"Hello there Mrs W. Are you still interested in taking a village allotment?"
Oh my word! When B popped a letter through the door of the lady who manages the allotments last summer I was prepared to wait a couple of years before a plot came up, not just a few months. We knew that there were a few people on the waiting list so I was quite happy to keep growing a few things on the patio and wait until the boy were a bit bigger and we perhaps had a little more time.
But luckily for us a plot was given up a few weeks ago and because we'd put in a request in writing we automatically went to the top of the list. So on Wednesday we popped up the road (the allotments are a perfect 5 minute walk up the hill), handed over our annual rent (£16!!) and had a look at what we're taking on).
Hmmmmm, this is the worrying bit isn't it. What on earth are we going to do with this? Panic sets in and I had to sit down for a few minutes and have a proper think. But there's an awful lot of inspiration here, some lovely looking plots and there have been veg patch plans in my head for years. We grew up next door to a wonderful old lady who had a marvellous orchard, (complete with a Victorian greenhouse), which she very kindly let my parents have the run of.Mum and Dad grew everything under the sun and when we moved, after she'd passed away, my grandad set up a veg patch at our new house. We've grown the odd thing ourselves since we got married; dug up the lawn at our first cottage to grown a few potatoes (even though it was too shady and north facing) and at this house the tomatoes were doing wonderfully last year until that wet muggy August weather did for them and we were hit by blight.
The village allotments are on our walk to school and all year we monitor what's growing, when the bean poles come up and down, who's sunflowers are tallest etc. To have or own little patch is a dream come true.
There are raised beds here under the weeds that need a little repair and a fair few weeds but on the whole it's not in too bad a shape. For the last year not all that much was grown here but apparently a retired lady had a super allotment here until really recently and the old chaps I met up there reckon its a good plot to have. We're not allowed any sheds or permanent structures but the water baths are filled up by a volunteer and there are houses all around and always someone keeping an eye on them.We're really looking forward to making our mark on it and giving the boys a chance to really mess about in the soil and grow a few things of their own. I need to sit on my hands a bit though, reign in the excitement and focus on getting a little bit done at a time so plans for this summer include a few main crop potatoes, parsnips, squashes, a few onions and a pumpkin has been demanded already.
And I've spied a raised bed at the back which would be just the perfect cut flower patch - I see dozens and dozens of colourful dahlias - but don't tell Woody!