Yesterday I had a phone call from the council to say that I had reached the top of the waiting list for an allotment. I put my name down a little over three years ago, after I was made redundant. I wouldn’t have had the time for a plot with my previous job and the commute I used to do. But now I work from home and so feel able to take one on. The exercise and the fresh air will do me good too, as I’ve put on a bit of weight in the last couple of years of homeworking.
I went along to the allotment site this morning to meet the warden. She showed me a few vacant plots, but they didn’t really appeal. One would be in the shadow of a leylandii most of the afternoon. Another was very overgrown, full of raised beds in need of repair and next to another run down plot. I didn’t want to be tackling someone else’s weeds as well as the ones on my plot.
Finally, I was shown Plot 2B. It is a nice size, about 100 square metres with a gentle slope towards a line of trees. The trees mean that I don’t get the very early morning sun, but the plot will benefit from the full sun for most of the day. Plot 2B also had some stuctures in place that would give me a start, but wouldn’t dictate how I wanted to organise things. There is a good sized shed and there are four raised beds, one of which is full of strawberry plants. There is also a bed of raspberry canes. Not sure yet what the varieties are, but nice to have some things already growing before I even start. There is a huge grapevine that will need some pruning. There are also lots of paving slabs as paths dotted around the plot. I think I will want to change the layout, but good to have the materials.
Those are the good points about Plot 2B. Unfortunately it is also quite run down. I don’t think it had been worked on much last season, and certainly hadn’t been touched over winter. Mostly dandelions and couch grass, but the whole site is plagued with marestail. These are particularly hard to shift, but all the plots had them so not much I could do. The ground is quite a heavy clay soil. Will be hard work digging over, but I need to get fit.
I agreed with the warden to take Plot 2B, so now I need to visit the council offices to collect a key and pay my rent. I’ll post some photos tomorrow.