I mentioned yesterday that we spent the afternoon pottering.  Well, we did more of the same today, but on the whole, much more ‘creative pottering’.

Yesterday, Diane, Ian and I had been ‘chatting with the bees’, and we all agreed that it would be nice to be able to sit with a cup of tea (..obviously!..), and maybe just ‘hang out’, and be able to watch them awhile; just to watch their activities and behaviours.  Very calming.  Very Zen.

New seating.Well, after myself and Ian’s work this afternoon, here’s the result:-

Pretty good, eh?  We just need Mitzi to ‘approve’ them by laying on them, and they’ll be ‘officially passed’.  Obviously.

Four stumps, donated by a local landscaping company, some ‘rescued timber’ that Diane found in a skip, a few long nails and a little creative thinking.  This timber in particular is a real ‘find’.  Diane had noticed a company who install outdoor decking, and they often have offcuts in their skip.  Pre-treated, proper ‘outdoor’ wood that only needs a coat of our water-based green paint or failing that a couple of coats of outdoor varnish, and you’re done.

Building it was ridiculously easy.  The only difficult part was choosing just which stumps we were going to use -we’ve so many scattered around, its sometimes worth just wandering round to see what we’ve got.

When we’d got the heights of each stump approximately right, we found the timber to fit, then it was a simple matter of ‘bedding’ the stumps in nice and securely, laying the planks of skip-wood across and some pretty hefty nails to put down the sides and ends -not through the actual timber itself- and the job’s a good ‘un!

We didn’t put the nails through the timber for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, if the nails are near the ends, there is a real danger that the wood would split.  Not good!

Secondly, and more importantly, it means these seats aren’t ‘permanent’ -they can be removed in an instant for painting or if someone needs to get behind them to the hedge, for example.

Another ‘party-bonus’ is that the longer they are used, the more ‘bedded in’ the stumps become, meaning less wobbling when you’re sat down ‘chatting with the bees’.  This has been proved by the ‘main’ seating we’ve been using up by the metal shed (…and kettle…).  Initially, there was a little wobble on those stumps, but in just a few days, they ‘found where to sit’, and now they’re as steady as a rock.

Of course, they’ll probably rot in a couple of years, but by then, we’ll have some more suitable ones to replace them with.

Concrete and painted steel may be good for parks, but not for allotments!

Elsewhere, Ricky and Graham litter-picked then flattened a big load of aluminium cans for recycling, Diane and Sara began filling the compost bin we’d emptied over the last week or so, and Gary and New David carried on with the cross where we’ll be planting potatoes tomorrow.'Prepping up' the new potato beds.

Here you can see they’ve carried on (…but much neater…) the work Ian and myself did yesterday.

They paid particular attention to the paths around the beds.  Ian and I had got most of the ‘Big Boy’ weeds out -like dandelions and dreaded dock plants with their massive roots, but Gary and New David did the rest.

Our plan is to plant the beds up as I said with four different types of potato then woodchip the surrounding paths.  This will look much neater, and we won’t have to worry so much about any ‘overspill’ of soil.  Putting potatoes in requires you move great piles of the stuff, and it really does tend to go everywhere!

After more tea and chats, Ian and I then agreed with Diane that we should move the other trough that was buried by strawberries on the top plot, ‘de-strawberry’ it (…with great gusto!..), then move it onto the new seating area we worked on recently.

We’ve put it behind the concrete area -right in front of the soon-to-finish daffodils in front of the hedge.  I’ll get some photos of it tomorrow when the light is better.

We also agreed that the formica-topped table really had to go.  It was way too tall, and just didn’t fit.  In its place…

Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait for the photos tomorrow night to be able to see the results of our brainstorming!

We hope you’ll agree, it certainly will look good.

More soon…


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