Slow painting

Sunday, 27 April 2008

In the beginning

The beginning was actually a while ago - five years this spring. In five years some people go from weedy allotment to model plot supplying the family with all its fruit and vegetable needs. Not us - we're on a different timetable, of fitting in allotment life alongside family life. Sometimes, looking at photos from these years, I think that the only thing we've grown successfully have been our children, but I'm happy with that priority.

I've been thinking of allotment blogging for some time, but the thing that really spurred me on was an article in the Spring 2008 edition of 'The Organic Way', the journal of Garden Organic. It looked so enticing on the cover - 'The Slow Allotment'. "That's us!" I thought, and turned eagerly to page 42. Not so. I learned from this article that we shouldn't have an allotment at all: that allotments cannot be 'an extension to the school run', and '2 or 2.5 hours a week? Never!'

Well, some weeks 2 hours is all we have to spend on our allotment. Five years has been quite a slog of getting to where we are, and some years we've made progress:

While other years things have been a bit more frilly around the edges:

Last summer in particular was BAD. A wet June and first half of July, then a house exchange for a month with non-gardening exchange partners. But this spring we're up and running.

With some pretty strenuous digging over the past month to reclaim parts that were overgrown when we inherited the plot, we've added clear ground for another bed, and feel that things are taking shape. I'm glad we've taken time to get the measure of the plot. I now know where the sun falls at what time of day and in the different seasons. I know the different weeds that afflict different parts of the plot, and what I can plant there that won't be too disturbed by their removal. We enjoy our escape to the allotment when we take time out from the busy-ness of work, school, children's music and the general domestic round. So slow growing it is.


tina said...

Very nice story of how you started. We have a saying here, Slow Going, so I love the play on your words to make it Slow Growing. I am opposite-speedy I guess. Enjoyed your blog.

Janet said...

The Organic way is the only organic gardening magazine around now. I do miss "Gardening Organic" which was soinspiring.