Monday, 17 March 2014

Au revoir, Allotment

Today, Andy and I trooped down to the allotment, harvested the remaining broccoli, swede, beetroot and parsnips, gathered out tools and camping stove from the shed, piled it all into our wheelbarrow and locked the gate for the last time.

We only managed a year with this allotment. Our previous allotment we tenanted for almost 6 years, but as we emerged from our soggy winter, the thought of getting down to this second allotment for another year of gardening filled me with an irrational dread and anxiety.  Visions of forests of mare's tail haunted my dreams, as did fretting about what to do with that substantial patch of ground that succumbed to shade by mid-Spring because it was overhung with the shadows of massive trees and things we planted there last year failed to grow properly. 

Then there was the allotment camaraderie to cope with. I am fast coming to the realisation that I am a solitary gardener. Our plot, being right on the main path way, was often a stopping off point for fellow allotmenteers to pause for a chat. Which is okay - they were all lovely, helpful people - but when you want to get on and be with your own thoughts, that's just what you want to do, and not feel obliged to discuss the best way to deal with mare's tail, which was 90% of the topic of conversation. 

And so, trying to ignore the sense of failure I felt that, not for the first time in my life, I have started a project with massive enthusiasm only to fail to see it through, I e-mailed the allotment management committee secretary saying we were handing our half plot back for the benefit of someone else, and that I'd drop the key back through the site manager's letterbox once we had collected our bits and bobs. And she e-mailed back to say she was sorry to see us go and as soon as the key was returned she would refund our £20 deposit. And I thought, that'll pay for a roll of wallpaper to repair the damage in the hallway caused by the roof leak which Roofer Number 7 came to look at yesterday but I think we might get somewhere with him because it turned out he is the guy who came to fit our woodburner and who also works with his brother-in-law who owns the roofing company, and isn't it a small world??

So Andy and I returned from the allotment and immediately set to in the front and back gardens for a first tidy up of the year. The new chicken run is due to arrive sometime next week. The clematis are making good growth and we need to put up trellis for them. We are planning to extend the lavender walk across the front of the hens' part of the garden if only in an attempt to stop the wood chippings they insist on kicking everywhere from landing up all over the new lawn. The greenhouse is starting to fill with various herb and flower seedlings, and we really ought to get the tomatoes, cucumbers and beans started...

...yes, we have plenty to keep us gardening happy I think, here at home. I am more than relieved we are no longer allotmenteers.

7 comments:

Countryside Tales said...

The fact you feel relieved should reassure you it was the right decision, but I understand the sense of failure too even though I think you are being too hard on yourself. Think of all the extra gardening opportunities you'll have at home as a result! BTW- we use planks of wood set into the ground to keep the girl's wood chips where they should be. Works a treat :-)

rusty duck said...

That's sad, but if you are not enjoying it there is very little point in having it. Move on. Not failure, just not right for you.

Vera said...

Well you gave it a go, which is better than not being bothered. And I would agree about wanting to be in the veg plot but not liking being stopped by people wanting to pass the time of day. That would have put me off as well.
Just say 'not for now, but one day we shall have a bit of land to do our own thing on'......Vx

Denise said...

Your are all wise ladies, of course! Last year, when I got us another plot, I had such visions in my head of what it was going to look like - over active imagination, you see! But I shall keep hold of that vision, because one day (as Vera has said) we shall have a massive back garden and I can make my veg plot vision happen there. Providing there is enough room after I have increased my hen flock!!

Denise said...

Oh, and built a house and run for some quail...

Denise said...

...and maybe some geese...and ducks...

Denise said...

...but don't tell Andy. But then he won't notice anyway because he'll be in the garden bakery being an artisan baker!