We love our allotment. We love being allotment people.
But today we’ve let it go.
We’ve realised that we are just not keeping up with the weeds and the work that it still needs to get onto an even keel. It’s taken us a while to admit this as we took it over two years ago and have put a lot into it.
Apparently humans are the only creatures who keep something which is no longer the best option available just because they’ve put effort into getting it.
We cut down huge hedges. We built a doorway. We cleared big areas of turf. We shovelled tonnes of manure (the top soil seemed to have gone missing when we arrived). We cut down a large cherry tree that was blocking the light. We even had a good year of crops.
Some of my happiest times have been spending time there. Away from the screens, the chatter and the rush of life. Somehow it feels like another, secret little world. Where you work the dirt and make stuff grow.
But in the last year with our little one arriving, we’ve spent too little time there to keep up. The brambles are encroaching, the dandelions are spreading beyond the paths, and the beds are barely detectable.
So it was sad but we decided we would retreat to our garden for the next wee while. There is still some space to grow things and we are more likely to get it done.
But we’ll miss the quiet pottering. The ramshackle constructiveness, and the slow, steady determination that allotments and allotmenteers have. And the local, friendly community that you find bumping into people in the pathways and the allotment shop.
Today we migrated our raspberry plants (which have not really taken off yet, so are still small enough to move around) to our kind neighbour’s plot for storing until we have made a new place for them in our garden.
Then we took the last of our tools and left our little plot behind.