Phew! What a relief it was when we handed back our allotment keys. It turns out I wasn’t cut out for allotment life after all. I had the time but not the desire and my fellow owner had the enthusiasm but not the time.
This is where, when it comes to it, I choose to spend my time when I want to be outdoors.
My co-owner has a full-time job and a two year old daughter. I have a tendency to sit about not doing much and prefer to do that in my own garden rather than toil on the allotment.
We never got on top of the bindweed and couch grass. Probably because we didn’t go often enough. Apparently an allotment in summer needs 3/4 visits of hard work and watering per week, not one visit every 3/4 weeks. Goodness me.
Luckily my garden is so closely planted that weeds aren’t a problem.
My visits had been popping to the plot, gazing in horror at the devastation, pulling up a shrivelled radish and quickly popping home again.
The guilt at my reluctance to get a grip haunted me daily like a looming exam. It was a decision waiting to be made and I just put it off and hoped it would go away.
So when we got the letter saying we had failed the Council inspection we didn’t hesitate to say “Let it go, let it go”. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders and I could sit here with a clear conscience.
The list of things I ought to be doing and am not doing is already quite long so now I could cross weeding off that list. (Just leaves learning to cook, doing some Pilates, phoning my Mum, writing a regular blog, reducing my Twitter addiction, etc etc)
So what is the moral of this story?
Well, it could be that however much you wish you were a certain kind of person, if you are in reality not that kind of person, then the truth will out. Necessities apart, we do what we want to do. We vote with our feet. Although I fancied the rugged outdoor life in theory, in practice I prefer the “popping out the back door for a bit of a potter around” life.
19 comments on "Allotment life – fantasy and reality"
You sound an awful lot like me!
That’s good to hear, thankyou. Let’s sit down and have a cup of tea while reading a magazine about jobs to do in the garden. Hmmmmmm
My absolute favourite post of LCG ever! As ever pragmatic, honest, and because of those two things – really really useful. Thank you Julie ❤️
Doesn’t matter how often I hear it, I STILL need reminding that life is too short to have guilt about what we haven’t done that isn’t essential – and trying to be someone that we aren’t.
Your garden is so beautiful, in the way you have built it up and reflects you xx
Oh! I didn’t know! I passed by and did wonder if….if maybe you had come to that decision. Well, at least you tried.
You have a beautiful garden at home already!
Oh weeds! I can’t count how many times I have weeded out my ‘flowerbeds’ and the hoop house. Trick is to crowd like your back yard which is lovely and beautiful. Some day….
Hi Beverley, I am lucky with few weeds but maybe you’d like to look at a blog about weeds today at Middlesized Garden blog by Alexandra Campbell who also has a You Tube video thing.
Best decision. At least our friendship survived (maybe even grew with the experience!) 😊
I’m glad we tried, and I’m glad we decided that our busy lives didn’t need more stress and guilt… now let’s enjoy that light feeling for a bit! 🤩
Agreed, and you can have another go another time. Glad you liked the blog…xxx
It’s far braver to admit you were wrong than to keep going with something that’s not making you happy. Too many of us stress about what we feel we should be doing rather than want to do.
Oh thankyou for your comment. I am so glad I wrote that blog. It just came to me and I felt I needed to write it. Constant battle to take pressure off ourselves I think, altho being fundamentally a lazy person I do have a head start on that one!
I think too many of us feel too much guilt about all the things we should be doing. We need to let go of the things that are not bringing us joy, and not feel guilty about them. Good for you. You are a great inspiration for others.
You must always do what you feel is right for you. It was tried, tested and you, quite rightly, walked away. I recognised your feelings as I read your post and in many ways identified with them. I think if I had my own garden again I too would hand in the keys. However, when I’m there I feel happy and contented. What I truly miss is pottering just outside. Mainly my hurdle is having to drive to the allotment, it’s not a moment thing like “I’m just going to do a spot of dead heading”. With winter coming, I’ll put it to bed until Spring and see how I feel then. Enjoy your lovely garden.
Great article. Would love to do a video interview with you for my YouTube channel if you are up for it. https://www.youtube.com/growyourownsjc
Ooh yes I’d love that. You can see my blog piece about being on BBC Sunday Morning Live in August. Where are you based?
I’ll second (or third) those who have congratulated you for giving it a try then being honest enough to conclude it wasn’t for you – and for writing about it. Your post will make interesting reading for anyone else who is wondering how much effort and care is needed – all too often we just see pictures of baskets of vegetables and flower posies.
Oh thankyou so much for your comment. Yes the whole point of writing about it was to speak to others who may well feel the same. I knew I wasn’t the only one to have had the fantasy but not the effort needed to make it happen. And yes, endless pics of fruit and veg. How on earth do they manage it??????
Wish more people would do this.
I’ve been on allotment waiting list in Worcester forever. When I’ve visited a friend’s allotment, Ive been horrified by how many are overgrown with brambles and haven’t been cleared or planted for a good couple of years. This is down to poor management of the allotments. Life happens and it’s not always possible to juggle everything without dropping a ball. The right thing to do is to hand the plot back to free it up for someone else.
Oh I’m sorry to hear you want an allotment and can’t get one. I agree it’s very unfair if people don’t have the courage to admit it’s not for them and let someone else have a go. I do hope you get one soon and do let us know if you do. Best wishes, Julie
What a pain to be waiting and see others not value their plot. I do hope you get one soon, do let us know how you get on. Thankyou for your encouraging comment. It means a lot when people take the trouble to write one. Best wishes.