Of fires and neighbourly relations

I had a lovely session at the plot today. Though I didn’t get as much done as I wanted – our resident pyro had lit the huge pile of green waste at the bottom of the site near the houses. He’d been asked to burn it – but I think they meant in small amounts, not the whole thing in one go. It was bigger than my greenhouse. And the wind changed once the fire had taken hold. He’s a fairly frail looking Old Boy who I like enormously, but he would not be at all able to manage the blaze he’d created, and it was moving across the boggy ground towards the boundary. Thankfully there were others around, we got a hose on it and it was put out with a deep cloud of smoke and steam. He really wasn’t best pleased at his magnificent fire being hosed – his pointed comments sounded so like ones Dad would have made (and they would have been a similar age) that it made me laugh – not the most fortunate of reactions! This could be the death knell for large bonfires on our site – the neighbour was hopping mad and videoing the fire on an ipad. A garden bonfire got out of hand about 5 years ago and burned out 3 houses, so neighbours are understandably quite nervous about them. When I went round to profusely apologise, no one answered the door – I’ll have to keep going back. Fires are so contentious anyway, with us being a large site and it must be really wearing to stick your laundry out or sit in the garden and then have acrid smoke wafting across from us. We’re bordered on 3 sides by residential properties and each Spring we have some complaints about fires/smoke. So the Chair agrees we need to fix it, fires will be an agenda item on our next Committee meeting.

After the excitement I went back to potting on, starting with beans and celeriac – the celeriac is bought not sown. My own sown plants still look very much like cress. I put out some sweet peas and hopefully the slugs will leave them alone. Or most of them anyways. Weeded the shallots, broad beans and watered everything that’s in (ie not much). Spuds are just poking through.  I turned over the old oca bed and found lots of tiny oca sprouting. How did I miss so many? I thought I’d been through it with a fine tooth comb!

Two of my figlings have roots (woo-hoo!) so I am experimenting and putting one pot in the greenhouse and keeping the other at home.  I didn’t take the plastic bags off the twigs soon enough once green growth had started showing (the bags are on to keep a moist, warm environment) and unfortunately all the other cuttings had gone very mouldy and died. However, while it would have been nice to be able to give some away, I don’t need 9 fig trees, I only need one.

The wild garlic has perked up in the hedge after a thorough watering, and the raspberries & strawberries are doing ok on plot 92. On plot 100 the horsetail is everywhere in the lower path and bottom strawberry bed. I knew it probably would come over from #101, but I think I was secretly hoping it wouldn’t. Now I need to think of a plan to get rid of it, or at least to minimise its spread.

At home the aubergines have poked through, the sweetcorn is chitting furiously and the Kajari melons have come up like they are turbo-charged. Still have some squashes to sow, the oca to sort and peas to get in the ground.

Hopefully there will be rain sometime this weekend. Preferably not when I am picking up my ebay dalek since I can only fit it in Maud with her roof down.

Categories: Diary 2015

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