On Wednesday afternoon, Jade, Tracey, Dan and Merion got the basic layout of the slabbed area dug out, ready to have a concrete foundation laid.
|The bench area ready for the foundation|
We also got on with clearing some of the areas which have got a bit overgrown with all the rain we've been having. Rosy is a dab hand with the shears, and soon had the area around the fruit cage back under control. We did make sure to save some of the bee and butterfly-friendly plants though. One of the poppies this year is quite amazing, as you'll see from the picture.
|Rosy prepares to cut a path to the fruit cage.|
|Our spectacular purple and red frilled poppy|
Jade did a great job planting up hanging baskets with bush tomatoes which we'll be hanging up outside, just as soon as the weather convinces us that it's Summer!
|Jade plants up our tomato hanging baskets|
Thursday has been a different story. The tight schedule hasn't been helped at all by the weather today, which has been astonishing. We have had so many episodes of torrential rain that we've been dashing in and out just to get work done, but it's been sticky work, as it's incredibly humid, so we're all dripping whether it's wet or not! Fortunately the area where we will be putting the bench is pretty free draining, so we've been able to keep going, but the concrete foundation has been laid only thanks to Ray, Marc and Dan staying on really late to get it finished, once the rain had gone.
|Sheltering from the rain in the polytunnel|
|Sheltering from the rain in the outdoor kitchen!|
In between the showers, the volunteers managed to get a surprising amount done, so Chris and Dan have managed to clear a lot of the rubble pile next to the seating area, using some as hardcore for the new paved area foundation, and putting the rest aside for when we put in the clay oven. Marc, Rosy and Philippa got a lot of tidying done in the polytunnel and also managed to get the tomatoes tidied up. Ellis made sure everything got it's feed in there too, and we dosed some of the outside areas with seaweed solution, as the pumpkins were looking a bit peaky. Tracey managed to make popcorn and pumpkin pancakes in between showers, using the rocket stove, so the troops were fed.
When we were re-organising the rubble, we found a newt taking advantage of the habitat that the rubble pile provided. It was a good reminder to us that we need to make sure there is a rock pile created to take the place of the dump, so we have made a rockery next to the minibeast hotel, where we re homed the newt. It's also a reminder that amphibians need places to hide out of the water, as they spend quite a bit of their lives on land. We should be a good spot, with all the long grass, stumps, wood piles and other good wildlife habitats we provide, so we hope the newt will find something to it's liking soon.
|Rehoming the newt|