For my first trip to the Hill of the new year, I had the modest aim of digging over one of the un-dug-over beds, and planting out the garlic. Yes, I know that in other years I have popped the cloves in the ground somewhere at the end of October, but in other years it hasn't rained so comprehensively, has it?
It was a mild, overcast afternoon - Richard from three plots down was busy digging over his plot when I arrived, but apart from him I had the site to myself.
The soil is very wet and claggy still and digging is a bit heavy going, but with my beds and paths at least I can get to the soil to dig easily. Mind you, the soil was a good enough consistency for pulling up dandelions, and by the time I'd spent an hour with the fork, I had a nicely turned over bed along with a good half-bucket full of foot-long dandelion roots. Most satisfying.
I need to beef up the chippings on the paths again - I took the Christmas tree to the park to add to the heap for recycling, and must check when they plan to turn the trees into chippings so I can load up and restock the paths.
It's soon dusk at this time of the year, and so once the three garlic bulbs had been split and planted out, it was time to call it a day and come home for a hot bath.