Very close to becoming a gardener

The Allotment in January 2006Well I am very, very close to becoming a gardener. I have paid my 75 pence and become a member of the Golders Green Allotment Association. Miss Sinclair is a paid up member and one week away from getting my plot.

Went up this morning to meet the Allotment Secretary so he could show us where the garden would be and turned left at the shop. What a plot. 25 metres long and five metres wide. Chock full of weeds, but there has been protective layer of carpet and plastic over most. Some couch grass surging through of course. But it looks promising. The shed is a political issue. Of course, and I do have to share with the current owner Jana, who has worked a third of the plot already. What I hadn’t bargained on was having to share with my husband. He has become more enthused than I am. And I feel engulfed. He has strong opinions on raised beds, what to grow and how to weed. And like a fragile flower I have crumpled under his strong opinions. This is my idea I squeak. I have worked on this for months, and years. And just knowing that someone is going to object to my designs has felled me. Tears already.

But to be positive. The plot is long and very well positioned. It has two large fruit trees (wait unit summer and you will find out what sort) two dilapidated compost bins, lots of thistles, couch grass and a threat of bindweed. The last ten metres at the end belongs to the current owner, Jana, plus her shed.

There is evidence of raised beds on a quarter of the plot. So if I can lift those planks I may be able to salvage them. No idea what the soil is like – but I found a fat juicy worm under one corner of the carpet that I dared to lift when David Braeburn was showing us around. Naturally a soil testing kit is something else to be added to the list of Things To Buy at the Garden Centre. I’m going to try and keep to a budget for this wonderful hobby. But naturally expensive tools are something that one can’t avoid.

We went to the little shop at the entrance to the site (what a cornucopia of products) to fill in the form to join the association. And it was so solemn that I felt like I should have been dubbed with a branch of couch grass to induct me into the world of gardening. One week to wait and it may be mine.

David is so fired up about ‘our’ allotment that he even consented to watch a gardening programme over dinner. He managed about fifteen minutes before Alan Titchmarsh’s antics really put him off. We turned over to Big Brother instead. I guess you have to get used to the man. Not going at him cold like poor David did. I get the feeling he will prefer the austere and dictatorial tone of Monty Don. But I don’t think I can get him to fall for another programme for a while.