Let it rain…

Yesterday was a Bank Holiday and plans were made for an allotment bbq. Then the weather forecast was consulted. We decided to go ahead anyway! And so it was that we found ourselves grilling sausages and veggie kebabs in the traditionally damp weather of a British national holiday. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves anyway building a fortress out of the left over pallets.Image

I have to admit that this is not the first time that we have bbq’d in this weather and so we have amassed quite the selection of umbrellas and beach tents over the years.

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The best bit of yesterday’s trip to the plot though came when we started to move the cold frame.

The cold frame was one of the first things that we put in but over the years has seen little use. We’ve found that because none of us visit the plot daily that anything put in there tends to suffer a hideous death. Instead it has become a useful repository for old plant pots. However, we have been given another pond liner and Manda was very keen to put it next to our original pond. This meant moving the cold frame and look what we found when we opened it up:

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What a treat! There were in fact another two hiding under some other pots so our abandoned cold frame was clearly a big hit with the local lizard population!! Finding this out has rather changed our plans somewhat. We have still moved the frame, it is now over near the bug house, but instead of it becoming another raised bed we have just filled it back up with old pots and logs. Now that we know they like it we just couldn’t face taking it away from them.
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Welcome to the Bug House!

How would I describe the past week or so? Busy, busy, busy! So what have we been up to?
Dave has worked really hard strimming the rest of the weed jungle down. It is amazing how much better the plot looks and how much more positive we all feel just being able to see it! Dave also spent most of yesterday re-felting the shed roof before the autumn/winter rains start.

Thanks to Neil there is a goodly crop of runner beans, tomatoes (so long as Manda’s dog Pickle doesn’t eat any more of them!) and salad veg. Neil has also cleared a lot of the green waste created by all the strimming and weeding.

Manda and I have both been getting on with clearing beds but far, far more excitingly we have been creating a bug hotel. I saw one being built on TV and Manda had made one before at her old school so we decided that it would be a fantastic way of using up some of the many pallets we have kicking around on the plot.Image

Do you remember the slow worms that I found under that tarps (https://levellingtheplot.com/2013/08/25/troublesome-wind/) ? Well, on further investigation it became clear that it was actually a nest. Loathe to disturb them we decided to (carefully) build the bug hotel over the nest.

It really wasn’t hard to build at all! We simply stacked the pallets on top of each other and a few carefully placed nails to hold things together and ta da! A bug hotel;Image

The roof is an unfinished raised bed and we have started to fill the gaps with bits and pieces that we had lying around the plot. Another allotmenteer has suggested pine cones as a good stuffing material so we are going to collect some the next time we go on a dog walk. Does anyone else have any good suggestions/ideas?
The final touch was added yesterday:
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Here’s hoping the local wildlife agrees with our five star rating!