I’m sure that travelers in an aircraft leaving or approaching Cardiff or Bristol Airports wonder why our allotments have so many swimming pools on it. The fact is many plots are covered with bright blue tarpaulins which give that effect from the air.
This year has taught us a lot about where not to plant carrots. Unlike many sites, our site in on the civilian settlement to a nearby Roman fort. There are even Roman roads buried below it. One I believe runs through our plot. Carrots go down, don’t like what they find and turn into something like many legged beings from another plant. Still its fun double digging to find roof tiles, broken pots and chunks of slag from the iron smelting of long ago.
Success this year has been the Romana potatoes, French green beans and curly kale. We will not be growing apple cucumbers as they were so bitter, but squash in all shapes and sizes were well worth the attempt.
In the back garden, we are growing more perennials and using smaller pots for shrubs. They are getting too heavy to move when full. Little statues are fun. We have a penguin, a seal on a rock, an army of gnomes as well as places to puts tea-lights for the darker evenings
Wild life in the form of magpies, coal tits, robins, thrushes and blackbirds are our daily visitors with the occasional squirrel. The hot summer saw dragonflies swoop down as well as wasps, one behind the other, queue up to drink from our birdbath.
So we wait for Spring and begin all over again. The work on the allotment is virtually an open air gym. Bending and stretching with weights in the form of full watering cans and loaded wheelbarrows, carrying flagstones for new paths, stretching into every conceivable angle to weatherproof garden sheds and that is without the hours of digging, cultivating, raking and weeding. Why spray tan when with the right sun protection you can get a tan while you work out.
I’ve seen variations of people produce calendars like those lady pioneers, the Calendar Girls, but is there a version of Allotment Lads out there somewhere. Any site wanting funds, could investigate this idea. It’s amazing what can be hidden behind a rhubarb leaf, or amongst a row of runner beans! Just a thought.
More in 2014.