Mr Propagator has had a case of the flagging-gardening-mojos recently, so it seemed like a good idea to participate in his meme ‘Six on Saturday‘ with a batch of interesting stuff to re-ignite his enthusiasm. Sadly, it has been a struggle to pick six new, inspiring or pretty plants/projects from our garden this week, so I’ve taken the easy route and I am going to show you somebody else’s efforts.
This week I had a socially-distanced get-together with gardening friends on their allotment. I love allotments, even though I don’t have one nowadays. They are usually exciting melting pots of cultures, thriftiness and creativity. This one turned out to be no different.
Although we ended up stamping our feet, huddled deep in our coats, clasping self-prepared thermos flasks of hot beverages, we had a lovely chat and I especially enjoyed poking around their, and the nearby, plots to check out some fun and inventive allotment ‘furniture’. That is what I am sharing today …
1 The Shed
Allotment sheds are often a distinctive feature of the plot, frequently decorated in jolly bunting or painted bright colours. My friend’s was of the latter persuasion:
I didn’t get to see the inside, but since watching a Gardener’s World episode ages ago where someone was distilling gooseberry hooch inside a shed, I’ve imagined slightly interesting, if dodgy stuff going on whenever I see them.
2 Bird Scarers
To keep the pigeons off the plot, you’d think! So this suspended plastic bird, looking rather like a pigeon hybrid, amused me:
It seems to work though.
3 Protective Cages
Apart from specifically made hoops, rods and connectors, there are a lot of inventive bits and pieces that can be used to to make frames for netting the vegetables (typically brassicas and lettuce). If you want a cheap frame for a walk-in cage and you happen to be a plumber, this one made of piping looks like a deluxe version:
Extendable too! I’m guessing the owner is an inveterate tinkerer.
4 Canes and Safety
Meanwhile, I get the feeling that this allotmenteer has probably learnt from experience that canes are an accident waiting to happen (as I know for myself). Every stick or cane on the plot was topped with an empty drinks can, jam jar, yogurt carton or lunch-pack juice bottle. Interestingly, there are no (terracotta) flower pot toppers though.
BTW Ball pit balls work well too and you can’t miss them.
5 Raised Beds
Most of the plots had at least one raised bed to show. My friend has nicknamed hers ‘The coffin’ due to its now distorted shape (mine are doing this too – not thick enough planks I guess). The adjacent plot appears to have a rather more robust, but lower, jaunty two-tone affair (to match the shed I suppose).
6) Composts and Containment
There are often communal bays for compost, but most plots have their own modest constructions. Many of these are made from pallets, but a fair few plots used ready-made plastic jobs.
I like this final view along the central allotment path. It showcases many typical features of the plots. It somehow makes me want to get stuck in. In fact, things look remarkably organised and rigorously delineated at this site. Although, there are still the usual arguments over encroachment, water access, weed spread etc by the sounds of it. So maybe not utopian, more like distilled life perhaps?
Hope you’ve enjoyed this quick wander around my friend’s plot. If you’ve got a favourite bit of inventive, useful allotment furniture I’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, if you click through to Jonathon’s blog there will be plenty to inspire you.