A few months ago I cajoled Chris into taking on an allotment. He read books over Christmas and researched it fully before choosing our plot. It was our allotment but his to work in. I entertained Marie Antoinette dreams of frolicking with a decorative watering can while someone else did the real work. Chris started well. He assessed our soil, he dug over three plots on the allotment, put down weed killer and fertiliser (not together I hasten to add). But then, he needed to spend a lot of his spare time researching work things.
Which is where I come in. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to get stuff going. Potatoes planted, carrots sown that kind of thing. One Saturday morning after breakfast I announced that one of us needed to go to the allotment and do some work while the other looked after the hyperactive kids. To my amazement he volunteered to stay at home with the kids. Bloody hell, the allotment must be pretty grim!
He kindly packed my car with the bits from the shed (I won’t go in there in case there is a spider) and expected me to back in half an hour complaining of worms, beetles and backache. I had other plans. If I was going to the allotment I’d do it the girly way and get shopping first.
A quick trip to a garden centre cheered me up, I had some potatoes to plant, a raspberry cane and a blackcurrant cane. I figured that if something was actually growing it might be more fun. And I was right. Here is the allotment when I went to it a few weeks ago. Brussel sprouts at one end (seriously how many brussels did the previous owner need?) weird glass half way down a couple of mystery bushes, three compost bins, a compost heap that was a mountain of growing weeds and a tree. On the up side it was designed in plots, strips of land at one end and then squares at the other.
Hey Ho. I got digging. My rhubarb, raspberry and blackcurrant went up in the little square near the tree. My 1st early potatoes went in the next square down. I dug another square and felt proud. Chris had dug three squares which I had meticulously re-dug and weeded and I’d done another one. Not bad going.
A week later I turned up, dug some more, weeded some more, and after a little more retail therapy planted tonnes of red cabbage, brocoli and radishes. All plants and all planted at the same time. We are going to have a feast of brassicas soon.
I keep going down, adding to the compost bin, which is bizarrely the home to ants rather than the worms I expected and I’ve even got creative with bamboo sticks for my broad beans.
Here are photos of the allotment as it was on Sunday evening as the sun went down. I love it. It’s my break from work and being a Mum. My hands are calloused (washing them in the cold water troughs isn’t part of a good beauty routine) but there is something magical about being outside in the fresh air. I’ve now cleared all the plots apart from half of the last strip (the Brussel sprout strip) and I think that the first of my potatoes are growing!! If anyone can identify the mystery bushes please do and leave me a comment to let me know!!