Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Allotment wandering


I paid my allotment rent this week.  Despite worrying constantly about where I will ever find the time to keep my plot, I found myself writing a cheque for £12 (brilliant value no?) and taking it round to the clerk's house.  The next day I went to the site and had a wander with my camera on the way to my plot.  As I closed the gate behind myself and looked down at all the productive little gardens the thought came into my head, "Of course I must keep it".

Will you come for a stroll too?



My plot is in the far corner of the site, so to get down there I try to take a different path each time I visit.  So I get to have a look at all of the different plots, to see what people are growing and what is working and what isn't.  Some plots are utterly immaculate, some overgrown.  There is always inspiration in one form or another.

Halfway down one of the paths to the bottom I found a fig tree.  I'm not sure if they'd had any ripe figs, but it did give me an idea of what to do with one of my little pot bound trees.



These plots are near mine.  The one with the green shed is a thing of beauty, it really is.  It won the best allotment prize for three years in a row, before withdrawing to allow other people a chance.


Down at the bottom there's a hedge (running behind the green shed) and a stream.  In the hedge are all sorts of signs of autumn, some planted, some wild.




At my plot the cosmos are still flowering like mad, and at any given time there are bees frantically collecting nectar.



I removed the tomatoes, cucumbers and squashes and did some weeding.  As I worked leaves drifted down from the tree at the bottom by the stream.


Birds were singing, as always, and it occurred to me that one of the things I love about having an allotment is just being there amongst all of the growing things.  I'd happily spend an hour just wandering about and looking.


The shed next to me has had a break-in.


Such a shame, there have been a few lately.  My shed doesn't have a window, so I escaped this time.  As I said, we're in the corner furthest from the gate.  Sad to think that people have walked all this way down through the allotments to destroy and steal.  How could they not see the magic all around them?  There is so little of value to a thief to be taken - just a few tools maybe.

I've made a decision of sorts about the allotment I think.  I'll keep it for as long as I can, and try not to lie awake at night worrying about it.  If I can't hang on to it, and it gets weedy and is taken away from me by the lady with the clipboard, then so be it.  But the boys and I do love our little piece of land, and we are so very lucky to have it.  And besides, I have all sorts of plans, and things I want to grow, and a big old shoebox full of seed packets.  Come February, there'll be no stopping me.


37 comments:

  1. loved every bit of the stroll! what beauty & wonder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rebecca. It's a happy and peaceful place for me.

      Delete
  2. We too are going through a spate of shed break-ins. We think the only things stolen from ours was a box of matches, others had coffee, a knife, mugs so we wonder if it is someone living rough?

    You rents are cheap we pay £20.92 water rate and £52.50 rent for a full sized plot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's frustrating. Apparently gas cannisters were taken from our sheds. I'm very glad for my cheap rent! It really is such good value.

      Delete
  3. An allotment is such a beautiful place to spend time :) I'm not much of a gardener but this brings back memories of visiting a friend's allotment, I'll never forget what a wonderful oasis it is away from the surrounding town. Thanks for sharing your paradise!xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a sanctuary, I love it.

      Delete
  4. £12 is an absolute bargain, just £1 a month for all the pleasure, and food, it provides. Sorry to hear about the break in, some people just can't keep their hands to themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, it is a bargain, especially considering the amount of food that I've had from it.

      Delete
  5. A most enjoyable post and terrific photos. Lucky you only paying £12! Sadly all allotments are likely to suffer from shed break in's occasionally. I think that you do really well with your plot in view your other Supermum considerations. I'm sure that you'll be planning for next year over the coming months and once spring approaches you'll be wanting to get plotting again. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Flighty. You're right about the planning, I've started already by sorting through my seeds and dreaming of what I might grow next year.

      Delete
  6. Beautiful :) Wishing you lots of free time and energy to keep up with it - if it's meant to be, it will be found - and as long as it remains a pleasure, and does not become a drag, of course you must keep it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right of course. And we do somehow make time for what we want to make time for.

      Delete
  7. Some of those apples look really delicious and ready for "scrumping".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were lovely. All gone now though, unfortunately!

