The allotment was under water again today, but we were able to get some errands and deliveries done. The new bug hotel is now in the shed, along with another pile of coffee grounds. I’ve rewired the robin nest box to put it back straight and added a couple of leaves as encouragement. A new coconut was put up and the nuts refilled.

I’ve started another long-considered project: collecting nesting materials in a bird feeder to hang up in the spring. I picked up some moss and old coconut string for the collection (though I managed to leave them behind and will have to pick them up next time.)

The three pieces of the big log were put into place. I swapped one by the log so as to make sure that one of the new pieces with the great groove for hiding was right by the pond. I still need lots more logs and bark. As well as edging the plot, might see if there’s room for a little hollow heap or two. The stick pile at the bottom of the elder is growing as wind blows down more and more sticks. A flat piece of wood, or a paddlestone might also be a good idea in the bed by the lupin, where I keep stepping to take photos.

The stick sitting on top of the iris bulb has now been removed and put down near the toad house. A couple of little bits of nettle are coming through the pond banks from outside the plot. I’ll do what I can to keep the plant under control outside and simply cut off what emerges on my side.


The robin was on the fencepost before I’d even got to my shed door. I changed his coconut and put down some mealworms. The empty coconut has gone to be the second helping to keep up the wooden edging at the back of the ledge. For now at least, I’ll be sticking empty coconuts around the beds as drinking stations as part of my wildlife work.

I also have a new bug hotel thanks to my Secret Santa, so I need to find a home for that. It needs to face south-ish, so possibly on the back fence at 90º to the other one, or near the front of the shed.

Suzy and I had collected some more rotting wood from a big pile in the park and I took it down to the plot in two trips. The long branch pieces have gone along the fence line (still far to go) and some big fat pieces of bark have gone under the apple tree, on top of the hedgehog house and stood along the fence line.

I did some more staring at the pond and noticed that there are a couple of little shoots on the purple loosestrife. I’ve swapped the log piece by the beach again and covered the liner a bit better. Hopefully the marsh marigold will help in the spring too.

I’m planning to take the stones off the front ledge in the spring and build up some earth below them when it’s less wet and not going to fall straight into the pond. I’m wondering about putting the perfect piece of wood just beyond the chamomile to help the birds etc have another platform for drinking.

The liner on the left hand side is more of a problem and I have big hopes for the spring and the creeping jenny. But I think that some wood might be needed behind the sweet flag though, if I can find the right piece that will sit right.


Wind had blown more twigs out of the tree, so I continued building my big pile around the base of the tree. I’m going to leave the volunteer hawthorn to grow, as it’ll be a good support / habitat for the tree. D had had a delivery of conifer wood chip during the week and I collected a few scoops of it  and threw them into corner among the twigs and half-filled the two empty flower pots with it too.

I’ve put a small bunch of elodea into the pond to try and help against the small amount of algae that’s grown. The thinking being that it can go to work while the hornwort is dormant at the bottom of the pond. The water has cleared a little bit more, but it still quite cloudy.


The allotment was under water today and the wind was ridiculous, so I just emptied my bag of crab apple leaves into the bin, put a few bamboo trays into the shed and stared at the mess in there for a while before heading home. I can’t tidy the shed up without opening the door and putting stuff outside and that wasn’t an option today.

As an experiment I’ve tied a coconut to the chicken wire of the fence, with the hope that only the robin will be able to get at it. The rooks have no problem being in the tree or on the fenceposts, but hopefully they’re not ones for clinging on to the fence. I’ll have to go back in a few days to be sure.

The logs at the back of the bed look great, so I must make sure I keep collecting them. Maybe they’ll be houses for slugs, but maybe I won’t since I don’t get many any more. Come on, toads and frogs, come and help me out.


It was 0ºC when I headed out this morning. Come the afternoon shift, it had climbed to a grand 1ºC. The pond was frozen, but had thawed a bit around the edges, so there was room to get in and out should anyone wish.

The robin’s back to haunt me, arriving on the fencepost as soon as I’d opened the shed door. I’ve hung the first coconut of the season, which I’m sure the rooks will find too.

The mustard was still standing after all the recent frosts, but a few leaves here and there were starting to look damaged. Since the ground was frozen here and there, I decided to just get on and chop it down. I did that for the tall plants while Mum covered most of the beds before I joined her. Some of the plastic sheets need to be re-done, which is probably a job I set myself last winter. It’s going to have to wait for a still spring day though … or next winter.

In the afternoon I made a start on weeding the ledge. Lots of weeds are now gone and I’ve also tidied up the sea thrift and fleabane a bit as they suddenly seemed huge. I came across one of the annoying shoots of everlasting pea and started digging only to find that it was coming from a huge root that was quite a job to get out.