Saturday, 26 January 2013

Win a Prime Lot

To quote the Bristol's finest wordsmith:

"Every dog has it's day, and today is woof day. Today, I just want to bark"

Well, woof day was actually 2 weeks ago but it's taken me this long to bark about it. Yes, having demonstrated my ineptitude with a humble garden, I've now got the key to an allotment!

Many of you will have been here before. The joy followed by the fear. 

This is a big thing, make no mistake. On the one hand, no more cramming the onions in next to the raspberries, it's time to get some order in my veg. On the other, it's goodbye social life hello nagging guilt that I'm not keeping up with the Tom and Barberas...

Actually, no I'm not that foolish. I've learnt that I'm not the kind of guy to turn down a pint on a Thursday night, or even Monday night for that matter. 

Knowing this and having avoided allotment waiting lists for that very reason, I've pushed my way to the front of the queue. Yes, I've pounced on an opportunity to help work colleague Sian who, having won allotment newcomer of the year soon hit that 'difficult second year'. At the same time I apparently managed to cajole another work colleague to cover my lazy days.

With the need to up her gardening game Sian sought help. It just happened to be at the work Christmas party meaning I had hazy recollections of all this and was no doubt at my most enthusiastically vulnerable. 

However, my colleague Andy of divine comedy post fame couldn't remember a thing. Couldn't recall agreeing to help. Couldn't recall agreeing for his wife Emma to help, as I found out when I bumped into her with new born Dillon and congratulated her on allotment as well as baby...

Oh but it's a good plot, especially if you ignore the shadow of the 4-lane flyover next door. It's in a vast well kept allotment, with a direct view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the roar of Bristol City supporters in the background. Albeit rarely.

So far I've been good to my commitment, have got my hands dirty weeding and as thanks have been  treated to a leek. 

And today, the first signs of rhubarb appeared, something I've never grown. Although there is a lot of hard work ahead, I'm hopeful that between the four of us we can make this the finest plot in all of Bristol. Yeah, that's right, I'm already eyeing the other plots with a competitive glare...isn't that what modern allotments are truly about?

Actually no, for now I'm in the honeymoon period. I'll be calling on all of you with allotments for advice and ideas in weeks to come but for now we need your help identifying this. Digging up the weeds we keep finding this bright white silly string deep in the soil. Haven't a clue, but we assume it's bad? 


little-beginnings said...

hey congratulations Tom! join the club of allotment newbies - we can be Hapless Allotmenteers together! Mandy x

Jono / Real Men Sow said...

Wahey, congrats!

Enjoy it, and if you need any of my admittedly limited advice, let me know.

And rhubarb is awesome.

VH said...

Congratulations, Tom, and good luck. I am sure it will soon become Bristol's finest allotment.

linniew said...

To begin, that item is just a deteriorating shoe lace. So no worries. But I am so pleased for you and your new undertaking! Here we have something called 'community gardens' but it seems to me much more casual. I was astonished to see what seem to be greenhouses on some of the other parcels? My goodness that is serious. But keeping the pints on Thursdays and maybe Mondays will help, & that along with your clear gift for growing-- better create some wall space at home for the awards!

Hapless gardener said...

Thank you everyone and I look forward to sharing the adventures with you, although VH we've got some tough competition on our hands!

Linnie, honestly there's lots of this white stringy stuff, we think it's a fungus! And yes, people go to great lengths to tart up their plots. There's definitely a future post in that! There are a few community gardens/orchards in Bristol too and I'm hoping to find out more soon. Friends and I went to a Wassail to bless the apple tree at a community orchard, complete with morris dancers. now that truly was an odd British day out!

Margaret said...

Congratulations, hope you enjoy your allotment, it will be hard work but rewarding. As for the stringy stuff,is it some sort of root? whatever it is I would just get rid of it

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.