With the ground being so soft, it is exactly the wrong time to be tramping all over the soil to make the fruit beds, but if I am to get them built and the red & blackcurrants/ strawberries/ blueberry bush/ globe artichoke/ comfrey transplanted before Spring, I'm going to have to get on with it anyway.
The weather was nice enough today, so I moved the remaining leeks from the end of bed b2 along a bit, then shortened this final bed now leaving a 6' wide strip all the way up the side of the plot ready for digging & fruit bed construction.
I'm reluctant to try to dig & level the total area with the ground so soft, so I settled for roughly pegging out the first of the beds to see how the layout will be. Then I wrestled with the first of the final two spikey gooseberry bushes, dragged it out & shoved it up on to the top of the compost bin.
Mum & big sister Helen arrived - it's been lovely to have Helen visiting this weekend - at this time of year, the traditional Grand Tour of the plot doesn't take very long! At least the weather today was kind - & the paths between the beds saves it from being too wet underfoot.
I pointed out the frost-ravaged remnants of the the physalis at the front of the plot, the shoots on the autumn onions (& lack of shoots on the garlic) & swiss chard.
I showed her the blueberry bush from rhubarb Brian, & the brassicas under the netting, including the tiny pea-size sprouts forming (I'm not sure that these will be gracing the Christmas table!) & she pointed out two cauliflowers that I hadn't seen, ready for picking.
We looked at the leeks, the bean trench for next year & the swedes & parsnips, & Helen couldn't help but see the overflowing compost bins, saying, "shouldn't that heap be turned, or something?"
Well, this sounds exactly like something that you should do, and if you were a better and more organised person, you certainly would do, but for the rest of us, it is a hateful job which is to be put off as long as possible.
Bit like deciding what can be turned out of your wardrobe, or cleaning the garage out or doing little sewing repair jobs or defrosting the freezer or something.
She was duly impressed later with some mock lemon curd, though, & a jar of spiced pickled runner beans (I don't think that she is allowed back home without bearing a jar - an absolute hit in their household).
In return I have a jar of their home grown preserved pears (I have already forgotten what they are preserved in - must pay more attention!), & a jar of grape jelly, made from the vine in their garden - brill!
We had a walk round some of the other plots, & went up to the club house for a cup of tea. Reg-next-plot joined us, & eventually cottoned on that my flattery with regard to his wonderful Brussels Sprouts had an ulterior motive...