I remember when Mr K and I got our first flat. It was on the ground floor which afforded us the most fantastic gift - a back yard. Now when I say 'yard' I don't mean the glorious American translation of a large well tended garden. Nope. This was a few paving slabs and very little natural light. So what did I do? I took up a row of slabs and planted some bulbs. We stayed in that flat for a couple of years and the sight of those red and yellow tulips each Spring lifted my heart.
I COULD GROW THINGS!
I COULD GROW THINGS!
|Nothing as prolific as this - sadly way before the age of digital photography|
A nearby allotment came up and together we made it our own, complete with a little rose garden. I remember our most prolific crop was 'mouli' - a white Japanese radish that we neither knew what to do with or could give away. Another move said goodbye to that one and by now we were cultivating a different type of crop - our gorgeous girls!
We tried and failed to keep another allotment going, sharing with other families to try and make it more manageable - but the girls being so young and the busy nature of family life prevented us from any long term commitment.
Our small back garden became packed to the rafters with all kinds of everything. I've absolutely loved every minute of the last eighteen years seeing it develop into my own little oasis. But both of us knew it wasn't quite enough. We had been bitten by the growing bug many years before and never quite shaken it off. So when a nice lady from the council rang a couple of weeks ago to ask if we were still interested in taking on an allotment I almost cried!
We had almost forgotten that seven years before we had put our names on the council waiting list. There had been an opportunity to join a site on the other side of town some time ago, but we knew that if we had to make a special journey by car to get there that the novelty would soon wear off.
We hung on.
And it paid off.
The allotment is about five minutes walk away, maybe ten if we take the 'scenic' route along the canal. Unlike our previous plots the soil is a dream to behold - it's been cared for over the last eighteen years and is packed with worms (at this point I realise I might be starting to sound a little delirious). All the ideas that I have nurtured are now becoming possibilities and I'm doing no end of little scribbles and list making.
Not that it's going to be easy.
My idea of a dream shed is this sort of thing.
A quiet spot surrounded by herbs with the scent of sweet peas wafting toward me as I recline on my Cath Kidston cushions to survey the land.
What I've got so far is this.
Perhaps a greenhouse dripping with vines and bursting with the possibility of exotic fruits.
Once we've got it on it's base and it actually has some glass in it.
I imagine serenely wandering through the bug free, organic produce - Alys Fowler style.
You can see we have a way to go.
But it's here.
And it's ours.
And this time instead of taking slabs up I'm putting them down.
|Oh for the joy of a path ...|
So that's what's been keeping me preoccupied of late. At a time when there has been a fair amount of uncertainty and upheaval it's been good to feel that some things haven't changed. And the future is looking a little brighter.
Much love to all of you out there - and a huge welcome to my new followers.
And hello from Oscar - our allotment neighbour.