Winter wasn’t too cold, as winters go. Snow was thin on the ground but it was cold enough if you’re planning on gardening. I wanted to put fruit trees on the allotment, but as it wasn’t readily dug in the area that I wanted to put them in, I was resigned to leaving it for next year. However, I had a few days off from work and Hubbie agreed to help me.
This bit should probably not be read if you’re a horticulturalist – I purchased a load of bare root trees from a well know supermarket! Two each of Bramleys and Coxes apples, two Williams pears and two Victoria plums, along with gooseberry bushes and raspberries. It was a bitterly cold day and I admit to layering the thermals! We dug as quickly as we possibly could and in an afternoon, managed to plant all of the ‘sticks’. Time would tell if they will grow.
As I write this mid May, the final tree, a pear, has just come into bud – odd as the other pear was the first of all eight to grow leaves! I have one raspberry that remains defiant – I will leave it go and see what happens over the next year! I’ve also purchased additional raspberries, gooseberries and a blackcurrant bush from various shops that sell goods all at the same price – being all or a penny less than that gold coloured coin – you get the gist! They have all grown, but the proof is in the eating, so I guess we won’t know if they’re any good until the fruit has matured.
During the summer of 2014 a letter arrived. It was a long awaited letter – 6 years to be precise, and we had almost given up hope. It was a letter from the Town Council informing us that there was an allotment available, should we want it?
We went to look at it…
Yes, it is entirely covered in Couch grass. However, it has a view over Mounts Bay and nestles on a little site that has it’s own little micro climate. In other words Hell meets Heaven!
We borrowed a petrol strimmer from my Dad and my Husband spent a couple of days cutting the grass. I then set to work and started to dig. The ground was a carpet of Couch quorns, under which a mat of thick roots lay almost a foot deep. I would go for a day once week and clear about a four foot square patch. It could have been incredibly daunting had I let it, but rather than focus on the enormity of the task of clearing this 13 by 7 metre patch, I told myself to be proud of what I had achieved that day and that after each visit the dug patch was bigger.
It is important to mention here that I have a degenerative hip condition, which could possibly have put paid to clearing the site at all. Indeed at the start, I was in a lot of pain. However, I was in a lot of pain everywhere! and I found over time that as my body got used to it and I strengthened my muscles, my hips became less of a problem at that time.
It is very daunting being a newbie on an allotment surrounded by others, who probably have years of experience. I needn’t have been though. The other allotment owners have been absolutely amazing in their encouragement and I am very grateful to them for making me feel so welcome :).
I finally had to give in to bad weather at the start of November. I had cleared about two thirds, which was far more than I had anticipated.
next….I next went back up there at the end of February when it was time to start planting fruit trees and bushes….