Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A Demanding Mistress

I feel a bit envious looking at others' plots. Not for their productivity, sheds or sheer green-fingered talent on display although that does come into play. No, it's more for the love they have for their allotment. Me? I have a love/hate relationship with ours; sometimes I feel our lottie is a demanding, expensive, time-robbing harridan who expects much but delivers little.

I think I've had the allotment for four years (and yes, she is mine, that has been made clear), making this my fifth growing season. I guess it's a bit shameful that I can't quite remember.

When we took her over, after a relatively short wait, allotments were not quite the Thing to have as they appear to be now but were, I guess, just becoming fashionable. Oh yes, that's me, on the cutting edge. When I told a friend about my plot, her response was How old are you? Trends come and go and I'm currently regarded with envy when I mention the A-word.

Despite the lottie's new stellar status, she finds herself today competing with more cuter, lovelier, expensive demands which bestow far more than they ever take so it's a bit of a one-sided contest. She has been well and truly neglected during the two pregnancies and subsequent newborn periods we've been through since we, I, became allotmenteers.

I have nearly walked away from my allotment-affair many times but something - perhaps the hope that one day she will be the plot of my dreams -has kept me there, working away.

Through our bad patches I'm never able to watch Gardeners' World, pick up my allotment books or even think too much about her. Guilt hangs heavy on my shoulders and she becomes another thing on my To Do List, another chore. Although I have thought about hanging up my trowel and walking, sheepishly, away I keep thinking it will get easier, our youngest are growing, soon they'll be at school.

So that's where we are; I keep plugging away, caterpillars, mice, pigeons keep feasting and weeds keep growing. I think maybe that's why I've not visited lottie this week, despite it being An Important Time in the allotment calender. Cold feet. But visit I will, hoping that something veggie-like will eventually grow. Hope springs eternal. I think that's what I should've called this blog.


  1. I know what you mean. We have so many things that need sowing and so little time (it seems) to do it. As for allotment envy, I think we all get it. I look at your blog and think - "Ooh, raised beds, how lucky to have them!" and I wander round the plots near us and admire/envy other people's patches. Someone even has a full-sized fruit cage, a greenhouse AND a shed (with a real front door - letterbox and all!)
    Onwards and upwards, I say!

  2. I think plot envy is kinda part of the fun a lot of the time. If I ever walk down our site and see nothing that inspires me then I'll start to worry! :)
    My biggest problem is having so much to do and so many plans I sometimes waste time on the plot flitting from job to job not finishing any of them. I'd love to be able ot pause the growing year for a few weeks to let me catch back up.

  3. don't worry about the bouts of neglect, just keep getting back to it. eventually the littler ones will be able to help, or at least be trusted to sit and do some colouring while you get on and things will be easier.

  4. You are doing great: Caring for the kids in a loving way, and gardening for your own therapy. Flowers? Food? They are just bonuses. Do I sound like a grandmother? I am. :)