I had a cunning plan that worked beautifully. I bought a half-price, end of season hellebore Merlin at the garden centre. It was ever so floppy and dead looking, but all it needed was a bit of water and it sprung back to life. It’s now being enjoyed at home for a while, before it moves to the allotment.

A sparrow has been taking Lexi’s fluff from the nesting feeder at home – and going straight up to the roof with it. All kinds of crap is getting dropped all over my car at the minute.


I had a cunning plan that worked beautifully. I bought a half-price, end of season hellebore at the garden centre. It was ever so floppy and dead looking, but all it needed was a bit of water and it sprung back to life. It’s now being enjoyed at home for a while, before it moves to the allotment.


    A sunny day and a chance at last to clear a load of stuff from the office and take it to the plot for storage or installation. We installed the bird seed feeder bracket as well as we could, but the screws need a bit more power behind them to go all the way in. In the meantime, I’ve taped it to hopefully stop it moving on the screws. The bird food is a mix of no mess food and some old sunflower hearts I found in the garage yesterday.

The elder has a good number of new branches growing up through it, so I am still holding out hope that they’ll take over from the dead tree and it’ll be a mix of both and ultimately offer the birds more cover again.

We moved the biggest log onto the left border, behind the Russian sage, which has just started showing a few small leaves. The small hole underneath it has been stuffed with a couple of small pieces. The big geum to the right really needs some thinning attention.

The bug hotel is looking quite good. I’ll get rid of the grass and cress, but I don’t mind a bit of speedwell for now – and the dead nettle is great.

It looks like a few bees have already emerged from the bee hotel behind the shed. The ones with holes in the mud were definitely closed previously.

Amazingly a couple of garlic are already up. Now starts the game of putting them back when the blackbird pulls them out.

I have planted new bulbs in Bed 3, which I hope will actually flower in the summer and not just completely fail like the sparaxis. I’ve put Nanus gladioli Nymph roughly around the foxglove in the centre. 25 Peacock orchids have been planted in groups of 4 all over the bed. 12 double freesias have been put in close to where the clumps of daffodils are, and across the front edge. I had to pull up a big clump of forget-me-not, which was both in the way and overwhelming some tulips.

This is the last harvest from 2023. The water is so high that the carrots are just putting out loads of roots (or occasionally going soft). There’s some chard left in the ground, but I don’t think it’ll be up to much.


A little clear weather, but the plot was still underwater. I put a new log down by the helianthus. Once the water level drops I’ll be able to better place the logs I have. The very big one may well replace a couple on the left boundary.

The pond was at flood depth and I noticed the first signs of life within it. I thought it might be some crappy frogspawn at first, but it was water fleas in the algae. They’re food for many things and also eat algae themselves, so a good start.

I planted 6 stems of water forget-me-not behind the liner by the fencepost. I put some more subsoil and stones in with them. So I hope they’ll establish well and raft out into the pond. At some point I need to sort out the puffiness of the liner, but it’s not practical at the moment.

The marsh marigold is continuing to grow well and there now seems a bud opening on one of the loosestrife.

I’ve taken the staple of the shed door again and replaced it with a cup hook for the bungee cord.


Although I was still dying to get the garlic in, I sorted out the shed door first. It’s been terrible to open since November and the hasp / padlock haven’t been in use since then either. So I took the hasp off and the door just locks on the standard lock now. I have put the bolt and screws back for the moment because they hold two block of wood inside, which also hold my keys cup hook.

The plan for now it to take all that off again and simply move the cup book onto the wall. I don’t particularly want the staple there as it’s a bit of a leverage point, but I need somewhere to hook the bungee cord – that could well just be a cup hook on the outside. I want to cover the carved out piece on the door and that’s probably going to end up being a filler piece of wood, fixed with UHU and a couple of staples on the inside of the door.

I gave Bed 11 a gentle turnover and raked half a bag of compost across it. I was on a lunch deadline, so it didn’t get anything else. I measured out the lines and then discovered that the garlic I’d bought had started to go mouldy. So I ran to the garden centre and got the only one they had: Garcua. The cloves in rows 1 and 3 are spaced 18″ apart, leaving room for oca later on.

