After attending the pruning workshop in the orchard, where I froze in the fierce wind, I went home to warm up and get a better coat. Mr G saw me walking through the rec back to my car and heckled me for being on the wrong side of the fence.

The main point of my first proper allotment visit was to prune the fruit trees. I’ve done a reasonable job and tomorrow I’ll take Mum to do a few high up bits to finish them off. The Braeburn is spur fruiting, which is simple enough, but it’s still a little daunting to try and thin out the middle of the tree. Mr B said that anything growing inward should go, so that helped with a few decisions.

The pear was covered in big buds, but they’d had the good manners not to actually burst yet. It looks like they’re all fruit buds to me, and that it’s going to be a good year. In order to try and get a handle on the shape of the tree I’ve trimmed off some length of a handful of the branches, taking some buds with them. I’ve also taken a bit more off the elder to give the pear half a chance to grow a bit on the left hand side.

I cleared up the front of the compost bin and stood its door up straight – a job I’ve wanted to do since the autumn.

A few horrid thistles have come up here and there, mostly near the shed door. I’ve squirted them with weedkiller (in spite of the wind!) and did a few docks and nettles along the edge too. Aside from couch grass, the uncovered flower beds aren’t looking bad in terms of weeds. The magic of making time to weed and mulch in the autumn!

A few good things are coming to life too – a calendula, the anemones, grape hyacinth, the various mints, hyssop, nigella, physostegia, those damn daisies on the ledge …

I’ve cut down all remaining dead stalks – mostly on lemon balm plants at the front – and edged the grass from the gate to the pear tree. There’s a big clump of alliums coming up in the centre of the bed.