Here's the back left hand corner, completely taken over by nettles, brambles and bind weed.
I managed to spend some time clearing this today and it looked like this when I left. At least you can now see the rhubarb and my blackcurrant bush, both of which have just about been liberated.
Here's the two piles of cuttings, one of which I need to bag up and then put in the site compost bins and the other, which is made up of comfrey and nettles only, that I will use make a very nutritious plant food.
As I only had a couple of hours to spare today, I couldn't tackle much of the rest of the plot, but I did dig up the potatoes, which looked like this before I started.
To be honest it was a measly harvest. Quite a few had gone green, because I didn't bank them up well enough. Once I'd dug over this area, I put some climbing french beans, cucumber and mange tout plants in. It looked a lot tidier.
There's still a whole lot of work to do. The mint and lemon balm have got totally out of hand and need cutting right back. I think I may dry some and keep it to use for making tea or as dried herbs. There's also quite a bit more pulling up and cutting back of nettles and other weeds to do around the edges of the plot, so plenty to keep me busy. I'll probably go back again tomorrow, weather permitting.
I think I mentally made a definite decision today, to let go of the plot this year. Now the back garden beds are getting productive, I can probably grow almost as much in them (if not more), of produce that we use, than I harvest at the allotment, due to my neglect of it.
I'm now certain that the time has come to hand it over to someone else, to make what they can of it. I'll continue to cultivate it this year and try to clear it up as much as possible, so I don't leave a total mess for the next plotholder, but I think it's definitely the end of an era for me.
I've enjoyed having an allotment for the past 12 years, but I am now looking forward to concentrating on gardening in a small space at home. The challenge will be to be as resourceful as possible, in order to grow as much garden produce as I can, hopefully all year round.
The ease of just stepping outside my back door to tend and harvest everything has definitely been brought home to me since we've had the new vegetable beds and it makes the effort of going to the allotment seem even more burdensome.
Time to move on and enter a new gardening chapter.