Hello. My name is Emma. I live and work in London. Rent a small one bedroom flat with my boyfriend. Like many people our age we do not own our own home and have no outdoor space. And we are allotment holders.
I’m pretty sure were not alone. Allotments have seen a massive boom in past decade. Everyone wants to grow their own. Waiting lists across the UK are fit to burst. Our site alone has a closed waiting list with a predicted wait of at least 5 years. Things are changing fast. Allotment tending is no longer the preserve of the retired gent. With their rows of leeks and tatties. Much to the initial confusion of the ‘old boys’, younger people are taking over the neglected plots. It’s not easy, many drop out. Those that stick at it, like ourselves are head over hills with allotmenteering.
Working fulltime, weekends and snatched post-work summer evenings are all the quality time we get with our plot. Weather, commuting, transport problems and family commitment all get in the way. On an ideal weekend during the lighter months we put in around 12 hours work down 18a a weekend. Continue reading “The Ups and Downs of Being a Throughly Modern Allotmenteer.”
In typical British Bank Holiday style this May Bank Holiday has been a bit of damp squib weather wise. Saturday and Sunday cool and showery and today, Monday, warmer but a soggy first half! Despite the weather we got lots done, in-between dashes to the shed to dodge passing showers.
Spent most of the drizzly unpleasant early afternoon in my shed potting on some seedlings peacefully listening to the birdsong. Watching our resident robin hopping around right outside the door! Both the pair come down though Mr Robin is more confident with us than Mrs Robin. She’s far more cautious and skittish. He’s getting quite tame, just as long as we don’t get too close he’s happy for us to work on HIS allotment plot! Continue reading “Sunshine & Showers. Well, Sort of.”
One of my fondest and earliest memories are of a cassette of Disney songs I had as a child. The music today conjures up vivid memories of my Nanna and sometimes mum singing them to me and my bopping around dancing to the music. One in particular that I love today as much as ever is, Drip drip drip little April showers, from Bambi.
Drip drip drip little April showers indeed! April looks set to be one of the wettest on record. Raining pretty much everyday largely since the beginning of April, and not looking like easing up until the start of May. Oh but it’s good for the plants goes the gardeners cry. And that it is. April showers is natures way of providing the right condition for seed germination. A little rain and little sunshine, waking the seeds (and weeds). Although it feels like we’ve been having too much of the showers and not so much of the sunshine at times!
Despite all this, much of the UK is still in drought. Where else in the world other than Blighty can a drought be announced and a month-long period of wet weather begin in the same day?
Things down the allotment are looking lush and fresh for it. The herb bed is flourishing, lettuces plumping and the rhubarb the best it’s ever been. Even though it’s so frustrating when like this weekend it’s just been too wet and cold to do anything constructive in the garden or at our allotments, remember; April showers bring forth May FLOWERS!
But shhh, don’t tell. I actually really love spring rain. Drip drip drip…