Friday, 24 April 2015

Allotment Anxiety

There's a slight optimism up at the allotment that the worst of the hard work might be over. After weeks of digging, weeding and hoeing, things are finally calming down and starting to take shape.

The strawberry plants are starting to flower, the artichokes are thriving, the rhubarb is poking through and we're seeing signs of radishes too. Yesterday we also planted nasturtium flowers to add a bit of colour to our patch. Apparently, so I'm told, you can also eat the flowers - they make a peppery addition to salads. We'll see if they actually grow and flower first! We have also constructed our pea wigwams which felt like an exercise combining elements of both Blue Peter and The Generation Game.

I admit I have developed a slight allotment anxiety. We have spent so many weeks now clearing, preparing, sowing and tending that I'm now becoming quite impatient. I want things to happen! Despite the rampant strawberries and the beginnings of rhubarb, everything else seems to be a bit shy and retiring. As we are complete novices, all we have to go on are gardening books, the internet and Monty Don. Monty has gone down in my estimation quite a bit since he made planting asparagus look so easy and quick on the telly. He didn't even break into a sweat or swear.

Our seedlings are being well tended to but only the radishes are making an appearance so far. Or are they just weedlings? Time will tell. We think we did the right thing by the potatoes but again, we don't have an expert gardener on hand to prove us right (or wrong). It's all just a waiting game now and it makes me uneasy! The rest of the allotments are now a hive of spring time activity, full of people going about their business with the confidence experience brings.

One unexpected turn of events this week: The rhubarb we planted appears to have asparagus growing underneath it...the asparagus we planted is in the other half of the same bed. If you are a glass half empty person, this news means we wasted a lot of energy planting our own asparagus when there was some already there. If your glass is half full, we have ready made asparagus to pick and enjoy this year while ours does its thing...

That's the trouble with taking on someone else's patch. You're never quite sure what is lurking under the surface, if anything at all...

You can follow me on Twitter @GraemeN82 

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