A super productive day at the allotment, which is just as well given that I’d been longing to get down there all week.

I had made a couple of nesting feeders with a combination of pine needles, moss and Freddy’s fur. A little coconut is hanging in the apple tree and I’ve put a bird feeder of material on the left fence. I’ve also added my Secret Santa big hotel from Fiona to the left fence, screwing it to a fairly solid fencepost.

We cleaned out the nest box for spring and to my surprise found that it had an old sparrow nest and broken eggs in it. Let’s see if anyone comes back this year!

The pond water is still cloudy; the clay soil from the banks is still just washing down into the soil as the plants haven’t taken off yet. I cleared out a little blanket weed and we took two buckets of water out of the pond and replaced them with two from the water butt. I’ll do that a few more times to try and get some cleaner water in there. I also hope I might stop the earth running down from the back by stuffing the gap under the back pole with a roll of hessian.

The new laundry bin / leaf bin has been lined up next to the black bin. I gained 8 cup hooks from it and used one to hang the nesting feeder and one to make a great catch to keep the leaf bin open. I’ve moved the newest leaves to the new bin. What’s left in the black bin looks pretty good for adding to beds. Having not had many new leaves to add this winter, I think I might do a Green Lane collection in the autumn if I can.

I added a pile of Freddy’s fur to the compost bin, followed by a layer of coffee grounds and then the ripped up cardboard box from the bug hotel. I managed to add some plant stalks on top, so hopefully the cardboard won’t just immediately blow away.

I planted new spring bulbs in Bed 3, splitting two pots of yellow Romance crocuses, a pot of Large Flowered White crocuses and Large Flowered Purple crocuses. I pulled up the two toadflax plants and put two pots of Snake’s Head Fritillary in their place. One of the bulbs is closed to flowering.

I have a bag of freesia bulbs, which I’ll plant when the spring bulbs are up and I can see where there might be space. It was a miracle I didn’t hit anything putting the crocuses in. I’ve also got Nanus gladioli and Peacock orchids, which were intended to give summer colour in Bed 3, but they’re 60-75cm tall, so I think they’d be better in a border with the fence for support. But where … ? Summer colour for Bed 3 could easily come with a packet of candytuft seed and some nasturtiums.