Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dear allotment...

Late spring 2010

Dear allotment,

For 3 springs, 3 summers, 2 Autumns and 2 winters I whispered promises of cut flowers. I nurtured raspberry bushes and battled brambles. I revelled in the smell of your freshly dug soil and rejoiced at the fruits of our labours. We plotted. We planned. We worked together. We were a team.

But now, we must part company.

You've grown us potatoes and courgettes in abundance. More beetroot than we knew what to do with and peas that we popped straight from the pod into our mouths. Not a single pea ever made it home to our plates. But that's ok. Plenty of other things did. Many a crumble was born from apples scrumped from the trees overhanging from our neighbours plot (but shhhh, that's our secret). You've done us proud on the strawberry front, not to mention the glorious irises that spring from the bulbs you kept a secret from us until they were ready to reveal themselves.

Courgettes as big as your arm
But I fear we've neglected you a little too much this year. Gone are the neat paths that were only ever truly neat in the first year of our relationship. Gone are the neat edges and well defined beds. It's beginning to feel like you're rebelling against us. Showing us how abundant you can be, but only in terms of grass and uncultivated plants this year.

It's not you. It's us. I promise.

You're a splendid little plot, full of promise. But we're no match for you. You need caretakers that can work with you, not against you. You need a family untethered by the constraints of nap times and meal times and nappy changes. People with the energy to dig and strim and plant and harvest alongside your natural rhythm.

Wild poppies, ruby red gems of colour
I've finally accepted that I simply cannot do you justice. I can't give you the attention you deserve. You need more than I can give you right now.

Rest assured, I will miss you. The boys will miss you. But you are destined for great things. I hear there are great plans afoot for soft fruits. More rasps and redcurrants and blackcurrants. Someone to finally tame those brambles that invade your soil, but you grow so well.

So farewell dear allotment. We've had some good times and lots of great times. I'll wave to you from the train every time I pass and remember fondly the early Sunday mornings I spent with my hands in your warm, rich soil. The crops we nurtured together that filled our tummies and fed our souls.

Be gentle with your new caretakers. Let them discover you slowly. Unfurl your beauty to them piece by piece and they will love you. They will look after you and whisper new promises of crops we've never attempted. They will nurture you and drink tea with you. Embrace their plans, like you embraced ours and you will be rewarded with a long and fruitful relationship.

Goodbye dear allotment. I will never forget you.


Feb 2010, the beginning of our love affair

Feb 2010, the remains of the vine that was all that was keeping the old shed and greenhouse together

Spring 2010. Peas and harmony.

Summer 2010

Summer 2010, nurturing more than raspberry bushes...

Our gift to you - a new shed! Summer 2011

The promise of strawberries, Spring 2012


  1. That's a shame. It's bloody hard work isn't it. We lasted 18 months with ours. Was difficult with young kids.

    1. SUCH hard work! Worth it most of the time, until it becomes a chore. Then it stops being fun :(

  2. Awww, that's actually quite sad. I can tell in your words how much you enjoyed the allotment. It's so rewarding to be self-sufficient and you've done a marvellous job with it.

    CJ x

  3. Replies
    1. Afraid so :( It was becoming a source of guilt. I felt guilty on a sunny Sunday morning if I wasn't there but when I was there, I felt guilty I wasn't with the boys! A lovely couple have taken it on and they have the time and energy to devote to it that we're sadly lacking in at the moment. Allotments should be enjoyed and bring joy. Which our one did for a long time, until it didn't. So it's time someone else enjoyed it :-)


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