Saturday, 10 July 2010

Allotment

Gooseberries. Three little bushes, unpruned, overgrown, entangled with bindweed, and yet so generous!


The small red gooseberry bushes are laden with fruit. These are all I picked today, but there are so many more yet to harvest, with the usual mortification of the flesh that gooseberry bushes, with their fierce thorns, like to inflict on the picker.

Thorns hadn't deterred the wood pigeons, who had already stripped the large and prolific green gooseberry bush of almost every single fruit. Maybe being overgrown, entangled, etc. saved these red ones.

I am planning my farewell to the allotment, marking out those plants from which to take seed heads, roots or cuttings, dividing and potting-up the buckler-leaved sorrel and the rhubarb, regretting leaving the little pear tree, with its first-ever fruits, but definitely not regretting the indestructible couch grass.

The peas, beans, beetroot and potatoes are coming along nicely, despite a late start for some of them; I may even get to harvest them before I move. There are strawberries, a few red and black currants, and a carpet of sorrel.

In the wildest corner, with its mixture of nettles, pulmonaria, lemon balm, a salvaged rose, many weeds and some tough, tall perennials is the burial place of three of my old cats, under a mossy stone, long overgrown too, and no longer visible. A place that in life they would have loved.




I'm ready to leave the allotment behind now. It taught me much about my ignorance, failings and lazinesses with regard to 'proper' gardening, and my blind optimism and sudden bursts of energy; I won't be quite so over-ambitious in future, and I will be more methodical. Standard gardeners' promises, I know!

I will remember it with great fondness; therapeutic after my mother died, when my evenings were suddenly free, soothing to a stressed working woman with too much on her mind, and humbling in its ferocious demonstrations of Nature winning every time. I'll exchange it for a tamer garden, but hope that I can recreate there the peace, the soft wildness, the spirit of sanctuary, that my unruly but beloved allotment represented.

11 comments:

judy in ky said...

I hope you will find many years of peace and sanctuary in your new garden. The cats will probably love it, too.

Susan said...

Was wondering about your date with the Nettles - we here at Black Street have a "way" healthy crop of them and they do attempt, always, to take over. A flame thrower is on my wish list xo S & les Gang

farewell tiny pear tree

Fran said...

Red gooseberries? Okay. New one on me!

the veg artist said...

A lovely thing to be able to do - to take good memories with you and leave the weeds behind. Your plants will love it, further down south. Have you drawn up a plan for your new garden yet? Will you have room for a greenhouse?

We need details. Details!!

frayedattheedge said...

It's always exciting to work in a new garden - especially in the spring when all sorts of plants appear!!

Isabelle said...

Oh, I think you should take a teeny clump of couch grass to remind you of the allotment...

moreidlethoughts said...

Don't listen to Isabelle. Nooooo!

Marie said...

What lovely-looking gooseberries...

I envy you your new adventure and garden and space.

May great good luck accompany it.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

For Heaven's sake hang on to your blind optimism and sudden burts of energy . Every gardner needs plenty of both !

Rattling On said...

My red gooseberries are coming along much better than the green ones. The birds have been at the only two ripe raspberries...
We have left behind several pets buried in assorted gardens, it was the only difficult part of leaving. But there's so much to look forward to, and someone else will get pleasure from your allotment.

Planet Penny said...

I love gooseberry jam, but my one and only attempt to make it never set, and it's supposed to be one of the easiest. I've not been about for a bit and have only just caught up with all your news. It's very exciting, and Somerset is a lovely county. I look forward to hearing all about move and send lots of luck! Penny x

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