So our Saturday morning (21st March 2009) was again spent at the allotment. Today's main task was creating a herb spiral. Alex cleared the area which was very neglected - lots of rubbish, bits of carpet, and of course brambles. The area was pretty clear when Imogen and I arrived there.
I did a bit of weeding first around the asparagus bed - we were very pleased to see a couple of spears poking up out of the ground. The asparagus bed was planted up in October 2008 so it will be a while before we're eating it, but it's great to see it growing.
Alex relocated a slow-worm and work commenced on building the spiral. As is our philosophy on these things, the herb spiral was being created by re-using items we had. This was mainly using bricks that were on the plot and empty coffee jars that we'd been saving to use as an edging for something - so the spiral seemed like a good use for them. We also re-used a lovely sink that was on our plot when we got it, so we could say there was everything on our plot including a sink, although not the kitchen sink! This is being used as a small pond at the bottom of the herb spiral.
So first the sink was put into place and I started constructing the "walls" of bricks and jars and adding soil to the mound to create the heap. And it looked like this when finished. We built it quite quickly and then thought it could do with a bit more height so it was re-done this last Saturday (28th March 2009) and was quick to re-do. Much happier with it now. It now needs to be left for a little while for the soil to settle before planting up. I have placed 4 brown beer bottles (good excuse to have a beer!) as the markers for North, South, East and West and I will paint on them sometime so visitors to the plot can clearly see their purpose. So here's a picture of it finished before planting.
Herb spirals have a long association with Permaculture - a great interest of ours. They provide different conditions that suit different herbs - a bit of shade, more direct sun, etc. You can see more information here, here and here.