Storm Christophe is hitting my windows pretty hard at the moment. It’s not easy keeping yourself motivated when the weather is flooding out your allotment, but never mind.
Last summer my plot was a sea of greens and I have been mindfully remembering how much I achieved today and looked back on some photos. Sometimes I need that little reminder of how much I feel so much joy when my plants are successful.
I have to admit that I do feel sadness when I am harvesting the last of my tomatoes or when a bed becomes empty. My timings haven’t always been great as I have had quite a few hospital stays in the last couple of years, but I do feel positive for the future.
It’s now at that stage where I am sorting through an embarrassing amount of seed packets and trying to decide what I am going to plant and when. The new year always brings me so much hope and ambition. I don’t know what it is about those fresh paper seed packets that come in the post. We gardeners must be patient people to put so much planning into our space. The knowledge that we acquire every year is astounding. How could you not want to be part of something so wonderful and accepting of who you are? There is no such thing as a failure too – I learn from my mistakes big time in the garden. Not everything works all the time and sometimes things are out of your control. I remember sitting there with my head in my hands crying when I turned up to a plot of blighted tomatoes. It was a hard lesson, but a lesson nonetheless. However, sometimes things go spectacularly to the point of glut and you resent ever planting so many runner bean plants.
This year I am looking to experiment a little bit more with what I really love to eat. I have had a few fun and whacky experiments like tiger nuts, but this year I would rather have something else in that space. If I run out of land then there are always pots for things to go into!
I’d like to introduce more pollinators to the allotment and had an amazing success bringing leaf cutter bees to the bee house I made from dried sunflower stalks and bamboo. It was such a pleasure to watch them cut tiny holes out of the leaves around me. I plan on being better with flowers this year but I am limited for space for starting indoors in my flat and I am only just starting work on building my greenhouse so I do lack a bit of space, so anything that can be directly planted like bulbs or fast growing sow direct flowers or flowering herbs are a plus.
So looking at the seeds I am going to start first for 2021; I haven’t over exerted myself and kept it quite simple. I want many more artichoke plants so I can eat as many as I like and also leave some to flower for the bugs and bees. They are my favourite plant at the allotment. I have onions to sow and I find that onions from seed are a little more fiddly than sets but you get much better results. I have verbena to start too. I have always wanted it at the allotment and I am feeling brave enough to try it this year. Keeping my plans small but achievable this year. How lucky I am to have such a wonderful space in such troubling times, despite the constant battering from the weather at the moment!