….is a wonderful material. It is a by-product that would have to be disposed of. We are lucky on our allotment site to know a tree surgeon who is only too pleased to give us a truckload or two to improve our paths. Yesterday was the day, it was our second load and there will be another one to come today. We are even told what tree it was that we have on our paths – on Monday it was ash and yesterday we had lime.

It makes life so much easier, there is no mud on the paths and it keeps down all the weeds. Of course it needs repairs as we walk on it but we decided we can manage to do it every two years. The good thing is we can ask at any time in between if we need an emergency repair.


We had another delivery of wood chip yesterday, my friendly tree surgeon has left a truck load of eucalyptus and pine chippings by the allotment front gate. I was hoping for that – after this weekend life will be much more complicated for us oldies. I shall use the proviso – do some exercise or walk, keep away from others – and continue gardening on the farm but shoveling wood chip is another matter. The aroma from the heap was quite medicinal.

The progression of one path renewal. It will make life much easier, no need to cut the grass.

As I had a new supply, I was able to use it on the little paths in one greenhouse and in the net tunnel. I’m very happy with the result.

Now I just have to hope for good weather, the seedlings are doing well in the greenhouse at home.


I had a call from my friend as she was working on the allotment – there is a pile of wood chippings here by the front gate. As soon as I got home, after a light lunch myself and Frank went there and between the three of us we shifted it. Used some of it to finish Irene’s path, put some on another path and the rest is in a heap to be used as and when.


Great job done!


When I first started gardening on my plot I found quite a large area of raspberry canes. I cleared it of weeds and thought that the problem was solved. Not so easy, though. The raspberries had a different idea and grew with renewed vigour. It was so bad that I had to wear long trousers and jackets on the warmest days just to pick the fruit and not to be scratched to bits.

An opportunity came to have an extra piece of land – overgrown, of course. After clearing it and re-planting the best of my canes again I thought that I’d solved it. Not so.

Third time lucky then – yet again re-planted the canes, this time in double rows with a path between them and lined the paths with a tough membrane (my friend Judith had a large piece left after re-lining their pond). At last the raspberries thrived and I had an easy harvest this year.

I knew there was something else I could do but that depended on getting a nice load of wood or bark chippings. I think it is very important to know the right kind of people – and I did this time. A few doors away from the elderly lady who used to come and chat to me lives Mary. Her son Wayne is a tree surgeon (Allen Arboriculture, Coventry) and yesterday he just happened to have a truck-full of chipped tulip tree wood. Not only does it do the job just perfectly but also it gives off such delightful scent.

It was a morning job because I had Frank to help – he’s not a keen gardener but a huge asset for any gardener – helps with heavy work, like horse manure collecting, wood chips loading and spreading, the kind of helper worth his weight in gold.