Our Allotment

We just got ourselves an allotment next to Bole Hill Park. It's beautifully positioned, on the side of the hill (North-West-facing, unfortunately, but a nice view out towards Stannington) with houses' back gardens to two sides so it doesn't feel quite so secluded and open to vandals. It's also pretty big - maybe about 15m x 7m.

It is, however, in need of a bit of work. A neighbour told us over the fence that a woman owned it not long ago, but he was a fairly old guy and I think his "not long" must have been at least a couple of years. Anyway, apparently this woman didn't do anything except put mats down to kill off the undergrowth and leave it at that. So most of the plot is a field of grass and dandelions, with overgrown hedges weaved with brambles around the edges. Food-plants I managed to track down included a couple of patches of rhubarb and the biggest sage bush I've ever seen. I'm sure there are more there, but we'll probably have to wait for them to come to fruition before we know what.

So for this year, we're not expecting any great returns from the plot (but lots of fun). We removed a strip of turf and planted a couple of trenches of seed potatoes, which are apparently great for breaking up the soil (which, by the way, seems to be of excellent quality).

At the back of the plot are the rotted remains of a monolithic old Victorian (?) greenhouse. Completely collapsed, although it's built on low brick wall which although a bit wobbly should still be good (we plan to put a polytunnel on top of them). In its heyday, the greenhouse had both heating and irrigation, and all sorts of pipes run around inside it. It's hard to make out exactly what it's like inside, because the whole innards are piled high with collapsed woodwork and glass, old plant pots and chemical containers, bits of bramble and weed, puddles of stagnant water, and god knows what else. It's going to be quite an archaeological dig getting into it.

And just behind the greenhouse is a shed, in almost as bad a state of repair. On the roof of the shed is an unused reel of razor wire - ouch - that should keep those bastard kids out (don't worry, we don't plan to use it - it's illegal to anyway).

So we spent a wonderful day in the awesome April sunshine (I came back mightily sunburnt & with a touch of sunstroke - definitely cream & hats next time), digging, snipping, and planning what might be.

Emily Beth in the allotment Greenhouse Shed Fungus
Pond Greenhouse Zebra spider Land girls Sage
Dolls Ruth Allotment activity Lola Door handle
Lola Cath Potato trench Lola and Gill Rhubarb
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