22 November 2012

Allotment 90

I'm pleased to announce Garden65 has expanded into Allotment 90.

Thanks to the determination and charm of Sally we now have our own patch of land in Bradley Folds Allotments.

Officially, if anyone asks, we are helping the plot's owners keep it ticking over while they deal with a busy period in their lives. We are on the proper waiting list so we still may get a firm foothold, but meanwhile this tenuous tenure will do just fine. The owners are neighbours of Sally’s. It was their purple beans we picked in August.

Our good fortune hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I have free access to land – land without any fences round it. I’m still dazed.

The icing on the cake (and I’m talking icing made with butter not margarine) is that this plot is the one with THE shed: the gypsy caravan shed. We’ve already had tea and Danish pastries in the shed with our friend Justina. Such moments are dreams made of. Well, suburban dreams, but still, I never thought I’d be allowed to drink tea with friends on a bit of my own land. Fantastic.

Thank you Sally

Unfortunately we’ve taken possession just as November has turned very wintry. The plot needs digging over before any thought of planting can be entertained. We have made a start, but the soil has a lot of clay in it and is sticky. Pull up a weed and a clump of mud comes with it that stays stuck to shovel, glove, boot, bucket, path, shed, mug, pastry, car .... My efforts remind me of when Margo helped Tom and Barbara in the Good Life. Do you remember that episode?

This is the plot (with obliging son in it):

And in context:

Dank, eh? But joyously dank. Because whatever vegetable or flower we manage to grow in the future it is the being outside in all weathers, either alone or with friends and family, that this new chapter is about.

It did my old mum's heart good to be able to mess about in the mud - my mud - with my boy. Heaven.

Not sure I'm going to be able to do the same with the "I want to be a wedding planner" daughter. Perhaps in the summer, when it's Pimms season.