Diary: A plot of time

How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
– Dr Seuss

Saturday 22 October 2016

Ava ‘little helper’ – On the plot

It was Ava’s birthday yesterday – 6 years old. As sure as this happens every year, I still find myself wondering where the time has gone.

Today was party day. Please don’t think me grumpy if I describe this experience as two long and tiresome hours. Twenty-five little ones full of excitement and party food, running amok on an inflatable jungle gym. Despite the experience of a few of these events, I still struggle to understand how Ava remains jumping come the evening and I am collapsed in the chair ready for my bed.

Alas, there was no time for the allotment today.

Sunday 23rd October 2016

A week has passed since my last visit to the allotment.

In the summer months, this amount of time between visits to the plot would cause a level of anxiety. The weeds make a quick return, the slugs make swift destruction of the plants and there is the general sense of not quite being on top of everything.

Today, as I walked to the allotment garden there was the sense of time having stood still. The season brings with it clear perception of life slowing down. The plot in front of me is like a photo snapped a week earlier and frozen and unaltered from the last sight. The sense of the allotment slowing down projects onto me and the reason I enjoy being at the plot at this time of year. It’s a sanctuary in comparison to busy city life. A place to think or to be in my own thoughts. A place to declutter the mind.

I always have a plan for each visit to the allotment. I’ve learned it makes for an effective and efficient time at the plot and helps prevent me dilly-dallying around and not getting much of anything done.

Weeds in beds

The plan for today was to clear weeds from more of the existing beds. I’ve realised that overgrown beds appear worse than they actually are. The soil, cultivated earlier this year means the garden fork makes light work of digging up the mass of perennial weeds.

I like to dig. It’s not that the no-dig approach does not persuade me in its success as I think the work of Charles Dowding is truly inspirational. I may one day try and adopt the approach. There are many reasons I dig my allotment garden and one of them is I enjoy it.

There are experiences on the allotment I find connect me with each of the seasons. In spring it is planting the earliest of crops. In summer it’s a day when the sun is warm on my face and my fists are full of long pods of french beans. The autumn and winter it is digging the ground. I am in my element digging spadefuls of earth on cold, crisp winter days, wrapped up in layers with my breath visible in front of me as stream of white mist.

After a few hours of clearing weeds and turning the soil – broken by periods of worm collecting or taking an adventure in the jungle (overgrown part of the plot) with Ava, the allotment is visibly taking shape again.

The next task will be the overgrown monster that is the strawberry bed. Then on to topping up the existing paths with wood chips. Last winter was a washout and so I have my fingers crossed that this one will be different. I hope there will be plenty of opportunities when the weeds are asleep to cut fresh ground and expand the allotment into the uncultivated part of the plot. There is so much more of it left to explore and utilise.

It is half term this week. I’m hoping it stays dry and I can enjoy what is now a sacred mid-week opportunity to visit the plot. With ‘little helper’…of course.

The Allotment 23 October 2016


How is your allotment or kitchen gardening coming along? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below or connect with me on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


5 thoughts on “Diary: A plot of time

  1. Great work! Our allotment is a bit ropey at the minute but now I finally have new wellies I’m going to pop down and spend some time there. When the weather gets really wet it’s hardly worth going as the clay soil gets very soggy and I literally end up ankle deep in mud. It’s hard to be productive when you’re feet weigh a tonne each!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello. Thanks. Yes I know that feeling. Terrible flooding last year. Our allotment is also heavy clay and the area prone to flooding during winter. Raising the beds and digging out the paths has made a huge difference though. Hard work but worth it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, our focus last year was the shed but this year we are going to build more raised beds. Paths are definitely something to consider, we have a few paving slabs for the most used areas too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If you can I suggest digging out the paths, using the soil to raise the beds and backfilling the paths with woodchips. It does two things – raises the growing area enough to cope in any heavy wet conditions and the dug paths act as drains or runaways for the excess water. Last year the water was sitting over the plot. I’ve noticed I don’t have the problem anymore. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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