The Plotmeister has set up a blog and runs articles with titles like ‘Growth of a Runner Bean’ and ‘Blight; Who needs it’ and ‘The Secret Journals of One Mans Battle With Carrot Fly’. He also sends around emails from time to time with tips re planting, pest prevention etc. and general allotment news. The latest included a piece by his uncle Arny in lot 35, who had been a merchant seaman all his life and now had realised his life’s ambition of having his own garden and he wanted to thank us all for making him feel welcome and generating that since of belonging. I didn’t know Arny that well but I heard he was a bit of a comedian and since he took the time to put up his message on the blog, I made up my mind that I would go around and introduce myself, next chance I got.
Another piece blogged was about a competition for the best allotment with a prize for 3k, which I just scanned over and never, gave it a second thought until Noel, my neighbour on the other side, mentioned it to me. Designed to promote biodiversity there are prizes for the novice gardener and the experienced gardener and one for allotment providers and community garden associations and the like.
Personally, I felt the competition went against the co-operative spirit of the allotment plus I had left my competitive Gordon Gekko days behind when I hung up my steal toecaps and donned my sandals. (Of course that’s just a metaphor I had swapped my toecaps for a pair of Dubarry’s in around 2005). But now it was a new dawn, the old system had crumbled, we would now go forth and work together in caring interdependence and for the betterment of the environment and our children. Still three grand was nothing to be sneezed at so I filled in an entry form and I thought of the rallying cry of those heady days that drove all my endeavours – If your not in you can’t win.
In truth, I wouldn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of winning, the pigeons have seen to that, plus the potatoes did seem to wilt somewhat, why I don’t know, the corn has already bolted, there is as predicted a bumper crop of peas alright, but the ‘A’ frame structure I built to support them is barely holding up and as predicted they’ve got mangled in the netting to keep the boids away, and there is one other small problemo – a thistle along the boundary line with Noel. Noel might have a shot at the Novice if he sorts out the thistle. But if anyone is deserving of first prize in the experienced gardener category it’s our Jimbo. He has everything lined out and squared up; has blackberry and gooseberry bushes all netted in; has cabbages the size of a Swiss ball; carrots surrounded by the Berlin wall, totally o.t.t.; the juicy strawberries of course, and not a weed.
Plus with the Plotmeister at the helm organisation on the allotment is first class. It’s kept clean and tidy; the grass is trimmed and no shacks, sheds or shanty’s so beloved of the tea-drinking-gardener-variety allowed; giving it that tidy graveyard without gravestones look. We might even be in with a shout for the overall category.
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