Leafmould in the rain

It’s so wet … Was ordered down to the allotment on Sunday, but spent most of the time (1.5 hours) sheltering from the rain. A neighbour called me over for a cup of tea, which was very welcome, and I got to spend 15 minutes in her luxurious shed. It’s got a wee propane stove and a radio in it, carpet on the floor and the roof doesn’t leak.

Went to the communal leafmould bins. Saughton Mains allotment site has three big bunkers made from breeze blocks, perhaps 10m by 10m each, where the Allotments Officer arranges for council workers to drop plant remains. All the leaves from West Edinburgh parks are dumped here and turn into lovely leafmould. Now, not all of this is used so it collects at the back of the bunkers and various plants start to colonise it. And yesterday I noticed piles of grass cuttings in two of the bunkers and woodchippings in the third.

After all the rain, the leafmould and grass clippings have developed stagnant pools and the organic matter squelches ominously underfoot; it’s difficult to keep one’s feet. And since the leaves are collected from public parks, there’s all sorts of detritus: branches of various sizes, crisp wrappers and plastic drinks bottles, and even a discarded shoe. Reminds me of the trash compactor in Star Wars …

Monday: got another barrowful of leafmould. Three of them fills the area between the fence and rhubarb, so now I’ve got a 10′ x 3′ bed that I can plant next year. It’s very shaded (although I could change the fence form old pallets and boards to something that would let more light in, but that won’t change the fortifications net door). I could either put in something productive or use it as a living screen and tear down the crappy pallet fence.
Didn’t spend more than half an hour at the allotment as the rain was too bad.

Courgette flowers just starting to unfurl; blackcurrants still bitter


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