A very lucky number

Is it weird that I’ve always had feelings about particular numbers? Some just seem friendlier than others. Perhaps it’s associations with family birthdays or old house numbers but I always know when a number feels good. I get a very warm and fuzzy feeling about this number. I could tell you it’s because it has a lucky digital route of 7, but then you’d really begin to worry about me. It would make much more sense to tell you that 124 is the plot number of my new allotment. In this case probably any number would have felt good as you know my sad tales of gardening on the bathroom floor.

On Tuesday this week I visited the local council offices to confirm that this is my little patch of earth. Actually the first that’s ever been mine, unless you count the little bed behind an apple tree when I was about six years old. A stylish little area, home to sunflowers and my design triumph of an upturned section of a drain which served as a raised bed, ideal  for trailing plants. My Dad was always fond of gardening, though a Sunday afternoon often meant the bold approach of cutting a new 1970s-style curvy rose bed in preference to doing anything very earnest like weeding. I was daddy’s little helper. I still can’t smell tomatoes without picturing a hot summer with a greenhouse filled with such a glut that we let our guinea pigs feast on the ripest fruits.

So what can I tell you about plot 124? As you can see, it hasn’t been cultivated for some time and all the rainy days have produced what’s best described as a jungle of weeds. On my first evening of tenancy I was so excited to visit my plot that I ran up to the site straight from work, so my dress and ‘lady’ shoes weren’t quite the right attire. It was so overgrown that I could only stalk the perimeter  of 125m square of chest-high weeds, pondering what might be within. I just stood and looked at it with a silly smile on my face for quite some time.

The next evening I was better prepared. I strode forth purposefully in jeans and wellies and prepared to enter. I had to be quite careful, placing each foot down gingerly to discover what might be under the weeds. After a while I’d stumbled (literally) over a small tool store, a compost container, a bottle of slug pellets and several wild raspberry canes (thankfully thornless). Several other lot holders passed by during my expedition into the unknown, uttering helpful phrases like “you’ve got a bit of a project there”, and “if you find treasure buried in there, it’s mine!”. They’re a great bunch of people. Already I’ve been loaned tools, given heaps of advice and even presented with a bunch of the most beautifully scented sweet peas and honeysuckle.

As a new tenant, I get a helping hand to start me off. The council take an industrial strimmer to the plot. I was lucky enough to get this done last Friday, which meant I could spend all Saturday playing. It took just over four hours to clear two square metres properly – only 123 square metres to go. It’s no coincidence that the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was google ‘rotavator hire’. I had hoped to be heroic and enjoy the process of hand digging the whole plot but I fear the weeds may be back in force before I can achieve anything meaningful.

I don’t really mind how long it takes to sort things out, it’s my little(!) patch of escapist heaven and I shall fall asleep dreaming of sheds and raised beds for many weeks to come.



Filed under Growing

11 responses to “A very lucky number

  1. Hi Jenny, im so happy for you and that you have finally got your allotment. Its so exciting thinking of all the things you can now grow with your own large space. Im looking forward to reading all your allotment adventures!

  2. Bec

    Yay, so glad you finally got your patch, I was going to start writing letters to lobby on your behalf.

  3. I would love to have a veg plot in my garden but I have a bit of a mental block about gardening so I shall be reading avidly to see what you do.

  4. Sarah Jane Lloyd

    I am so happy for you. Our garden is my place to think and to just enjoy being part of nature. With the birds singing and the sun on your back there is no better experience. There is of course the weeding and planting to do but make sure that you take the time to just enjoy being in your own heaven.
    Good Luck with your plot and have fun.

  5. Glad you’ve finally got a plot. Happy cultivating!

  6. DianeM

    I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to see your patch progress…enjoy!
    Smiles, DianeM 🙂

  7. Pingback: A happy question | The Button Jar

  8. The allotment looks great. I’ve had mine since October, it’s hard work but very rewarding – good luck!!


  9. Congrats on getting an allotment, may I offer some advice for clearing it? Clear a bit, then plant up or sow it before you clear another bit.
    That way, you can see that you’ve got fruit/veg/flowers growing and you are spreading the planted/sowed up bit outwards, rather than having a mammoth planting/sowing job just after your mammoth clearing job.
    The bigger plants will also help keep the weeds down a bit.

    • Very good advice. I’ve started clearing and have managed about six metres square. Now I dream about sheds… Never thought I’d say that! Thanks for your ideas. Jenny

  10. Jenny, this is so wildly exciting!!! I can’t even think of a good comment! *throws confetti* JPx

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