Monday, 10 February 2020

Wet Weekend

The weekend before last was unusually wet in my area. We spent it here at my place, and the wet weather did not change any of our plans.

On the Friday (31st of January), we celebrated my Dad's birthday. Because both my parents' health has not been the best, there were only the nearest and dearest, a small group of seven around the dining table. Now our Dad is 78, and we are just so happy to have him still with us after all he went through since the spring of 2018 when his worst year so far in terms of health began with a severe bout of flu.

For
Saturday, 1st of February, rain was forecast from the early afternoon onwards. It had been a mild week, and the sun was still out in the morning, making it feel much warmer than what you'd expect by a look at the calendar.

You have seen pictures of my parents' allotment on my blog many times; this one is a good example, as is this one, but there are many more.

Last year, my parents (mainly my Dad, as the allotment was always very much his 'baby') had to decide on what was going to become of it. Sadly, their health and our situation (my sister and I both working full time and the place being too far away from our town to allow for regular quick visits after work) makes a regular upkeep impossible, and so the allotment shall pass to someone who has the time and means to take over.

Six of us - my sister, O.K. and I plus three good friends - arranged to put in a few hours of work that day before the rain would hit.

My sister took some "before" and "after" pictures. Most gardens don't look their best this time of year, but of course it makes a difference when no regular work has been done in a long time. Together, we managed to get a lot of the overgrown shrubbery cleared, cut the roses, cleaned up the paths as best as we could and dragged much of the cut material to the front of the allotments, where the garden club has a common collecting place for shredding.

View from patio to pond before...
...and after.
Pond, before. You can just about spot its rim in the lower right quarter of the picture.
Pond, after. Surprisingly, the gold fish have survived without any regular additional food.
Flower and vegetable beds.
View from below pond to patio and hut (before)
Hector (the dog of one of our friends) came along, too.
Steps and path, with roses next to it - now cut.


Aconites!
We tried to get as much done as possible before the rain, but of course plenty remains to be done. We have not even touched the lower part of the allotment where the vegetable and flower beds were, nor have we started on cleaning and clearing the hut and sheds yet; all that will have to wait for another time.

For sustenance, my sister brought sandwiches for everyone. We had tea and coffee in thermos flasks as well as water and soft drinks, and biscuits for dessert.


It certainly made a change to how I usually spend my Saturdays! I don't mind physical work at all, but I am not very good at it; I tire quickly and can not lift heavy stuff, and my arms are not as strong as I would like them to be. But I really made an effort and am very glad that O.K. made up for what I couldn't do.

On the Sunday (2nd of February), O.K. and I braved the wet weather again by going for a walk. Driving to the allotment the day before, O.K. had spotted a castle high above the river Neckar, one that he'd never noticed before. I suggested we walk there, and that's what we did.

After Christmas 2015, my sister and I had been there on a walk; that was the last time I'd gone that way. Now the weather was very different, as you can see if you compare these pictures with the ones on this post. On the 2015 post you can also read more about the castle, if you are interested.

Our Sunday walk comprised somewhere around 12-13 km, feeling more exhausting than usual after the gardening on Saturday.

It still has not rained here as much as the land would need, but it was at least something!

17 comments:

  1. Talk about wet weekend, we’ve had a deluge plus the most violent storms. I went out first thing this morning to check on how the trees had fared. Luckily, only smaller branches had come off, the river was still more or less keeping to its (enlarged) bed and there was no visible damage to the house. When that happens I lie in bed, dead scared that something might go wrong in the middle of the night.

    I am sorry that your parents have to give up gardening, it is such a life enhancing activity, but an allotment has to be kept up, of course, it can’t be neglected.

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    1. The storm (Ciara in your parts, Sabine in Germany) hit us on Sunday night, interrupting all long distance trains and most flights. There has been damage to buildings and power lines, and at least one person died (hit by a falling tree), but all things considered, it wasn't as bad as expected. In my area, it didn't feel like an extremely violent storm, but I wouldn't want to walk in the woods right now.

