|That's me looking at my little piece of England.|
Last week I went to the Town Hall to enquire about putting my name down for an allotment plot. To my complete surprise I was told that there were several plots available. I was given a little map with highlighted squares, and told to go have a look and see which plot took my fancy. So after tea me Olly and Alfie drove to Trowan, which lies on the back road out of St Ives. It really is the most wonderfully idyllic setting for growing your own, with Rosewall Hill in the background and the Atlantic to the fore.
There wasn't anyone there, and as I can barely direct anyone up the crease of a map, me and the boys just ran around exploring. It was beautifully peaceful. No sounds of traffic and just the Blackbirds for company. I was entranced by the higgledy piggledy sheds and cold frames that had been erected. I was rather taken with one particular plot that had a swathe of fruit canes and a blue bench in one corner. Olly liked the scarecrow. I felt that tingle of excitement mixed with anxiety, as I contemplated whether I could actually take on a plot of my own.
The allotment site was given over to the Association and the plot holders in August 2010, so it is very new as allotments go. The site was a former farming field covered in couch grass and other plants. There are about fifty plots, and they have been created from scratch. Each plot is ten metres by twelve metres in size, and cost £60 pounds a year to lease. I think that's a very cheap way to extend your gardening opportunities, don't you?
Yesterday evening I took Marc to have a look around too. I needed a map reader. I also needed to ask for a bit of help. As the plots available are still untended, full of couch grass and weeds that need to be cleared. It means a lot of hard graft - digging mostly - before any of the fun stuff can begin. Thank goodness that he was as excited as I was. Armed with the knowledge that I would not be doing it completely alone, I felt ready to commit.
And so Plot Number 10 is
I have already sketched out a layout, and in my minds eye I can see exactly how it will look in a couple of seasons time. This first season it would be great to get the plot in a state fit for planting, and possibly start off some veg to over winter. I have high hopes, and my brain is swimming in ideas. We spoke to a fellow plot holder, who has told us that the soil is fabulous for growing, after so many years of being fertilised by cows. He proudly showed us his garlic, leeks and onions and he also had a huge strawberry bed.
The only problem may be the wind coming off the sea. All the best sites are protected by the hedgerows from neighbouring fields, and they have already been taken. So I will need to invest in some protective screening of my own. Again, thank goodness for Marc, his engineers brain and Screwfix catalogue. He'll have one rigged up in no time. Of course I desire beautiful hedging as a screen, with Clematis scrambling through, but all in good time.
I think it will be a lovely place to bring Olly, and I have already decided that a small patch will be given over to grow stuff with him in mind. Pollinator friendly plants and a Strawberry bed. A little sand pit for him to play in in the summer months, and a place for bees and bugs to hibernate. Most likely he will be free-wheeling on his bike making friends with fellow plot holders. Or stomping in and falling into muddy puddles, as he did yesterday. But I would really like the ethos of why I started to garden in the first place to be continued here on plot number 10.
My gardening adventures have got very much bigger. Wish me luck.