My excuses for abandoning my allotment for a few days are generally reasonably good excuses, in fairness. It’s rarely because I’m just too lazy – I did abandon it last year briefly because of the hospitalisation etc., which is a great excuse, and this time I was on holiday to indulge one of my main hobbies besides gardening: I went off to Donegal to learn Irish.
Not a bad place at all, really. I had a fantastic time, met some great people and improved my level of Irish so I can understand maybe one word in 20 as opposed to my previous one in 50. I examined various gardens on my way and concluded that it’d be really difficult to grow much there at all, so maybe I won’t be able to emigrate once Britain goes under post-Brexit (sorry, I’m almost over it after a month. Actually, no I’m not at all, it’s terrible). I will certainly be going back though, it was brilliant.
But what of the allotment, you cry? Worry not. I was lucky enough to get the help of a very kind friend while I was away, and she kindly watered the plants in the greenhouse. I only took a quick look today during my allotment reunion because it gets so hot in there that it’s really uncomfortable if you can’t be bothered to zip the door up, but I have some very healthy aubergine and pumpkin plants. Who knows, I might get actual fruit!
I was amazed by how quickly the beans and parsnips have shot up in the 10 days I was gone. It’s like the allotment’s waiting for me to have my back turned before it does the interesting stuff, after months of me waiting for things to finally bloom.
This is the bit I’m happiest with. I mean, look at it. This is exactly what I had planned, with the eight ‘obelisks’, four in each of the two areas, each area containing two sweetpea obelisks and either peas or beans diagonally opposite. I had no trouble with the Lord Leicester peas (pictured to the right), but everything on the seven other obelisks struggled at one stage or another. Most of the beans failed to germinate, the first batch of the other peas died off, and the sweetpeas seemed to take ages to actually get going, but now they all have and I’ve got this massive supply of my favourite flowers. Possibly my favourite, I’ve never really thought about that before. I like snowdrops too.
And best of all, the bit I was most nervous about – the survival of the sweet potatoes – seems to be all fine. They’ve grown and developed vines as they’re supposed to, possibly aided by the good weather Britain apparently had while I was getting rained on in Donegal. But more on the happy survival of the sweet potatoes later on.