Thursday, 12 May 2016


What a changeable week we've had, glorious sunshine one day, wet and stormy another. The changeable weather certainly reflecting my changeable enthusiasm for the allotment. What was meant to be a few hours family bonding time at the lottie, became a frustrating few hours ending in agonising pain disheartment.

While I was hospital we received a letter from the committee regarding the lack of cultivation and slow progress on Plot 47. We took advantage of the good weather on Sunday to try to rectify the situation and took the barbecue up to the allotment so could make a day of it.

I don't know about you, but I like to set myself 2-3 jobs to do each visit, however I find whenever we go to the allotment with all the little P's, I seldom complete all my jobs.

My jobs this time were to (wo)man the bbq, supervise the planting of the rest of the potatoes and planting seeds in pots. All jobs that I could do sitting down. I managed to complete 1 out of my 3 jobs and had to spend the best part of the following 3 days laid on the sofa recovering!!

The little P's were asked to help clear bricks and restack them neatly, sort own raised beds, work with Mr P to sort a bed on 47, fill pots with compost and plant the potatoes under my supervision. We split the jobs so they each had 3 to do. They did really well and managed to complete 3 of their 5 jobs.

Mr P's jobs were to tidy the greenhouse, general tidy across both plots and sort 1 bed on 47. He managed 2 and a half of his jobs, finding a metal barrel buried a foot into the ground and its plastic lining had shattered and ended up covering the bed.

We got the bbq going and set to tidying the allotment. I sat around sorting a mixed bag of seed potatoes that we saved into Charlotte's, Desiree and Pink fir, before starting to cook. I found I couldn't sit to do the bbq and had to stand, first mistake of the day.

KP moved onto digging shallow trenches in the bark while the rest of the Little P's finished tidying. Second mistake showing her how to dig the trench using a rake.

So food eaten and very well cooked even if I do say so myself. 1 job completed, time to get the potatoes in while Mr P carries on clearing a bed on 47. Third mistake of the day, bending down to pick up the Charlotte potatoes and then again to put them in the trenches. Only 1/3 of the potatoes ended up planted.

As I leave KP to start heaping up the wood chips over the potatoes and plan to start planting seeds with CP, I notice that JJ and Bob are starting to argue at the opposite end of the plot. JJ who normally loves being at the allotment wants to go play with her friends round the corner with Bob. Bob wants to be helpful and finish her jobs, plus is hot and bothered after helping Mr P empty a waterbutt that was in the middle of the bed he was clearing. Mistake number 4 charging to the other end of the allotment to intervene in the heated discussions.

Next job get CP on task again and get her weeding her bed. She decided she wanted to replace the peas the slugs had eaten and plant her own beetroot. Mistake number 5 bending down to help her scatter some fresh compost around, but rectified by asking KP to abandon potatoes and fetch a chair.

At this point we all decide we have had enough. We let JJ and Bob go play, KP and Mr P start to tidy up and I go sit down. Mistake number 6, I can't get back up off the chair and struggle to walk back to the car.

Once finally home, I can not lift my right leg to get up the stairs to have a lie down and spend the rest of the day unable to move off the sofa. I realise at this point that I made sure the Little P'a were wearing Sun cream however I neglected myself and my shoulders were sore. Mistake number 7!

Seeds which really need to be planted have not been planted. There are now dozens of Sharp shards of plastic littering a bed that should be ready for planting. I was left useless for days only just really recovering today. Top that with the fact that there is an ever increasing chance we will be receiving a further letter from the committee, I do not know if am not well enough for the next committee meeting to plead my case.

Today is the 2 year birthday of this blog! I looked back at how excited and enthusiastic I was about my allotment and all the plans I had. Some worked, some fell flat on their backside and others never got off the ground as with everything in life. I don't know if it is the pain, frustration at my body taking too long to recover or the feeling of little support from my fellow committee members, but today it is a chore, one which I am not fit to do and no longer want to do.

I apologise reader for not being my usual jovial self but the weekend left me very dejected and wondering if it really is worth it!!? Maybe my next visit will renew my passion, right now I am losing hope. :'(

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you are happy digging.


  1. Interesting blog. It's so satisfying to grow your own fruit and veg. I'm a bit past an allotment nowadays and have just removed the raised beds from the garden, but still have a little amount scattered amongst the flower borders. My family kept pigs on an allotment many years ago.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Taking on an allotment was not a decision we made lightly as we knew it would take a lot of our time. We have a typical extended 1930's terraced house with a postage stamp of a garden. Before the allotment we grew onions, parsnips and carrots amongst our flowers. We had tomatoes and courgettes in a grow bags and potatoes growing in a sack on the decking. The tomatoes would regularly get a bashing from the Little P's playing ball in the garden and we battled to keep our pet rabbit off the carrots. We needed somewhere else we could grow more produce, where the children and pets wouldn't damage them.

      I'm not ready to completely give up on the allotment but feel it is important to be honest and write about the triumphs and the challenges. Right now I am finding it hard going. I am not a patient person and after 4 weeks including 10 days in hospital, of mostly bed rest, am desperate to get back out there. The weekend proved that I have to sit still and continue watching day time TV. I am finally able to concentrate and absorb books, so have 2 gardening books at the ready.

      Thank you for reading #MsRix and thanks again for your comment. :)

  2. Are your committee aware of your blog? If so, then they should certainly take into consideration what has been posted here. Allotment Committees are not just about ensuring that plots are cultivated. They should also ensure that the community works to help out in situations where issues have cropped up. On my allotments the Committee, at times, has organised "working parties" to help out allotmenteers who are experiencing difficulties.

    1. Hi Dragon, my committee are aware I have a blog but I don't believe anyone has read it, if they have they have not mentioned it. I had a very interesting conversation this week with the Chairman of the allotment association where my school has recently taken on an allotment (you can tell I am on a downer as haven't written about it). He is aware of my situation and suggested different ways of implementing 'working parties' for me to take back to my committee at the next meeting I can get to. He essentially suggested exactly what you have written and ways of getting people to sign up to it.

      It takes a lot to get me down, but sadly my experience on Sunday broke me physically and mentally. Knowing this is only a temporary condition helps and I know the people on the committee are lovely, it's just disheartening when you are not up to scratch and can't do anything about it.

      I know that on previous plot inspections I've attended if someone is unwell we push for leniency but really what is needed is help to get back on track. I am a worrier and have probably been worrying unnecessarily as usual.

      Thank you for your support and advice.