      Delete
  8. I love following your strolls around the gardens. There are so many beautiful things to see. It's a shame about the break-ins and that people have to put a damper on things. I hope all is quiet now. I'm so glad you kept your allotment! I know it must be stressful with everything else you have going on, but you're right that you should just keep it as long as it brings you joy and are able to. It seems like such a nice peaceful place:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kari. I am feeling much calmer about the allotment now that autumn is here and the weeds have stopped growing so fast!

      Delete
  9. Your allotment looks so pretty. I know from experience it can be hard work but the rewards are so high. I smiled at the comment of you taking a different route to your plot each time so you could look at other plots, that's exactly what I used to do too!
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah. I do love seeing what else is around. Because I'm in the far corner, I've explored pretty much all of the site. The only downside is the long trek back to the top with trugs full of nasty weeds and heavy things like forty courgettes.

      Delete
  10. I love your allotment and I really enjoyed reading all about it all through the summer. It seems to repay your hard work in emotional sustenance as well as actual, real food. I bet it's hard work but the rewards seem to be huge. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gillian. You are right, the rewards are great. And it's lovely to have a full freezer - in the depths of winter I will enjoy the produce even more I think.

      Delete
  11. Good for you, CJ. That's too bad about the windows. I hope they don't get any more of them. I wish the allotment concept would catch on over here, I'd be first to sign up. You seem to get so much out of having this in your life and I think you're making the right choice. I know I have enjoyed reading about it since we connected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be lovely if there were allotments over there. The right to have an allotment is actually enshrined in law here! Although waiting lists in many places are really long, and plenty of sites have been built on. In principle you can require your local authority to provide one. Where I am, a new site opened up a couple of years ago, which was great.

      Delete
  12. It's good for me to have a reality check - I've always had such romantic ideas about having an allotment. Back when we had no garden (and not even a balcony or window ledge wide enough for a window box) I looked into getting one and the waiting list in our local area was two years! Looks like you're doing a grand job for the moment. Hx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many good things about a small garden! I used to just have a shared front garden, and the time, money and effort is so much more concentrated. I waited five years for my allotment!

      Delete
  13. Wonderful! I'm glad you kept your allotment. The social side of keeping one always sounds so appealing, but I guess with the good comes the bad, and the bad is the petty vandalism and theft. I expect that's about an allotment attracting all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The social side is lovely. I never know who's going to be there, and it's always a joy to talk to people. So many different characters there. And plenty of young families too which is nice. All ages, all kinds of nice people.

      Delete
  14. Allotments are a lot of work, but yours looks to be in good shape and like you say, sometimes it's good just to be there. Could you share the plot with a friend if it's getting to be too much work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good idea. I could also give up half if need be. Mine is (loosely) under control at the moment - enough to keep the Lady With The Clipboard at bay anyway.

      Delete
  15. I think it's amazing you do that... so much work, so much time. I really admire you for having one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Monica! Although I do always feel very guilty when I'm there, that I should be doing something that earns some money instead.

      Delete
  16. hurrah, keep the allotment, its beautiful you are very lucky I wish I could grow my own and have a space that is not only productive but a wonderful place to escape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I know I am lucky, and I really would like to hang on to it, for the very reasons you say.

      Delete
  17. Of course you should keep it ... why give up on something you enjoy having so much? And perhaps in the winter months you can work out some companion planting schemes that will help save you a little time?

    I've really enjoyed following along with your allotmenteering this summer CJ :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea Annie, I shall try and get organised! Thank you for your kind comment.

      Delete
  18. Allotments are not something we have the pleasure of here in the states, I love to read about allotments on blogs. I must agree...you must keep it :)
    The photos are lovely, you capture beauty perfectly... even In the broken Window.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    Tammy xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you were to move to, say, England, you could have one too...

      Delete
  19. Thanks for commenting over at A Woman of the Soil. I was very sad to lose my plot but maybe it came at the right time as I was struggling to keep up with it. I have closed the blog down now but will continue posting at Ramblings from Rosebank which is more of a general blog but will include my veggie news there now.

    ReplyDelete