A month ago, I went to visit a friend’s allotment site that they had recently taken over; I absolutely fell in love with the place. A private parish site with a public walkway through, an orchard and a myriad of quirky and traditional plots combined.
Emails were exchanged and I was offered a small plot which had a shed on it. It wasn’t in the best shape – but they never are. I had a vision of this small space – this full sun sanctuary. The day it was mine, I was there with black bags and a gardening fork. More emails exchanged and I have now taken on a plot with our friends. A combined project and I am really excited!
Four weeks later and the place is transformed. Something changes every time I am there and it will soon be a small but awesome space, hopefully swimming in edibles and pollinators. I have even had blue tits nest in the bird house attached to my shed and am often shouted at by them when I am too close to the shed. It’s been another learning curve though.
The site is completely different to my other allotment as that one is clay soil, part shade and was a tougher starter project but I would rather learn that way. Most of the plants I have at my first allotment are perennial. I have raspberries, fruit trees, herbs, artichokes, flowers, horseradish, roses, hops, grapes, echinacea, currants, strawberries, wasabi, angelica, monarda, ferns and a tonne more…!
So the new allotment has much easier soil in terms of digging. I am not saying it’s been easy at all. I am bruised and sore all over and I don’t regret any of it. As you probably know by now, I garden for my sanity and my health.I’ve been turning the soil and digging out the weeds by hand, making sure to leave the soil for a few weeks afterwards to let weeds I’ve missed come back up, although I have left a couple of dandelions in on purpose. It’s a slow and steady process and requires patience and plenty of ibuprofen, but it does pay off. I have also been breaking off the soil from the weeds with my hands too, just to make sure that I don’t miss anything. It has allowed me to make friends with the robin that follows me around and chirps gratefully.
To be fair, I have needed the exercise and am relishing in a new project with new challenges. Headphones on, audiobook playing, and pure will and determination to achieve something and just be myself.
I love my first allotment, don’t get me wrong, but this space does feel a lot like my own space and it’s really good to try new things. It’s a fresh start and creative outlet.
I can’t wait to share my progress with you all and my other allotment will still be there!