Our Allotment
Our Allotment

Our AllotmentWe have had some minor successes at growing our own vegetables in our rather small back garden. Last year we tried growing courgettes, spring onions, lettuces, sweetcorn, parsnips, carrots, broccoli and potatoes along with some herbs, amongst other things.

Most worked out quite well, except for the broccoli for some reason. There were some restrictions in our small garden though as the whole area was paved over a few years ago. This meant that everything has to be grown in pots and a single raised bed. The carrots and parsnips didn’t really have the depth they required and so turned out a bit small but they were still nice.

There’s something really rewarding about picking, cooking and eating something that you have grown yourself.

So in about August last year Shirley put our names down for an allotment. There was a waiting list so we weren’t expecting to hear back for some time…

Then in January we got a phone call offering us a plot at Turners Allotments, which is within easy walking distance for us. We jumped at the chance and are now the proud holders of our own allotment.

To be honest I was expecting a completely overgrown mess that would take ages to dig over to get ready to start from scratch. It was a huge bonus to find that the allotment was already in a good state. It’s even got a shed! There wasn’t much to do straight away just a little tidying up and a bit of hoeing to get things cleared up a bit.

There was even stuff growing already. In fact we have already picked and eaten some sprouts from the plot but not sure we can really say that we have grown them ourselves yet…

The plan is to try and find half an hour or so a day, or as often as possible, to just walk over to the plot and see what can be done. It’s only about a 5 minute walk each way and with the added work while we are there this should count as some well needed exercise. Then hopefully we will also be able to reduce how much we spend on fruit and vegetables.

Already there are a few great positives but one thing that did surprise me was the price. The yearly rent on our own little piece of garden is only £15…

Yes that’s for a whole year! There was a one-off joining fee of a couple of quid and another few quid for a key to the padlock on the gate but all in all it’s incredibly cheap for a whole year of gardening fun.

Oh there was one extra charge of £25 for the shed but that is much cheaper than buying a new one. Unfortunately the roof has a bit of a leak but I need some little jobs to keep me active anyway…

Now we just have to wait and see what is already growing on our allotment and decide what we are going to plant…

Image: Pete O’Shea


Gary Crompton

Hi Pete,
You’ve got an allotment? Christ you’re getting old!!! Ha ha!! I must admit, I wish we had some sort of a garden so I could grow my own vegetables but we’re pretty useless at keeping plants alive so not sure how successful we would be!
I’m sure you’ve had a look round the web but came across this site which you may find useful http://www.allotment.org.uk/
Hope you’re both well. We’ve got some news to tell you (no we’re not pregnant!) but going to keep it secret for a little while longer…

    Pete O'Shea

    Hi Gary,

    Growing stuff is still new to us but from the little experience we have veg seems pretty resilient so it doesn’t even need that much looking after. It must be a bit different when you have to remember to water stuff every day over there in Spain, otherwise they just shrivel up and die…

    Yeah I have already come across that site thanks.


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