Slow allotment gardening in the life of a busy family
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Location, location, location
If there is an upside to the fallow summer we've had at the allotment it's been the time to stand and stare. With less plant activity I've often been looking up and around while at the plot, instead of looking down at the area I'm digging/weeding/sowing.
So it's been striking me on every visit how this corner of the plot is just wrong. Not from the aesthetic point of view - what could be lovlier than sprawling rhubarb, a plank, and two black plastic compost bins? It's the location of these that's wrong. I took this shot around 4.30 a couple of weekends ago. The rest of the plot was in shade by this time from the big sycamore trees that border the access road. In high summer this sunny patch lasts into the early evening - ideal for relaxing in a comfortable chair, cool drink in hand, surveying the afternoon's work.
While we may not go down the patio route - I can't quite reconcile hard landscaping and allotment, but I'm open to persuasion - a grassy corner, level enough for chairs and perhaps a folding table, would bring the plot that bit closer to the Swedish colony garden idea of a green living space in the middle of the city.
I also want to make use of the edges of the plot for growing. A sturdy frame running along these two sides could support espalier plum and apple trees. At this time of year that may mean a few wasps sharing the cool drink bit, but it could be worth it for the sake of blossom in spring and fruit in autumn, plus a bit of shelter from the east wind. Comments from experienced fruit tree growers welcome!