Today I planted a long row of raspberry canes at the Lechlade allotment. They may not produce anything this year, but next year there'll be a bumper crop. The ancestors of these canes were given to me by Shirley three years ago in deep November, and I was astonished that they survived having their ankles in soaking wet clay over the winter. The year before last they started producing, and last year they really started to come on song. The jam made with fresh raspberries is incomparable.
I though of Shirley as I was planting them, and of how pleased she would be to hear about it.
I also planted the rhubarb plant at one end of the row of raspberries and an asparagus plant at the other end. The rhubarb plant was given me by the nice Dutch lady who used to keep Indian running ducks and other fowl on her allotment, but was driven away by a combination of the alleged nastiness of Deanna (I think it was Taffy who alleged it, so it probably is fictional) and the thieving that was going on. Oh, no, I remember - (this is what I was told by someone else anyway) (was it even about them?) - apparently, the young lad who used to cycle in to feed the ducks had left them without food or water one day, so Taffy or his son took the fowl and said that if it ever happened again they wouldn't give them back. Oh dear, you can see how confused the story has got in the memory and the re-telling. Anyway, when she gave up, the Dutch lady gave me that rhubarb plant.
The artichokes will remind me of Joe and Angelo. In the end, they were Joe's plants, which I dug up last year and planted on my old allotment, but which I hadn't yet got a crop from. But it reminded me of a time really early on when I was on the Salvation Army allotment when I must have been talking to Angelo about having some plants, but it was Joe who gave me some (which incidentally didn't survive), and Angelo, coming along later, said, "Oh, are my plants not good enough then?"
At Lechlade, I also established my water butt next to the compost heap, and put some bricks in the bottom to stop it blowing away or being easily stolen. You never know. The last thing I did was plant some tiny marjoram plants that I'd salvaged from my own allotment. They will in time grow massive and provide lots of nectar for the bees. The strawberry plants I put in last week have already picked up and are thriving.
Dom said he had forgotten about rotovating the allotment, because his father-in-law had died and the funeral was next week, but he would bring the rotovator in on Monday and start it off for me and "watch it run away with me" before going off to do something else.