      For my parents, the allotment has certainly been life enhancing for about 15 years, but it has become more and more of a burden over the past two or three years.

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  2. Used to envy the local allotments here and got my name down on the waiting list. Waited about 20 years. Last year they said there was one for me. Decided to withdraw. It would do my back in now.

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    1. Several of the allotments around my parents' one have changed hands over the past years; the older generation couldn't work them anymore, some have died or moved away, and families with children have taken over. The natural course of events.

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  3. The beautiful allotment! So well loved and the site of so many wonderful memories. This is very sad, but it certainly makes sense to let go of something that would only be a burden now. It is a hard decision but a wise one, I think....You had wonderful help from family and friends to work on the maintenance. Do you parents have any place to do a little gardening? Even a balcony can sometimes be very satisfying. I hope their health gets better...

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    1. My parents' apartment has a beautiful west facing balcony, and they always make sure to have seasonal flowers along the railing as well as growing herbs in pots. There is enough room for potted tomato plants, too.
      Yes, the decision was hard, but it had to be taken.

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  4. It is amazing how much you can get done in a short amount of time with a group of people. How nice of you all to pitch in and work together to help your parents. I'm sure they appreciated it even though they must be sad with parting with the allotment.

    It must have been fun to walk up and around the castle. I love to see old castles. I bet you are tired today after such a busy and active weekend despite the rain!

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    1. That was the weekend before last, Bonnie (see the dates - Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st in the text). I was tired after all that fresh air and exercise, but in a good way - different from the tiredness after a busy day at the office.

      My parents were glad to have us get started on what is going to be a big job for weeks to come. It is impossible for them to do it on their own; for one thing, they do not have a car anymore, and it takes about half an hour to get to the allotment.

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  5. That's too bad about your parents and the allotment, but I see in one of your other replies that they have a west facing balcony with plenty of room for potted plants, herbs, etc. At least they can still have the joy of gardening on a smaller scale without all the backbreaking work. I hope that another family who can really use/love the allotment will take it over and enjoy it for years to come as your parents did!

    It must be so wonderful to live in a country where you can discover castles! Wow.

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    1. My parents' (mainly my Dad's) sphere of activities has become smaller over the years, but I guess that is natural as we get older. They still enjoy things together, such as good food and meeting friends. I am sure the allotment will bring much joy to whoever will take it over, as it did for us.

      It is indeed a nice country for walks and discoveries :-)

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  6. We've been having a very wet time here too - and storm this weekend... I'm thankful I no longer have my parents' house and garden to worry about! (It's more than 5 years since we sold it, but especially when there is a storm, I remember the years of worry while we still had it... After a storm like this one, for example, I'd have had to go out there to check on things...)

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    1. The storm hit us all to a varying extent, didn't it. It must be a relief, not having to worry about a house and garden where you can't immediately go and check after such an event.

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  7. It is sad that your parents have reached the point at which logic says that giving up the allotment is the right thing to do. It sounds like a happy, peaceful place, close to Nature.
    P.S. If you want arms like Popeye the Sailorman, you should take up body building and consume supplements that encourage muscle growth.

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    1. It is the end of an era for my family, Neil. Not the happiest time for us, but it had to be done (and there is still plenty left to do at the allotment, so I guess I'll be back before long).
      P.S. My arms are more like Olivia's, and Popeye's shape would look a bit out of place on me.

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  8. How kind of you all to put the allotment in order before it is passed on to somebody else. Your parents must be very pleased with your action. If the work has become a burden it is wise to move on. Himself had his 78th birthday last month and we hope to keep on gardening for many more years to come. But when I can no longer do so I'll sit and look at the images stored on my blog!
    Not doing much gardening at the moment - there's another storm due tomorrow!

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    1. I hope this new storm won't cause any trouble for you, in your beautiful garden and around your house. So far, Imhave not heard anything about it in our forecast, so maybe it will move on a different path than Ciara did.

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  9. You should remind your parents of all that you have written about the allotment on your blog, so in a way, the allotment will always be there!
    Good job at all the hard work done to get things tidy.
    And the walk sounds good too, up to that castle in the sky!

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