Slow painting

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Social life

There's life stirring at the allotment site. Not just the glorious May blossoming of cow parsley and geans, or the perky rows of onions and emerging potatoes, but community life. Many sites have a bustling social life - not so ours. Immediate neighbours chat with each other, 'hellos' are exchanged as people pass to and fro on the road in to the site, but that's about it. Now, in the climate of diminishing council spending, there are stirrings of self-help: discussions about the communal strimmer; should we build communal compost bins for weeds, since the council won't; what about painting the site toilet. And as an off-shoot, if you'll pardon the pun, making time to get to know each other a bit and enjoy our common haven.

We had a get together at the very end of April. What better than to sit in the sunshine, serenaded by a blackbird, and make plans? And eat some cake. A few decisions were made, but that wasn't so much the point as to start getting people together.

And there's something particularly cheerful for me about the Union Jack fluttering from the site hut. I'm fiercely proud to be Scottish, but I'm also British and would like to remain so. Still, who knows - if Scotland were to become independent, perhaps Sir Sean Connery, that ardent supporter of the independence cause, would return from Switzerland to live here...


Mark Willis said...

How big is your site community? I mean, how many plot-holders are there?

The Barefoot Crofter said...

Well, I don't have a very positive view of the union jack I'm afraid, but i'll leave the political arguments elsewhere. It does sound like a nice wee social though. Community events like that are good for the soul.

Jo said...

There's only six plots on our site, so there's not any social gatherings, but they're all nice neighbours and we pass the time of day with each other.

Green Lane Allotments said...

Our site is the same as yours say hello and socialise with immediate neighbours.

We had a go at the forging a community and improving our site but after an initial bout of enthusiasm, some plot holders decided to sabotage any efforts at site improvement so I wish you better luck!

RobD said...

We were lucky enough to get a grant to buy a couple of cast iron gas burners and kettles so that we regularly get together over a cup of tea and cake during the summer months and also have our meetings in the pub. We don't usually decide much but it's a good way to get to know your fellow plot holders and exchange information.

Why I garden... said...

The top photo looks so nice & relaxing like mid-summer; hard to believe you had frost this week. The union jack of course is a big divided issue in Northern ireland.

Linda said...

Mark, I think there are 68 plots. That's quite a lot to stir up community feeling in.

Jacqui, we're fortunate to live in a democracy where we can differ politically and still be friends. It did feel good afterwards to have made more connections.

Jo, that's almost like a private garden. It must feel very cosy.

Sue, it's hard to imagine anyone sabotaging something like this, but that's human nature I suppose.

RobD, meetings in the pub sounds good. I'm trying to think where our nearest one is!

Kelly, the frost has given way to rain now - back to a normal May.

Peggy said...

We usually chat to our immediate neighbours but also have a few social events during the year, mainly our Open day, BBQ, harvest get together and a Christmas get together.
We have a fairly big tea room and its a good place to socialise for a few minutes while waiting for the kettle to boil!

donna said...

I also love how the Union Jack looks fluttering in the breeze. Hard to believe the photo was taken in April....looks like middle of summer. We don't even have leaves on our trees...everything so late this spring.

Now I'm wondering, what did you bring for a snack/drink? It's always of interest to me to know what people are eating.

Happy day to you, Linda. Sorry I haven't been around much. Short on time always.


Linda said...

Blogger's recent hissy fit seems to have eaten the replies I left here, so I'll try again.

Mark, we have 68 plotholders. I know that's quite a lot to organise.

Jacqui, that's the great thing about living in a democracy - we can agree to differ and still be friends.

Jo - six plots seems like a lovely small scale of site.

Sue, it seems incredible that people would want to sabotage improvements, but then again I encounter that every day at work so I guess it's the old human nature.

RobD, you seem to have a great set-up. I think grant-finding days are receding now.

Kelly, it's been back to low temperatures now. No more frost, but just blooming cold!

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Finally, blogger is letting me comment! Nice to have a get-together. Our allotments don't seem to do much more than the chat in passing, although I have got to know some of the people who are up there a lot, and those of us who all started at the same time this year have a bond of fellow suffering-from-couchgrass. Remains to be seen what happens later in the year I suppose, I had had visions of group BBQs etc. but no sign so far.

Jenni@ RainyDayGardener said...

I love that you have neighbors with a love of gardening. I'm quite alone on that front so it's through blogs that I get a chance to socialize. Interesting political conversations, here too there is an underground movement with discussions of leaving the United States and joining Canada or becoming a separate nation. Much discontent around the world I'd say. Cheers, jenni

Vicki said...

When it comes down to it, it's always about people. I have enough room for a veggie garden (Oz) and can plant whatever I like but I don't have the social hi, the meeting and talking that makes life so enjoyable. I get to talk to other gardeners at the nursery! Not the same.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

This was one of those posts where I enjoyed reading the comments as well as what you wrote.

I garden on my own lot, but we do have community gardens in town, which I support by going to their plant sales, and buying produce from their tables at the farmer's market.

We have a lot of new neighbors on our street, and people don't socialize like they did in my childhood neighborhood. A few of us visit from time to time, and we have had a few block parties over the years. We are going to try to be more active with our Neighborhood Watch and have another get together this summer.

I hope you and your allotment folks get some projects done together this summer.

Janet said...

I like the idea of a get-together on the allotment. Here there isn't even an allotment association and I think they only get together for the giant veg growing competition....
The Irish bit of me has a problem with that flag and Sean Connery coming back to live in Scotland? Do I see pigs flying overhead?