I popped to the allotment this morning whilst on route to my first yoga class of the year. There was a shaft of sun amidst a steely blue sky, the kind that only really exists in midwinter. The rays permeated my leggings and warmed my calfs. By the brook, birds tweeted to each other to warn of my arrival, before flying off in one sudden rush of movement. There wasn’t a soul to be seen and just the faint din of traffic on the Hagley Road. A very pleasant way to start the first Monday of 2015.
The plot however is a bit of a disaster zone. The spinach and sorrel that I left in to see how they’d over-winter have given me their answer: the leaves are now a dark slimy khaki, like when a bag of salad gets too close to the back of the fridge and gets frozen solid. The chard I trimmed back in the hope of a rebirth has also given up. My brassicas would not be fit for human consumption, however they do seem to be keeping some kind of insect life in nourishment.
No matter. It’s all good learning for the next season.
But joy! The broad beans that we put in about a month ago are definitely bigger, thus proving themselves to be tough – they’ve survived a few severe frosts with more doubtless to come.
Given that no-one was around, I took the opportunity to be a nosy neighbour – and was soon shamed. This plot was a jungle of weeds just 9 months ago, and has been transformed through the efforts of one woman with occasional help from (presumably) her 20-something sons. She puts me to shame.
So I made a mental note to get on with the muck-spreading and look up when the fruit bushes need pruning…and then trotted off for a restorative hour of gentle hatha yoga to ring in the new year.