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It’s time to say goodbye! This is going to be my last blog for a while because I’m preparing for exams, so it’s a case of ‘something’s got to give’.
I came dangerously close to giving up the allotment as well since we have raised beds for vegetables at home, but an eleventh hour reprieve came from an unlikely corner. The words of protest from my husband fell on deaf ears: his job is more than full time and at the weekend there are so many demands on both our time. But the lone voice that persuaded me to keep things going was my 15-year-old son. It seems that so many of their childhood memories are bound up with relaxing on the allotment. At least he should be allowed a stab at keeping it going with Dad. How could I refuse?
The truth is that there is a time and place for everything in life and since I’ve been doing my course I’ve found that whole chunks of my day get swallowed up. So, we will be trying our hand at ‘collective farming’ over the next year and we’ll wait and see what happens.
Luckily, I am neither territorial nor a micro-manager, so I really don’t mind what they plant. We’ve agreed that the next step is to make a few labour-saving improvements. One half of our plot already has bark paths (good for beetles) which has really helped us to cut down on maintenance, so the remaining grass paths on the other half will be covered over with the same to eliminate mowing or strimming.
The amount of permanent beds will be increased, so we will have more artichokes (can one ever eat too many?) to accompany the long asparagus bed that came into its own this year. Both are delicious and highly ornamental.
At the moment we only have autumn-fruiting raspberries (mostly ‘Tulameen’ and a few ‘Autumn Bliss’, both excellent), so we are going to plant some summer ones as well. I’ve also given over one large, long bed to dahlias, which also occupy a permanent place, so that too is accounted for. New additions to the dahlia bed this year included ‘dinner plate’ dahlias, which as the name suggests are implausibly large. My neighbour on the plot, thought them very vulgar and showy, which is precisely why I love them! ‘Otto’s Thrill’ is a pale pinky-orange. ‘Babylon’ red is a tomato red, while ‘Babylon’ purple is a beautiful magenta red colour.
If I’m very lucky the Central Committee for Agriculture may plant some of my annual flowers for the cutting bed I had planned, but for all I know they could be planning to dig the whole lot up and plant nothing but potatoes!
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