Today I shall mainly be wearing a black arm band, in memory of the twenty four carrot seedlings which some lop eared thief pilfered out of my allotment last night. For a brief time yesterday afternoon, as I fought with a piece of netting in a stiff wind, I had some serious sympathy for Mr McGregor. But you know, this is the 'joy' of having an allotment in the middle of the countryside. All the time you're there, you admire the view, marvel at the birdsong, and whistle happily at being one with nature. But overnight, it becomes a drive through greengrocers, with the carrot thieving rabbits, onion stealing rats and even the pigeons, who are rather partial to sweetcorn. (I haven't grown any this year purely because of this).
But the carrots are now protected with some netting and some plastic hoops and I'll let you know if my cunning plan works. I expect that you're wondering why I didn't net the blooming things in the first place. This can be fully blamed on the husband who claimed that my allotment, fully surrounded by a chain fence was 'completely rabbit proof'. Based on this statement, I am assuming that they needed to use a complicated system of winches and pulleys to get over the fence, or maybe, heaven forbid, they burrowed under the fence, popping up in my allotment with their carrier bags ready to do their weekly shop.
I predict an ongoing battle with wildlife in general as the summer progresses. Once the rabbits realise that there's nothing nickable, the white-fly will move in. Will they care that I'm not growing any broccoli this year? Of course they won't. This will mean that as I open the gate to go in each day, a large white cloud will arise from the vegetable beds, totally eclipsing me and most of southern Oxfordshire. Despite this, white-fly still make me laugh. Purely for the reason that on a trip to the garden centre a couple of years ago looking for something I could spray on them, the very helpful chap exclaimed how 'no one likes white-fly on their brassicas madam'. Still makes me giggle even now.
Now that we are up and running, there will be no free time for yours truly between now and September. I am also skint, having worked out yesterday morning that the money spent on bunting would have kept me in beetroot for at least three months.