I suspect I have caused much merriment and consternation amongst many of my gardening twitter friends over the last week and now no doubt those of you who have read this blog for some time will be amused at my U turn. I have repeatedly stated that I don’t grow edibles for a variety of reasons: space and time being the main ones. However, I have had a quietly burning desire to tackle edibles if only I had some practical space to work in. I know I could give up some of my garden but I need my ornamentals, they are essential for my mental well being.
Anyway, some years back I put my name down for an allotment and then promptly forgot about it. I knew that there was a waiting list for local sites in addition to which one site needed relocation so the adjacent cemetery could expand! For I had low expectations that a plot would appear this decade. Time moved on, my interests in ornamentals grew, I started a blog and discovered like minded gardening friends. I avoided the veg growing blogs/posts as I just couldn’t relate to them but I have had a growing feeling that I am missing out somehow. I decided a couple of months ago to give over one bed in the garden to soft fruit and in fact only started planting it out two weeks ago. I also started to explore perennial edibles which would be less demanding time wise and fit better into a garden environment.
Bizarrely last week I began to think that someone was trying to point me in a new direction. On my way back from Arley Arboretum I saw a nursery for lease. I would love a nursery but I just can’t afford to give up my full time job at the moment to embrace my dreams. I looked at the details but it was just unrealistic – oh well never mind. Then two days later a letter arrived from the local council offering me a plot on a new site. I put the letter on the table thinking ‘well I won’t be doing that’. But the letter kept winking at me from the dining room, taunting me. ‘Go on, you know you will regret it…’ ‘You dont have to sort the whole plot in one go….’ ‘You could grow lots of soft fruit…..’ etc etc. By early Sunday morning I was tittering on the brink of giving in and went off to find the site.
Well the location pushed me over the edge into saying yes. It is a lovely rural location, surrounded by fields with far reaching views – all good for the soul and therefore good for me. I finally got more information on Monday morning when the council opened – I could choose between a 125sqm plot for £25 p.a. or a 60sqm plot (at a pro rata rate). I bored my twitter friends rigid with endless questions about the best size and what I should pay etc. Early Tuesday morning saw me back at the site in my suit and wellies choosing between two sites. The photo at the top of the post shows my new allotment – Plot 38.
I am now completely overwhelmed by the prospect. The plot is 125sqm in size, we need to measure it properly so I can work out bed sizes etc. I have again bored twitter friends with what was the best size beds etc etc and they have been very patient and generous with their advice and support. I hope they realise that I will be pestering them from time to time every time I get to a hurdle!!
So the allotment books are in the post and my dreams are full of soft fruits, courgettes, sweetcorn, new potatoes, mangetout, sweet peas and so much else.
I have been toying with setting up a new blog to record my progress particularly as I have been frustrated that whilst there are lots of blogs etc about growing edibles there isn’t much out there that charts a novice’s progress, well not that I have found. I still haven’t decided if I will do this or whether I will just do regular up dates on this blog. But it is a very exciting new project for me and I hope you will enjoy reading about my progress.