Monday, 25 May 2015

Allotment diary part 8: allotment joy

Our next door allotment neighbour is very experienced. His plot is immaculate and several times bigger than ours. He doesn't laugh at our efforts though. He encourages us and says nice things about my lavender hedge. He also gives us lots of things. Today, it was a beautiful bunch of asparagus and 60 bean seeds. He also tried not to look too disapproving when I planted out some of my courgettes in my impatience to get the summer going. He thinks it is a little early and he will probably be proved right.

These neighbourly interactions bring me great joy. The allotment gives me something else every time I go there. Peace, quiet and relief from a world which now and again gets a bit overwhelming. There is something so soothing about weeding around my chard plants, checking to see if any seeds have germinated in the last week, testing the gooseberries and admiring the progress of the blackcurrants. It doesn't really matter to anyone other than me and Anthony but every little bit of progress lifts my spirits and gives me more satisfaction than ticking everything off my to-do list (and I really like ticking things off my list).

And we are making serious progress this year. I've fallen behind a little with my allotment diary (the overwhelming real world again) but we've got lush looking potatoes:

We managed to erect some (very) rustic netting around the blackcurrant and gooseberry:

My marigolds are blooming and all is well:

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Allotment diary part 7: allotment dreams

I've discovered the secret to really enjoying the allotment. Tea and cake. I'm a member of Cambridge Blue Belles WI and we have our own allotment. I had been down to see it once or twice last year but already overwhelmed with my own allotment I had never been down to do any actual work. Last week I popped in for a quick visit and weeded the herb bed. In return I got a bag of nettles to take home, delicious tea and cake and lots of ideas for what I want to do next with my own plot. 

The first of these I instigated on my own plot yesterday. I'm a sweet pea lover but tend to grow them in a haphazard way in my back garden. The lovely gardening Belles are similarly sweet pea obsessed and were building a cane support structure while I was there. Seeing how easy it was inspired me to just get on and do it. Result: slightly wonky sweet pea structure now built on my allotment.

Both the blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes are shaping up to have their best year yet. They really need to be netted to ensure we get to enjoy them and not the birds. I had a dream about netting them last night. I'm worried. I need to get back down there.

The potatoes are growing (with only a little bit of frost damage) and the strawberries are covered in flowers. The rhubarb is going crazy. It's all starting to come together. My next mission is to get a shed.