Holidays and allotments

We’re only going to be away for a week or so, but it feels like we’re abandoning the allotment. The feeling of neglect and ingratitude is made worse when we sit down to a salad of tasty new potatoes (from the allotment) and earthy beetroot (from the allotment) topped with carrot and dill thinnings (from the allotment). And it’s not as if our plot won’t get some tlc while we’re away – plotholder Duncan will go up and weed and water and harvest, just as he did for the whole year before we became co-workers.

But I can’t help it, I feel as if I’m kicking a puppy to leave my lovely allotment at its most productive, and needy, period. I’m convinced that everything will bolt, keel over, get infested with aphids, succumb to blight and just give up and die, purely because it knows I’m not going to be around.

In preparation for our short-term absence I’ve been up to water everything, to thin the aforesaid carrots and herbs, and to put up some make-shift bird scarers because Duncan says he thinks some of our brassica damage is bird rather than slug-induced and a close inspection of the leaves suggests to me that he’s right. All I did was cut the bottoms from some plastic bottles (lids still on) and stick them on top of canes planted between the broccoli. I wonder if the birds try to pick off the slugs and end up getting a mouthful of greens?

There's another reason for bird scaring. We have slow worms! I'm so excited about this, after getting involved in the mammal-spotting project, I find myself
with a wonderful legless lizard living right on my patch! They are gorgeous little creatures, with false tails that can seperate from their bodies in moments of great danger. They eat slugs and snails (yippee!) and other insect life. Large birds like seagulls and crows will try to take them from the ground so I felt really determined to get those bird scarers up asap. Cats also predate them, which is a worry as there are a lot of cats up on the allotments. But isn't he or she gorgeous?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Anonymous Simon Kirby said...

They're beautiful aren't they. There's a sheet of tin at the back of the plot next to mine and there were five under it this morning. Did you know they can live to 40 years old?


July 16, 2008 at 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So that's what you call a slow worm. We don't have them Down Under. Thanks for putting the picture up.

Mark Hubbard

July 18, 2008 at 3:20 PM  

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