My allotment has been my absolute saviour since recovering from significant health issue’s during the past two and a half years. I had left a 36 year career, I was seeking to focus on something that would include keeping active. I’m a keen gardener. I’d always wanted an allotment.
My inspiration came from growing up with my dads large garden allotment and greenhouse. My mother picking all the berries and making jams and puddings with the summer fruits. As kids my sister and I would take the vegetable peelings from the house to the compost heap at the bottom of the garden and, cut mint to make sauce for Sunday roast lamb lunch.
I had an idyllic vision of growing my own vegetables for family and friends. So, when the opportunity to rent one came up last October, I snapped it up. It was completely wild and overgrown but, I worked hard digging the entire plot, taking around 4 days a week through the autumn and winter months to clear the site removing weeds and stones. All that digging was the best exercise! The digging days were so satisfying, each day creating a bigger blank canvas. Rewarding myself in a hot soothing bath when I got home. The feeling of accomplishment not only on the plot but, having done a decent workout! I decided on a structure of raised beds with paths and eventually I plan on a greenhouse and shed. I set to designing and measuring the plot. Visited a few timber merchants then found a company that cut the treated timbers to size and delivered to my plot within a couple of days. I had met another plot holder that joined me in buying timber and, between us we drilled the timbers into eight raised beds. I had acquired 3 compost bins from a previous plot holder which we rolled onto my plot. My allotment was beginning to take shape. Fortunate to have a tree surgeon friend who agreed to tip bark chipping’s as often as he could. I loaded probably 50 wheelbarrows onto the plot full of bark to create paths in-between the beds.
February 2020 - rain, rain, every day. March was amazing, sunny blue skies, warmth of the sun, endless birdsong, peace and quiet.
During pandemic lockdown HM Government permitted attending to our allotments. Never felt so lucky! So grateful allotment gardens were to remain open.
In peak sewing season, I’ve planted Leeks, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Beetroot, Spinach, Spring Onions, Radish, Lettuce, Strawberries, Raspberries and Rhubarb. Gradually, the produce has started to peep through the soil. So have the weeds. It’s growing season after all…
I’m surrounded by like minded people, wild life, nature and fresh air. I look forward to the continual learning of growing vegetables, rotating the crops, succession planting and improving my skills. Creating and nurturing this much loved enclave provides exercise, mental health and general well being.
It gives me utter joy!
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