The roots

HELLO.

Before I start rambling about allotments, this being the first post and everything, I thought I’d write about how my obsession grew. Also, I don’t actually have the allotment yet, so this gives me something to write about.

It started with a chive plant, way back in the summer of 2013.

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He was called Clive. I bought him from the supermarket because I was cooking some recipe that demanded chives, and I couldn’t find anything ready-chopped. So once I’d used some of Clive, I didn’t really know what to do with the rest of him. My kitchen doesn’t have any windows and I didn’t want to just chuck him away. It was then that I remembered that I have a balcony attached to my house. Clive started to live there.

Clive started looking lonely. Around this time, lots of the shops were selling cheap plants (mostly because they were a bit dying) and gardening stuff. I love a bargain. I picked up this mini greenhouse for about £6 from Wilkinsons, and the plants inside it for very little indeed, as they were in a state of some death. However, at the very least I got the plantpots for cheaper than I would have done had I bought the pots without dying plants in them. So I didn’t mourn the ones that did die too much.

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Then I thought it might be nice to have a go at growing a few vegetables, rather than what I could rescue from the local shops. By September 2013, my family were gently reminding me that it’s healthy to have hobbies other than gardening, which I don’t entirely agree with. Clive had very much died by this time, but I replaced him.

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Then by May of this year, most people had just accepted that I’d become a bit obsessive.

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I’ve had some success and probably more failures so far. I’ve failed at growing carrots, radishes, onions and garlic. I’m still not sure about my cauliflowers and to what extent they’ll be a success, and the same goes for the leeks. I’m managing with potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries, though, and hopefully I’ll have some aubergine and butternut squash plants, unless all the seedlings die. I’ve been enjoying this trial and error way of learning quite a lot, although a container garden like this can be quite a lot of work. Here are my two main successes:

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While I’m enjoying growing things on my balcony more than is entirely emotionally healthy, as you might be able to tell from the photos, the balcony doesn’t get a huge amount of sunlight, which is one limitation. Another, of course, is space (along with my fear that the balcony might collapse if I add more vegetables). This is why I put my name down for an allotment roughly 7 months ago. Because I said I’d take literally any allotment, and because I’m in a fairly sparsely populated area, I provisionally got an allotment just yesterday! On which, much more later, as that’ll be the subject of this blog.

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