Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Your allotment in life

The first jonquils are coming into bloom, the magnolia is budding, and it is wet, wet, wet.
For two weeks I rested from cold to wake up and find all the leaves gone and bare trees.
In the garden, I have moved the Chatham Island Forget-me-not to a new home in the back border, as it was being forgotten and eaten by caterpillars underneath the red Busy Lizzie.
Some maidenhairs are now nestled in the rock garden.
Basalm is being trialled in Sock's Bed.
Swan plant had been bashed by the rain and leaning at a dangerous angle. I have placed a rock there to stabilise it. My sweet peas are coming up and finding their way, I suppose I shall have them forever, as one of my most favourite flowers.

I read 'Minding my Peas and Cucumbers' Quirky Tales of Allotment Life.  I am glad I do not have an allotment, we don't really have those in NZ, but a real backyard. In the UK, people get put on years long waiting lists to have one, and the minute they hit the jackpot they have to start cultivating it so they don't get pulled over by the allotment police, who check if weeds are growing. If the plot is all weedy, they can say "Sorry old chap, looks like you not growing anythink, we will give it to the next person who needs an allotment."
This makes for some interesting subterfuges and skulduggery and even sabotage. If you can't get your own plot you can offer to be a co-worker for someone else, but then they get all the credit and possibly most of the produce. Hmm.

If you are working full time, you have to fit in your allotment around weekends and evenings, so the pathetic sight of someone desperately working their garden at night is not far from reality. If their allotment is not worked, well, they gonna lose it aren't they? Some tips are handed down, like, if you have weeds and can't be fagged pulling them out, (or whatever the Brit term is) just cut the tops of them so at least they don't go to seed, and then your plot may be passed by the allotment Police. Then bring in reinforcements, like strawberries and cabbages, so it least LOOKS like you have a garden.

The piece de resistance is to have the most giant cabbage and win the blue ribbon in the Allotment  vegetable contest.  Also you must never tell anyone your garden secrets, lest they steal your glory. You aim is to have the plot that everyone will envy. Then you can smugly say, while talking to your office co-workers as they ask you what exciting plans you have for the weekend, 'Oh working in my garden' and they will go "Cor, you work full time AND do a garden, I don't know how you do it, you model worker you." And then you can smile your smug little smile and pass around the kale chips. Nobody else brings kale chips to office parties, everyone else has store bought pastries and diabetes inducing cakes.