Monday, 19 September 2011

Reptiles and more...

Last week my wife and I decided to make the most of the sunshine and went to the New Forest Reptile Centre . We arrived just after it opened, with the sun just warming things up, so it wasn’t long before we saw lizards moving about, and later a grass snake, adder, slow worms and a green frog, sitting on a lily pad. It’s an excellent place with informative, friendly staff who are pleased to chat. It’s free, apart from a parking charge, with a woodland trail and picnic tables.

That was a break from the allotment, which has continued to flourish. We’ve been eating pak choi, raab, lettuce, tomatoes, turnip tops; and now we’re beginning to get full-size turnips. Eating what you’ve grown yourself is such a pleasure, and we’ve found it really makes you plan your meals more carefully.

The chillier morning and evenings reminded me that it’s time to prepare some cover for the more tender crops on the allotment, so I’ve been using some old plastic piping and fleece to make “tents” to go over some of the raised beds, and to raise up some of the netting, to try to stop the pigeons eating the brassicas. Other plot-holders have been doing the same, with various ingenious ideas. Some have put jam jars on posts, and spread fleece over that; others are using improvised mini polytunnels. I’ve got to tweak my covers a bit – the recent heavy showers have caused the fleece to droop between the plastic pipe.

As a bit of fun I painted the planned guardsman on our “sentry box” shed. He now looks after over our plot when we’re not there.

I’ve had to take a bit of time out to tidy up my garden at home – although not too much. As I blogged before, autumn tidying shouldn’t be too thorough.

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