft. So 5 boards would yield 2x10ft outside (black), 1x7ft top (blue), 2x8ft inside (green), 1x3ft inside (red), and 2x2ft bottom (orange). Essentially a 'U' shape with a 2ft width all the way around.
All nice and neat. But with only 8ft boards available, this design will have to undergo some re-structuring.

Fortunately there does seem to be a way out. I need 3ft sections for the other beds. So chopping 3ft lengths gives me a couple of 5ft sections. Joined together they should make up the 10ft side. But obviously I'll be needing some more wood. Back to Wickes in the morning then.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Allotment Week: Day 1 - Preparations

I have a week off work. I'm not really one for taking holidays, but it's a case of "use it, or lose it." So I'm using it down the allotment.

It's a little damp down the allotment. The rain earlier in the day has made it a bit boggy to dig out the flowerbed. But I managed to clear a bit more space than I did previously. I also dug out some of the wood that I used to mark out the bed way back when. And what I surprise I found when I did so.

But I managed to dig out the bed with enough space to build everything.

In the process I also dug out, rather carefully, the daffodils that were hiding at the back.

These will be found a nice home in the new bed.

But that not all that happened today. The Morning Glory got hit with a frost the other day and it's somewhat dead.

Time to give it a new home in the new courgette mound and dig out the old compost bin that's hiding behind it.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I can make a start on building the new raised flowerbed. That is, if I can actually get the wood to the plot in the first place.