Etched Behind Eyelids | April 2024

Home » Etched Behind Eyelids | April 2024

The box houses my tomato plants whilst they’re still delicate little seedlings. Our flat doesn’t receive many hours of direct sun, and it’s been a dark and cold spring, so I had the light on for a few weeks longer than I hoped I would need it for, and Gustave became curious. I suspect there was a fungus gnat flying around the bulb that caught his attention.

Reinforcing the natural hazel arch we built last spring with some fresh willow. It feels more robust and capable of carrying the clematis, jasmine, and akebia vines I’ve planted beneath it now that they are starting to find their feet.

Plum blossom on the Victoria plum tree on our plot.

Apple blossom on the Braeburn tree on our plot.

We finally finished renovating the greenhouse. This was a bigger and more frustrating project than either of us anticipated, but now that it’s done I’m really happy with it, and so glad to have some covered, full sun, outdoor space. At the moment it’s stuffed full of seedlings, but this summer we plan to grow tomatoes, aubergines and both sweet and hot peppers in it.

I made some willow supports for our autumn fruiting raspberry canes. I really love how they look, and think they will work quite well to keep our canes up off the ground and easy to harvest from. We don’t plan to net the raspberries against birds, because other people on site don’t and seem to enjoy bumper harvests all the same. I’m happy to share raspberries with the birds if, as other people experience, bird pressure isn’t too severe.

I’m a broken record, but the weather really has been bad for the best part of a year now, and it’s really getting me down. It feels like it’s rained non-stop since July last year. Everything is greening up nicely outside, but the skies are grey and it rains more days than it doesn’t. It’s been very stormy, with high winds making me take regular emergency trips down to the allotment to check on the greenhouse and shed. I’m just fed up at this point, I look forward to spring all winter long, but this spring has been slow to get going and I’m starting to worry that there won’t be enough sunshine hours for me to grow all the things I want to grow on the allotment, and that it’ll be another soggy summer battling slow growth and slugs.

Onwards. Let’s hope May brings some much needed bright days and warmer temperatures.

Etched Behind Eyelids |


  1. wideeyedtree says:

    It is such a strange spring indeed, we are suffering again from the dry weather, the storms do not help either and dry everything more out. The harsh late frosts made a lot of damage on the fruit trees, even the vine stock froze back which did not happen yet in the last 10 years we are living here. Also most of my sowed flowers died, so I had to resew again. It’s so tricky when we can not rely on anything as every year is different. And I understand how you get more and more frustrated with the gloominess! Yes, it seems spring started early this year with lot’s of early blooming trees, but it was only for a very short time and winter returned and I also still have to keep a fire in the stove to heat the house. I hope that May will bring you soon the well needed bright days so that also your mood is able to stabilize again, there is nothing like natural vitamin D from the sun! Much love! Ps: love the willow twig support for your raspberries!

    • Stephanie says:

      An allotment friend with family in Romania told me about the late frost this year that hit fruit blossom in parts of mainland Europe, it’s so sad, and so frustrating. I’m sorry you lost your flower seedlings and suffered fruit tree damage, I hope that those you re-sow catch up quickly enough now that daylight hours are longer and temperatures steadily climbing. We have had a few consecutive dry, warm days, and I cannot explain how much it has cheered me up. I know you understand! Walking home from the allotment last night with soft golden light streaming across the pavement and illuminating pollen falling from trees made me so happy. I have just transplanted my amaranth seedlings, ready to take down to the greenhouse on my next visit to the plot. Thank you, I am so excited about the raspberries this year, I hope we get a good harvest.

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