Rock ‘n’ Rolling, Double Digging.


The gardening year is coming to a close – the allotment is tired. The Tomatoes are over, the beetroot is bolting and the seemingly never ending French Beans ( Cobra) have ended.

In the flower garden only the Verbena Bonariensis remains – and even that is on it’s way out. Soon it’ll pat it self on the knee and say ‘ right then, it’s time for me to get off’ I’ll offer it another brew, but it’ll simply reply ‘ No thanks, gotta go’ and then die back.


At home the picture is less grim – the verbena B has the company of Rudbeckia Goldsturm. I love Rudbeckia, it’s like an explosion of sunflowers and at this time of year it certainly brightens up these darkening days.


The climbing Rose also does well at this time of year. Better than it has at  any other time of the year actually.

November 2015.

And hopefully, like last year , it will perform right up until December as it did last year.

But back to the allotment. Over the last few days I’ve been getting busy. Clearing the plot of dying crops, barrowing them off to the composter. As more areas were cleared my mind turned to digging. Sooner or later that gruelling task will have to be started. Then the penny dropped. Why not, instead of doing it all in one go, do it in bits? That way, theoretically, I wouldn’t get sick to death of it. 


Ear phones in, flask full of tea, sun on my back and I was alway. And do you know what? I actually enjoyed it. Double Digging is a thoroughly enjoyable pastime ( when undertaken in small quantities) and I still sweated and ached, but it was thoroughly rewarding. 

I enjoyed it so much so that today I went back for more.

Pea frames removed today (really should remove the wigwams in the background but I like the structure they add to the plot)

Different day. Different story.

Flask forgotten, food forgotten, overcast, it didn’t seem as enjoyable an experience. I’d also forgotten that the earth on this side of the plot was different. Saturated Clay, much heavier than the stuff I was shifting before and although this area was much smaller, it felt twice the size. Every spade full felt heavier than the last. I had to stop every time I’d completed a trench for a drink of water – a sign perhaps of my poor fitness.

I was onto the final trench and I was feeling less than motivated. There was only one thing for it. I needed music, but not just any old music. No no no. There was only one song that was going to get me through this. The song I always rely on in these sorts of situations: Meatloaf , Bat out of Hell. I stuck it on and got on with the digging. My energy levels suddenly shot through the roof. I will NOT, I said to myself, be like that poor young boy, lying down in the gutter, foaming in the heat. The bells will not toll today, my fellow allotmenteers. So I hit the highway, my spade being my silver black phantom bike. Skin raw, soul ripe. No one was going to stop me. 9 minutes and 47 seconds later the song was finished. And so was the digging. 

Funny what music can do.

What about you? I’d love to know what songs get you going. What’s your motivational music?

It’s only now I’m at home, sat in front of the log fire, limbs aching that that thing happens, where I realise that actually, although at the time it felt like gruelling work, I still enjoyed it. The satisfaction almost always seems to come afterwards.

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One thought on “Rock ‘n’ Rolling, Double Digging.

  1. I heartily commend your choice of musical accompaniment. If there’s a tune can get you through a double-digging session, it’s Bat Out of Hell 🙂

    Also, a quick tip (learned the hard way) would be to get covers down – dark-coloured tarpaulins or weed membrane ideally, or cardboard underneath a lighter tarp – on the sections you’ve dug. Otherwise, you’ll turn your back for a day or three and the weeds will be springing up again like they never went away…

    Liked by 1 person

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