Please welcome the newest member of our writing team, Katie of Lavender and Leeks, with an introduction to her history on the allotment…
I am fairly new to this gardening malarkey, my Dad acquired his allotment back in 2012 and I used to help him out which is when my green fingers appeared (although not literally!) Gardening seems to be in my blood to a certain extent, my Grandparents used to grow their own food in the back garden and my Great-Grandparents used to make wines and jams with their produce, stories I often hear about from my Dad. I put my name down for my very own allotment and in July 2013 I was given plot 15c, my little slice of heaven. It is rather tiny, 13 metres by 7 metres to be precise, and it was completely covered in weeds. However, I was one determined girl and with a little help from my Dad and Mr Rotavator, we soon created a blank canvas for me to start with.
By the time my plot was ready it was August but I was able to plant and grow some dwarf French beans, swiss chard, carrots, beetroot and turnips. I was like an excited child the day I ate my first home-grown harvest! Whilst the crops were busy growing I made plans for the main foundations of plot 15c and first on my agenda was a shed. Because every gardener needs a shed to retreat to right? I found my shed for a bargain price of £35.00, it was originally a 10’ by 8’ shed which my Dad cut down to the regulation 6’ by 4’ size. I added two reclaimed windows, a stable door and to finish it all off, a lick of lavender Cuprinol paint.
Now this is my first full year on plot 15C and I have chosen to grow the basic things as well as some more unusual crops such as borlotto beans, climbing pumpkins, flower sprouts and gherkins. There is also a fruit cage (which has no netting on it yet) which consists of raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries as well as two raised strawberry beds and two cranberry bushes in the hanging baskets under my shed windows. As you can tell I am trying to squeeze as much as possible into my little space without overcrowding the vegetables and making it look like a big mess.
I do however, love the rustic and wild look and I am a big lover of wild flowers. I have dedicated a little area especially for growing flowers and I am giving companion planting a go by planting various flowers and vegetables together. It is June and the majority of things have been planted and sown and the allotment is starting to look green and alive. There is still a long list of never ending jobs to be done and they include building a hazel archway, making a pond, making some cages for strawberry beds, netting the fruit cage, netting the brassicas… etc etc. I shouldn’t really moan because I love it really!
I have had my allotment for nearly a year now and I wouldn’t change it for the world, although a slightly larger one would be much appreciated. It is my little slice of heaven, my happy place where I can go and relax whilst doing what I love. If I could, I would spend every hour of the working day up my allotment pottering away sowing seeds, harvesting crops and drinking tea in my shed!
Thank you for reading and happy gardening!