January 2021

The second of the winter storms hit on Boxing Day. This one was to be a test of how secure I had made both netting and shed. All night long I had visions of the shed blowing over and netting flying off into the night sky. However, I had taken some precautions during the day and I was reasonably optimistic that I wouldn’t witness carnage and devastation next morning.

I bought some heavy-duty pegs from Amazon Market Place in order to fasten my plastic greenhouse to the ground. I had delayed assembling the greenhouse in situ because I worried that winter storms would blow in fast and furious and I didn’t fancy seeing it flying down the road when storm whatever arrived in off the Atlantic. With these new galvanised heavy-duty pegs in hand, a metal spike and plenty of washing line, I set about making the allotment as secure as I could. Pegs secured the netting, the spike and washing line was used to tie the shed in place. I’d already secured the shed with a fence post (I got that tip off a neighbour) so the tying in was just an added precaution.

Next morning, when the winds had dropped, I went to the allotment. There was a lot of damage but not to my plot (phew!). Amazingly, all of the plastic greenhouses on other plots were still standing and had weathered the storm very well. What did surprise me was the amount of damage to the aluminium greenhouses. Many panes of glass were smashed to pieces and the frames were twisted into all sorts of shapes. They had taken a battering and had not come out of the fight at all well. Plastic seats that had been left out were strewn all over the place and timber pergolas were brought down.

Half-way through January 2021 and the rains keep-a-coming, which is playing havoc with both garden and allotment. I decided to go to the Garden Centre in order to get a few things, including compost in readiness for seed planting. I know this is a little early but the government are threatening tighter Covid restrictions and I have a feeling Garden Centres might be the next to shut. Anyway, I used a wheelbarrow to get the compost from the car to the top of the garden but as soon as I went on the lawn, the loaded wheelbarrow immediately began sinking into it and I now have two deep furrows in the grass. Taking the dog for a walk in our local forest is proving to be hard work too. It’s surprising how tired your legs get continually pulling your wellies out of thick cloying clay. Nothing like the mud in the Trenches of the Somme but sometimes it does feel like it. One positive, we have had no snow in the Southeast so far this winter. Hopefully, this state of affairs continues for the rest of the winter into spring.

Next month I will start to sow some of my seeds, indoors of course. These include certain herbs, tomatoes and Geraniums. Potatoes will soon be placed in eggboxes to start the chitting process off. Spring bulbs are poking through the ground with some of the daffodils that I see on my dog walks having buds on them.

Better times are just around the corner.

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