Friday, 1 February 2013

The story of our allotment

I wanted to write a post about our little allotment, I'm not sure if I've mentioned on here before.

We are very lucky to share a blessed little plot of land with our friends Impressive E, Impressive D and their wonderful little boy Woolly (who also happens to be That Baby's favourite friend) it's a short walk away from each of our houses. It's beautiful there, surrounded by trees and close to the river.  We have a little shed with garden themed curtains which houses our tools.

This year will be our fourth year of allotmenting.  We were complete novices when we started out and in many ways we still are.  We're very lucky that either side of our plot there are some seasoned pros who are happy to point us in the right direction and give us a few tips.

The first year we were given the allotment it was just a patch of scrub land.  I remember that year clearly.  That Baby was knee high to a grass hopper but desperate to help out as we spent an incredibly long hot May weekend digging and digging and digging.  It was back breaking.  Cue filthy feet, filthy baths and aching muscles all round.  But we turned that patch of nothing into a place where things grow. And it made us bloody proud! Stupidly we didn't take any photographs of our plot before only during and after it's renovation.

I love this picture!  It shows Mr Husband Sir and I digging like crazy and my Dad sitting in the middle and watching!  That little house to the left at the back was our only shelter at the time and and the only place where we could store tools, wheelbarrows and things.  It was a wonderful little wendy house that belonged to Woolly and he was very kind to let us keep it there.  It became the model for our future shed!  You might have noticed that we decided not to dig traditional style straight plots. We thought we'd go rogue and plumped for a sunshine themed arrangement for our beds.  The logic behind it was that we had two small people to try and keep on the paths and not the vegetables, so we should try and have a lot of paths for them to run around on.  And I have to say it worked.  To an extent.

The sunshine pattern progresses...

Mucky feet mean a good day's work.

Yes I used to dig in ballet shoes,  I actually wore these on our wedding day.  They were ruined, but what does it really matter? I have proper welly shoes now.

So after a LOT of hard work, this is what we achieved:

Neatly dug over and planted

You can still see the string marking the boundary line...

In that first year we grew pretty much anything we could.  We were late starting that year, by May many things should already have been in the ground so we planted what we thought would survive and were jolly happy with our efforts.

A year or so later we added the shed.  That was a great day, we made a bit of an outing of it, had a bbq lunch up there, drank some wine, it was wonderful fun.  We were pretty useless with the actual shed construction.  Impressive E and Impressive D had to do pretty much all of it (hence they are impressive and we are not) but they were very gracious.
Impressive D doing his stuff...

They added a jovial wee wee hole for boys, tsk!  That IS Mr Husband Sir's finger.  No really, it is.

The finished shed, though it now has curtains of course.

Last year we were offered an allotment extension and doubled our ground space. We didn't really manage to dig it over properly last year as I was pregnant and Impressive D was away a lot and unable to help.  But lordy this year, we have great plans!  Although Impressive E is pregnant this year (due in June - I am beyond excited) we plan to take that allotment to task and get it back on track.  We let things slide over winter and we needs to do some serious sorting.  When I manage to get up there with my camera I will take some photographs so you can see how wild it's become!

This is what it's all about, our first basket of home grown goodies,  That Baby was particularly impressed at the prospect of a near endless supply of vegetables!

So, that's it, the tale so far!  I'm going to start a small series of grow your own themed posts with a few things that we've learnt, though we are by no means experts.  They will begin shortly with the delights of the home-grown potato.  You don't even need a plot of land!



  1. That's fantastic, I'm very impressed. Love the sunshine layout, and the ballet shoes.

    1. Why thank you! The sunshine layout caused more than a few raised eyebrows from our allot-neighbours at the time, but I'm so glad we went with it now :) x

  2. I loved this post! Well done you for working so hard and making it a success. I've always toyed with the idea of an allotment but I haven't "settled" in a permanent abode yet so reckon it makes sense to wait. Looking forward to these future posts!xx

    1. Thank you! They are a lot of fun, if you'd told me in my twenties I'd be excited by seed catalogues and plant rotation if have laughed in your face. It's brill though! :) xx

  3. It all looks so pretty. You must have a very proud feeling over it with all the work you've done

    Rhiannon x

    1. We were SO proud! It looked so neat and tidy back then. I looks a real mess and the moment, needs a good strimming. Can't wait to get back on it, I've missed it so much. Get lost cold weather!

  4. I love personal posts! Wish I could do more as I love reading about my favourite bloggers lives!

    Like Rhiannon has said, you must feel so proud, it looks wonderful. It must be really nice to share with someone too rather than just having your own garden to tend to you get someone to share the pleasure of it with!

    Amy x

    1. Thank you! Sharing has worked so well, not only because it's lovely to have company, but also because there were times when we couldn't do as much as we'd like so our friends stepped in and vice versa. Plus the kiddies love sharing THEIR allotment, they play beautifully together getting mucky! Which means we get more done. Also handy when we have gluts of runner beans, we try and shove them off onto each other by leaving sneaky bags full on one another's doorsteps. There are only so many runner beans a person can eat!

  5. I could not be more inspired... Or jealous! But mostly inspired. Time to turn the mud bath in our garden into something a little more productive....

    1. Ahhh, thanks Hattie! I bloomin' love your blog. such a brilliant idea, I really do wish you all the luck with it.

      Get digging! So much fun, and you can create allotment meals (well, side dishes, unless you're veggie) for pennies instead of pounds. CBeebies often do free seeds for children to encourage them to grow their own, that way you wouldn't even have to pay for their grub and you can get them working to produce it, so no need to spend on entertainment, ha! Unless that would make them indirectly kiddie specific food and therefore against the rules, ha?!

      If I can help with anything at all once you get cracking just shout.

      Kate xx


    1. Hahaha, thank you! I wanted desperately to get up there today, the weather's beautiful, but we have visitors. Which is no bad thing! I wonder if I can put them to work....?


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