Monday, 26 January 2015

A MOUSE BIDS GOOD DAY ON THE ALLOTMENT


Mouse just visible bottom RH of picture
We went to the allotment to recover the mypex sheets (a good barrier to weeds/retains moisture, keeps soil warm) belonging to Sian’s plot that someone had pulled off and dragged away to the other end of the field.

Job done; I stayed behind and made a drawing of hoes, canes et al.  

Sitting on my stool, low and close to a collection of wooden pallets and starting to draw, a small brown mouse emerged to say hello. 

Ears as big as saucers and a tail long enough to set a line of shallots against.  

I carried on drawing pretending not to notice.



Sunday, 25 January 2015

LEEKS: ALLOTTED FOR THE POT

Standing proud and pale the leeks.  

A green platoon, parading before they reach the pot. 

These fine vegetables bless several of the plots surrounding Sian’s ground (#4C East Side). 

Winter, and most of the soil is covered up with plastic or some such and the detritus of canes, plastic sacks, hoes and wooden pallets crafted into compost and storage areas, ironwork rusts ready to be pressed into service somehow or way.


December, when I painted the leeks (figuratively) the NAS (The National Allotment Society) tells me  - ‘the year is coming to an end and the shortest day is in this month, which heralds the slow advance towards next season. So take a bit of time to reflect on your successes and to consider what went wrong with some crops’.

OH LOVELY LEEKS

Friday, 23 January 2015

NOOKS AND CRANNIES: JANUARY ON THE ALLOTMENT

ALLOTMENT CONSTRUCTIONS
On the allotments many of the owners have built phantasmagorical impounds for manure and rubbish.

The principal material for these enclosures appears to be wooden pallets well past their prime. They take on a grey ‘ish hue, their nails oxidizing nicely, red on grey.  Their sides provide a place for garden canes, old rakes and folks to slump against, off duty for winter.


January and the National Allotment Society recommends: 

January is probably the coldest period of the winter and coming on top of the floods and heavy rains of just before Christmas it is well worth taking the time to look over the allotment and prioritise the jobs for the month. Top of the list has to be clean up the plot and dispose of all of the damaged and rotten crops.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

WINTER BURNISHES UP OUR LANSCAPE



WINTER BURNISHES THE LANDSCAPE

From the perspective of seeing and drawing winter is my favourite time of year.

On another afternoon cycle ride we stood outside St Nicholas Church in Hedsor and looked down westwards, past the Thames valley and up across to Marlow and The Ridgeway.  It was a clear afternoon, with watery sunshine; where every tree and field had been uncovered and polished up for our enjoyment.

The construction of our countryside is so clear to us in winter months.

 “St Nicholas Church: was extensively ‘modified’ by Lord Boston (Hedsor House) over the second part the 1800’s with the North aisle being added, the south porch converted to a baptistery, a new porch created in the north west corner and the whole of the interior remodelled” states the excellent online Guide. 


The ‘modification’ of this part of England continues into the 21st century: In Beaconsfield every other house is being built onto. Mock-Tudor and Jacobean palaces are being erected on every available building plot.