Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The allotment without me

This is a super huge catch up post and boy does it make me feel all the feels. I'm embarrassed and ashamed as Andrew has done everything himself, I'm proud of him, I'm sad that it doesn't interest me and actually being there causes panic, and I'm amazed that the plots around us are in such a wild state that it feels so pointless to even try - is this all a waste of time?! ~ an allotment blog
plot just before ours - ggrrrr
So Andrew and I were coming home from a trip to Belfast on Sunday and he needed to go in to the plots to get some food for us. Ahh, sneaky - that got me there off guard for the first time in months. I could have stayed in the car but I walked down, just with my phone and had a wee look. Here, this is proof that I was in fact, literally there - ~ an allotment blog

OK so this is the first born plot, the original and the best. The one that once won 'Best Allotment Garden' and which this blog was all about for a long time. It still feels like the important one; there sits the shed, the benches, the compost bins, the soil there has my blood, sweat, tears and adrenaline in it from those first exciting months of allotmenteering.

what you can see here: (with thanks to Andrew typing these lists!)
* left side - courgettes, sweetcorn, broad beans, french beans, mangetout
* right side - kale, kohlrabi, purple sprouting broccoli, garlic, beetroot, parsnips, carrots, spring onions, turnips. ~ an allotment blog
standing at the entrance to 24a

Okay, so it's ours too; in fact is was gotten under my name. However, the blackberry, rhubarb, poppies and roses are the only things I ever feel a connection with. Andrew has worked so damn hard over there but the asparagus has failed (I saw one frond) and I have been too ill to use the rhubarb this year or look after any flowers.

Good new is the woodland area trees are looking good and there is a nice wee under planting of herbs. I forgot to take a photo but hey, these are all terrible phone photos anyway :) ~ an allotment blog
back half of 14b ~ an allotment blog
a tidy up and this would show some nice flowers and many to come
We have thought often about giving this half plot up but when you think of the money pit it has been and the hours of work to get it to this stage were food is growing it breaks your heart. Plus 3 sides of it are coming down with weeds up to my thigh height with mostly grasses, nettles, dandelions and other unwanted seeds constantly floating over - arrghhhh. ~ an allotment blog

I only managed about 5 mins there this first time and then I had a panic attack and had to run to the safety of the car. Thank goodness I have been taking my hayfever medication though, it could have been deadly!

So far this year we have been eating *

broad beans
spring onions
potatoes (grown in big pots)
mini carrots

With much love and hopes for more blog posts (and much better photography) to come,
Your Carrie xx


  1. don't feel ashamed hun, you can't help not wanting to spend time there anymore, I felt. like that last week, I just didn't want to garden at all, so I didn't, and just did indoor jobs and decorated instead. ;) but it is a shame when anxiety stops you from doing things you used to love/ enjoy. My hubby also has anxiety and used to have regular panic attacks until he got medication from the docs now the garden is his favorite place to be as it gives him something to focus on as it's an ongoing project and he can be out there as long as he likes :) x

    1. my anxiety pretty much rules my life and with the depression, it generally means I don't get to go out a lot. I have medication but after many years it doesn't work quite as well. I am determined to get back now and then to help my hubby, but we are also starting a journey back into camping and hiking. Nature heals as long as we are rested enough to let it.
      Thanks for your comment and friendly words xx

  2. If I understand how allotments work, getting another would be a real bother if you gave this one up. Meanwhile, little areas can lie fallow under a bit of attractive mulch at any time. It is obvious that Andrew enjoys the work, appreciates when you are up to doing a bit, understands when you do not. It is a destination, even if you just sit in the car. Salads, vegetable dishes and an occasional pie are worth the effort. I hope at some point those around your plot are inspired by your outcomes to resume digging and planting.

    1. Jean, you are so right! There is a terribly long waiting list for allotments here and it would be a shame to put to bed all the incredibly hard work we have put in over the past 8 years. It was just a bare field when we began. I will get back to it in my own time and yes, I hope others are disciplined by the council or indeed inspired by those of us who do value the ability to grow our own xx

  3. (at least, if they are not weeding, they are not, actually there)
    but yes - it would be nice if people who HAVE an allotment actually used it a bit.
    Andrew's hard work looks good in your pictures.
    And Maggie?

    1. oh it's been like this for many years, in fact we (yes we!) received a warning letter from the council before the start of the season! I think however that most people just don't realise the work involved but it's strange how they can simply pay yearly fees and the council doesn't do anything. I wonder at the amount of un-enforced warning letters were sent out...
      Andrew's work has been fabulous and thank you for asking about Maggie - she's just great and will feature no doubt in my next post xx

  4. We have plots on our site that are unloved and untended but people seem to hang on to them

    1. oh it annoys me that the enforcement rules are not in any way followed through :( There are many people who would love an allotment or even a half. If it's just one year that the plot is abandoned (people do have life changes) that's fine but the ones beside us have been a mess for 3 or 4!

  5. Well done to both of you. It's been a difficult growing year so Andrew has done well for you to eat such a variety.
    There are plenty of untended plots on my site, and about which the council does nothing.
    Take care, Flighty xx

    1. Yes, Andrew has been disheartened a good few times throughout the season so far but he always bounces back. Oh why does the council follow through with their own rules?
      Hugs x

  6. Your plots look fab, and Andrew deserves a medal - but so do you for getting out, and writing your post. Thank you Carrie.... it's much appreciated. There are many, many people who share the debilitation of anxiety and depression, and just a few like us are lucky enough to find peace and healing through gardening and allotmenteering. Keep going, one day at a time. Enjoy the fruits of harvest..... do your peas ever get home? We eat them as soon as the pods start to plump up. Can't wait... they are little pockets of heaven. Love Mary

    1. Mary, I can't thank you enough for your understanding and encouragement. I'm so glad that ecotherapy and what I call allotmentherapy is finally starting to be recognised for the positive therapy it is. I am truly a one day at a time girl, well I'm a one hour at a time girl! Peas get eaten off the plant, even by the dog, haha, but we are quite good at restraint, most of the time ;) xx

  7. There's something absolutely lovely at the idea of going to your plot to pick up (dig up?) food ;-) I'm sorry you now have panic attacks at a site that had brought you so much joy and pride and accomplishment.

  8. What a shame that you are unable to enjoy your allotments - Andrew has done a Stirling job, the plot really do look in super nick. I hope you are feeling well at the moment, nature is a great healer. Take care.


Please leave a little nugget of happiness in the form of a comment - don't forget to put your name at the end if using 'anonymous' setting x