After a call to Mr B a few days ago I still wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to be getting in terms of a plot. I had a feeling that perhaps the complicated story that needed to be explained in person was perhaps actually the simple hypothesis I’d come up with myself, but I didn’t want to assume, or get my hopes up.

So I went down to the allotments first thing this morning to meet the previous owner and get this all straightened out. The grass is pretty long down there and so my insufficient gardening shoes were already drenched by the time I’d got to the plot. Mr B is hard core and had been out in the allotments since the early hours – even though the village had had a random heavy snowfall first thing. It didn’t stick, so I’ll just have to believe the reports of the others who had been silly enough to be awake at that time.

Anyway, as I had just about dared to hope, yes, I was getting the square plot – the one with all the brassicas and bean poles in it. Mr B was moving on as the plot next to his had come free, meaning that he could now extend out sideways, rather than have a very long plot that required a bus journey from one end to the other.

We discussed my need for a gate to get into my plot and Mr B offered me his old garden gate; he was happy to help me out with that, but in the meantime I had the spare key for his gate.

That afternoon I went back to the plot with Mum to measure up and to take my first steps onto the land. Thus far I’d not been inside the fence and really couldn’t tell what I was getting. The first surprise was not horticultural though, but rather architectural. Since my morning visit Mr B had put a gate into the fence for me, so I now had my own entrance. What a star.

New gate

We measured up – 30′ x 40′ or 9 x 12m, whichever you prefer – and had a good poke around. I was already making a mental list of the things that I wanted to tackle. There’s a lot to do down there, but taking on a previously occupied plot (rather than abandoned scrub) gives me the perfect balance of a big overhaul, but with nice soil and not a complete infestation of nettles and dock. Just a partial one. While there will indeed be digging parties, for which I will be hauling in friends and family, there’s enough work down there for me to get started on my own. Brussels and cabbages to pull up, nettles to evict, a compost heap to renovate, numerous trip hazards to find and remove, be they canes, posts or twine.

From the front

From Braeburn corner

From Shed Corner

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