|Isn't it wonderful?|
This weekend I have mostly been admiring my new shed. Over the years I have reused all sorts of containers to store my tools, everything from a discarded Westminster City grit bin to a lean-to we made from scrap timber to a hand-me down, very shed-like shed, donated by a relative. These strategies were necessary because about a week after I got my site, way back in 1996, the old shed that sat on its neat, municipal concrete footing blew down. I then muddled through believing that the true spirit of allotmenting is to make do and mend.
But, no more. Today I present to you, drum roll please... shed supreme. I am not ashamed to say that once it was up I actually sat, with my kids inside it, closed the door and contemplated my good fortune. This, I concluded, was living! Shelves will be next with especially placed long screws to hold up my tools which are very precious to me and include my grandmother's rake and father's spade. Legacies from great and gone gardeners.
To make my joy complete, I celebrated by lighting the massive pyre of this autumn's cuttings and past-their-sell-by date plants that I had been building up over the last couple of months.
Normally burning the amount of green waste I produce from pruning the summer growth takes a few hours to get through. But to my surprise, and I have to say momentary horror, the whole lot went up in a couple of minutes! This was probably due to the winds that do dry out cuttings very quickly if they are left where the wind can literally blow through them. My tribute to the God of sheds was a spectacular sight, making us all smell of autumn, smoky and clean.
The metamorphic heat created wonderful ash that will feed the bed I used for the bonfire and my soft fruits, that, ooo, love a bit of ash.
As I left tonight I dug in the lingering embers, felt their very welcome heat on my face and thought about the big question: What is life if it isn't an eternal cycle of life, death and transformation punctuated by moments of pure pleasure, like a new, sturdy shed? Beetroot brownie anyone?