It feels so good to be back in the garden, though it’s still very wet and muddy. And tomorrow it’s going to pour with rain all day.


Finally, a sunny day after so much rain. There was an amount of blanket weed in the pond, but the water was so much clearer that I could see the pot that the iris is in. Its new shoot is also now visible. The elodea has floated to the top. I don’t really want it to be my main oxygenator, but it’ll do while the hornwort sleeps. I picked off an amount of blanket weed, which is fine, but it’s clear I’m going to need more water cover. Frogbit or arrowhead maybe?

Happily the pole was still in place, it had simply slipped an inch or two. Without a staple to hand at that moment, I tied a length of twine around the screw and onto the fence. I’ll replace this with something stronger when I can.

I was desperate to get the garlic in, but ultimately ran out of energy before lunch, having not allowed for uncovering the bed and finding it wet and compacted. I left it open and hoped that today’s sun would dry it out a little.

Over in Bed 3 I’ve got a nice pile of tete a tetes and found a purple crocus hiding underneath the foxglove in the centre.

The hawthorn under the tree is coming into leaf and is already quite a robust little tree. I’ll certainly let it grow for now. Maybe it can ultimately help hold up the elder.

The triangle bed is a horror show. The path grass is getting long at the edges and the bed itself never got an autumn tidy up. So it’s just full of grass and mess.


This is what I started with today. Before dealing with the pole, I fished out an amount of blanket weed, and found one piece of hessian and a very old piece of bark. Once the mud settles a little and the plots dries off a bit, I really need to do more netting and simply get my arm down into the water. Plenty more material has slid down there, including mud and stones, meaning that the depth is currently only 12-15”, which is terrible.

After a brainwave last night, I screwed four 13cm screws about 4cm into the back pole. It was a huge battle to get it in as the original work platform of the ladder simply isn’t an option right now (not least because the shed is jammed shut) so I was doing all kinds of ill-advised leaning and balancing on logs. It was very difficult to get the screws to all go into the bank, but once I moved the pole up into the corner (making the shortfall at the easy end), I managed to push it into place with a lot of swearing and smacking it with the compost heap pole.

I wedged the corner end with an edging piece again, which also makes a nice entrance/exit slope. I’d prefer the pole be pushed in further, but someone else will have to do that.

The screws mean that I’ve got something to tie a cord onto and then attach to the fence or a staple, without it showing around the front of the pole. I hope I’ll be able to do this before the pole falls back into the pond with all the rain forecast 😬


I’m unwell but also desperate to see how the allotment is doing, so I went down to deliver a couple of logs and tie the earwig shelter into the apple tree. I have loads more jobs to do, which I can’t yet due to ill health and the fact that the plot is still underwater.

The back pole had fallen into the pond again, followed by mud and stones from the bank. There was no point in trying to put it back, so I just took it out of the water. There was no sign of the hessian pieces, but I was able to take out a handful of blanket weed.

In happier pond news, the marsh marigold has grown a leaf, both creeping jennies are starting to green up and grow, and the Veronica is now flowering.

Over in Bed 3, my tete a tete were up, along with a snakeshead fritillary. But something (squirrel?) had completely destroyed my new yellow crocuses.


I’ve finally potted on my three lungwort plants. Mismatched pots from the garage because the three matching pots I had taken from the shed turned out to be too small. The plants are growing well.


I discovered yesterday that while earwigs can damage some things, they are also good at eating aphids. A habitat for them to hide in is a felt bag full of wood wool. I had everything I needed, so I have made a earwig shelter , with twine for tying it into the apple tree.

Today I went to the pile of wood by the stream to give it one last look. It had been added to and tidied up. The huge piece was still at the bottom, but even better was this 4-foot-plus length that went through the middle of the pile. I managed to get it out without ruining the pile and hauled it home. It’s beautifully straight and has great hidey holes.