Gardening Magazine

Soil and Clouds

By Chrryblossomtat2
From the dark cold earth to the misty white clouds, the last weekend in January saw the first of our visits to the Allotment and the first hike of the year. What a year we have planned as well! The allotment is going to get some serious loving and our wee legs are going to do some serious walking - my new camera was gifted to me at just the best of times.
With renewed vigour we intend to smash this year of 2018 into shape and make a heck of a lot of good memories while we're at it. Of course there shall be the usual mental health monsters to slay each day but we can do this together and I am not ashamed to fail (now and then). It's the year of learning self care, exploring new places and of the rebirth of our wee plot. The 10th year of plot holding; the 20th year of us being in love.
* That 1st visit *

the plot after 3 months of winter neglect - Carrie Gault

okay, it was very bleak but not too bad looking, right?

It wasn't as horrendous as we had feared - virtually no winter storm damage and the weeds had not succeeded in conquering every last inch of soil. Plus the shed was still there.
We had to plant our garlic and luckily the 'Andrew of November past' had thought ahead and left an area covered over in black membrane = gorgeous weed free soil to plant into.

garlic planting at the allotment - Carrie Gault

back to basics - remember to plant your cloves a good hand span apart and not too deep

I found signs of hope all around our little half plot and here are just three ...
- the glint in Toby's eye (plus he was very good and quiet)
- new buds on the apple trees
- gorgeous red blueberry buds
Toby the dog and some other buds - Carrie Gault

And I was able to harvest leeks too, we have loads that I had forgotten about.
*********** That 1st hike* 
Sunday started out so bad but there came a little moment in the afternoon where I just had to grab life by the shoulders and take control. I ran upstairs and got dressed; we left the house before I could even think about changing my mind. Off to Ballyboley Forest for a walk, in the rain. We literally drove up and up into the clouds and then walked inside them, it wasn't the most pleasant visit ever.

Ballyboley forest in a cloud - Carrie Gault

a very damp walk indeed and some shocking deforestation (forest service owns this area)

Ballyboley hike stats - Carrie Gault

Andrew has a cool app on his phone that records all our hikes :)

It wasn't a long walk by any means but it was a good start after the holidays and all the sickness and snot we'd suffered. I had not thought clearly in my rush and thus had jeans on which got soaked and left me freezing but other than that we all kept good pace and took photos as well. Toby was just running back and forth all over (he walks at least twice as far as we do) but always came back when called - good boy.
So very glad I managed to get this published before the end of the month - though you can ask Andrew, I have been cussing away at the photo app I have to us - I'm always wanting to be better at everything.
Got your potatoes yet? We got Sharp's Express again - what's you favourite???
Love and hugs

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