Yes, I'm really giving it up. Actually, this was decided in October but the key to the site will be handed back this week. It's the end of an era.
Don't worry, it's not as drastic as it sounds, I've already got a brand new plot and I love it.
This all came about a long time ago. My allotment is on a very small site, there's only six plots on it. You have to go down a ginnel to reach it and it's tucked right out of the way behind some houses. I was there on my own one day doing a bit of weeding. When I looked up, I saw a lad mooching about nearby. I was a little taken aback and eventually he made his way through some bushes which run along the side of the site. About five minutes later, a couple of men came running through the site. When they saw me, they asked if I'd seen a young lad. Apparently, he'd been trying to break in to one of the nearby houses and the men were giving chase. This episode really unnerved me and since then, I haven't liked to visit the plot on my own. With it being such a small site, it's extremely rare that anyone else is there when we visit so it's quite lonely.
There are four allotment sites in our area, all run by the same association, so Mick had a word with the secretary who put our names on the waiting list to switch sites. We've waited quite some time, but we got a phone call in October offering us a plot on a different site. In fact, we had a choice of plots, but we've really struck lucky with the one we've taken.
It's really been looked after and has only been given up because of ill health. There's a blackberry bush, currant bushes, raspberry canes, gooseberry bush, a strawberry patch and quite a large rhubarb patch. All the fruit is tied in to frames where necessary and looks very neat and tidy. There's also a shed on the plot which Mick's very pleased about. What is it about men and sheds? It will come in very handy anyway.
We'll have to wait and see what the soil's like, but our first impression is that it's better than what we've been used to on our other plot. We've been told by a plot neighbour that it was looked after really well so I'm hoping that there's plenty of nutrients and fertility in the soil. Our old plot used to flood quite badly until we ran a drain along the side of it, but even then, there were places where we still encountered standing water. The new plot looks to drain well.
One thing which will make life much easier on the new site is mains water. We didn't have access to water on the old site other than what we managed to collect ourselves so it will seem a little strange being able to water our plants without worrying we're going to run out of water.
The new site is much larger than our old one and there always seems to be someone around, so I should feel more confident about going down there myself. Mick's uncle has his allotment on this site and he's down there most days. The gardeners we've met there so far have all been so friendly.
Mick's spent a couple of days over the festive period clearing everything from our old plot. We'd only planted a gooseberry bush, a blackcurrant bush and a rhubarb crown a few months ago, so he's dug those up and potted them up until we decide where on the new plot we want to plant them.
The photos in this post were taken on 26th of October 2013 when we signed up for the new plot.
It's all really exciting and taking on a new plot has renewed my enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in now. Roll on seed sowing time.
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