Allotment in winter - bleak midwinter

And it certainly is! We had frost like snow this morning on our site, stuff you could crunch underfoot, frozen locks and general dismay, and still no office to lurk in …

Still there are (or were) signs of new life. For those lucky enough to have fruit trees on their plots the buds are (or were) fattening. The brackets, of course, relate to the sad fact that anything that was burgeoning before this cold snap is likely to be blighted by it. Have you ever noticed, by the way, how poetic the language of gardening is? Buds burgeon and blossoms are blighted or nipped by frost – it’s all very lyrical. Anyway, as of this morning, looking at the more protected southern aspect plots, I think the buds in some places, like on this fig, have survived.

The unpredictable weather is annoying everyone – there are broad beans sprouting under glass and sweet peas springing into life under newspaper (as Ron advised last year) and yet the changeability of our weather conditions is making it impossible to plan more than a couple of days ahead – will it be okay to put plants outdoors in the cold frame in late February, as people did last year? Who knows?

What is clear is that at least the chilly snap has done its job in breaking up the soil and if the rain (which fell in buckets earlier in the week) can just hold off for a few days more, folk might actually be able to get out there and dig over the soil for the spring – if it ever comes.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Saturday, February 2, 2008


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