I’m only now making a start at preparing the orto (veg plot) for planting. My neighbour Achille did his annual favour of digging it over with his little excavator a good few weeks ago. It would have been better if I could have started say 3 weeks sooner, but the weather has been almost continuously wet until yesterday. Suddenly, hot & sunny! So yesterday I made a start on clearing the brambles around the edges.
For reasons I won’t go into here, just now I wanted to measure out the main area. My workshop metal tape measure only goes to 5m but I remembered an antique surveying kind of measure my dad gave me years ago. Imperial units of course, but one side was mostly blank, so I marked metres on there.
I was pleasantly surprised that the main area was almost exactly 10 x 5m (2 x 1 poles).
So I put in a couple of strings to mark it out, guide me for clearing, hoeing & raking.
As I was doing this, looking around, the tidyness of the figures impressed me more. Coming from the house there’s the human lawn (dog lawn is in the yard) which demarcates one side. Looking that way, the neighbour’s field is a terrace on the right, a wire fence at the bottom of the rise on my side. Another fixed side.
But looking along, beyond is the tiny field that’s also part of this property.
So the line there is totally arbitrary. But I wouldn’t have wanted to go much further, following the neightbour’s side there’s a big elder bush (well, remains of – Achille took his digger to it a bit while clearing) then a row of unmarked pet graves.
On the other side, there’s an area designated as being a chicken run, as and when I get around to populating the shed. Right now it’s overgrown with brambles and a cherry tree has sprung up, but essentially that side of the orto could have gone anywhere. Further along, plenty of space between the current orto and a little access track then a village lane.
So how come almost exactly 10 x 5m? Finally it clicked. Because I’d decided it should be 10 x 5 metres. I believe I initially put the fences up long before moving in here, it wasn’t an orto before. Perhaps 5 x 8 metres. I extended the length 3 or 4 years ago, obviously choosing a round number. D’oh!