A challenge on the allotment

I’ve often believed there are many different kinds of intelligence, and it follows that there are also many different kinds of stupidity. One kind of stupidity that I exhibit is a complete inability to build things. For example, the obelisk I got for Christmas is still in a half-built state because after an evening of shouting at the poor inanimate object, I gave up and drank wine instead. And I’ve been doing so ever since.

I said in my last post I’d be getting a greenhouse ‘far into the future’. I’m a great big liar. I decided to get a modest greenhouse on the allotment on Thursday and had many challenges to overcome in addition to this personal impairment of being terrible at building things. I had to carry the box to the allotment for one thing, because I’m afraid of modern technology (including weedkillers and electric tools, but that’s a story for another day) and don’t own a car. I’d read the box weighed 8kg, which is about as much as a 4 month-old baby. No problem, I thought. I’ve carried plenty of babies before, I’m the eldest of six children. I didn’t really factor in the principle that babies don’t tend to be shaped like huge boxes, so I was tired after reaching the allotment.

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The idea was to use part of the ‘ignored’ section of the allotment that I’m allowing to do more or less what it wants. When you’ve got an allotment of this size and you’re only one small person, I think this is wise. So my first job was flattening out all the nettles and grass, which I did using quite a sophisticated ‘put an old cardboard box on it and jump up and down’ method.

I felt intimidated by the instructions, obviously. Yet another challenge was that my allotment’s on a hill, so I was always going to have a bit of a Leaning Tower of Greenhouse situation going on. But the base is secured to the ground with pegs at least.

Things were going well until I came up against my final challenge: my height. The greenhouse is a lot taller than me, and I don’t own a ladder because I’m too stubborn to admit how short I am. I managed by jumping around a bit. I was glad my new allotment neighbours weren’t around today to see this. I think I scared them off with my enthusiasm for burning weeds.

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And in a relatively short space of time – under an hour, anyway, I had a greenhouse! It hasn’t fallen over yet. If that proves to be a problem, I’ll secure it to the fence or maybe to the ground. This particular greenhouse is quite good value for money at £25. I ordered it from Argos on Thursday afternoon, it arrived the next day, and delivery was FREE. I’m fairly pleased with that.

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Testing out the heat inside the greenhouse

So yes, although the greenhouse might not be mega-useful this growing season, my aim is cut down on transporting young plants from the greenhouse outside my flat all the way to the allotment by starting things off on the allotment itself. I’m nervous that the greenhouse will be attacked and destroyed after previous incidents on the allotment, but the neighbours have a polytunnel and chickens that have remained undisturbed, and it’s fairly obvious that I’ve not got anything valuable in there.

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The rest of today’s allotmenteering was just the usual weekend and watering. Might get the weedburner out again tomorrow. I felt very content on the allotment today, with only the Best of Bowie and the occasional visiting free range chicken for company. If anyone made a ‘best bits’ of my life so far, I think a good 60% of it would just be me working away on this maddeningly difficult but very rewarding patch of land in Northumberland.

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3 thoughts on “A challenge on the allotment

  1. For someone with zero plant skills the size of the allotment fills me with awe!
    I am also happily imagining you still shouting at your obelisk and drinking wine since Christmas – bravo.

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