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Open Day at the Allotments


By macpat


On Saturday July 3rd, our local Allotments held a ‘first ever’ Open Day and I went along for the experience. It was a lovely sunny day and you might guess, I was first to arrive and was pleasantly surprised that there was no entry charge. I didn’t count the number of plots but there are probably 20—30 and all beautifully kept with all kinds of veg, fruit and flowers.
Everyone was welcoming and more than willing to share their knowledge and experience; what a wonderful way to spend a sunny Saturday morning! I wandered round the colourful plots, all of them overflowing with produce. Each section was divided from the next by a grass path and all linking to form a giant patchwork quilt that looked vibrant on this lovely sunny day.

I met some like-minded people and had long discussions as well as, short chats about anything and everything and picked up plenty of gardening tips along the way. I had a long conversation with one of the gardeners as to whether his 6ft plant was Angelica or Lovage; I know it was Lovage but we didn’t fall out about it but I have to admit that I have never seen one so large.
There was a produce stall and within minutes of opening, a queue had formed, waiting to buy all the fruit, veg and flowers on offer and picked that morning.
A small area had been turned into a ‘cafe’ where for a trifling amount, a cuppa and a slice of homemade cake could be had. I sat with my tea and cake chatting with anyone and everyone. By this time, the place was buzzing with people; avid gardeners, going to be gardeners, trying to be gardeners and others who just like to look. There were cameras clicking (none more than mine) and a few bottoms in the air where visitors were trying to get a closer look at this plant or that veg. It was a very successful Open Day and I enjoyed it immensely. I didn’t see a soul that I knew and yet I felt that I knew everyone…gardeners are like that, don’t you think?
Here are some pics taken on the day.

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Good blog and great pictures too :-)

5 Jul, 2010


I agree with Louise, good to see like-minded people sharing their knowledge with others. Vey tidy plots, lovely pink Poppies. : )))

5 Jul, 2010


Lovely blog. I enjoyed it thanks. Looks like you had a lovely day, I would have enjoyed it too. Everything is so slow this year in LA. May brought us a month of wind. June brought us the June glum that doesn't want to leave. Temperatures are below normal, 5 to 10 d. So I'm not only missing seeing everything in bloom by now but missing my beach days too. It seems Europe has our summer this year. Enjoy it, you guys deserve it for a change. ( but I'd like it back soon. :-) )

5 Jul, 2010


Great Post. I think some of the big Shows could learn from this type of 'gathering' if only they wouldn't charge so much for entry and refreshments maybe more people would attent.
Those Allotments are really well looked after and you can see the Pride folks take in it. I can tell by the way you wrote about it how much you liked it:)

5 Jul, 2010


I enjoyed the walk round with you,Macpat,it looks wonderful,and such a nice informal atmosphere too,by the sound of it.Do you know what the pink poppies are called please..apart from poppies,that is.Lol.I have some of these and was wondering what they were...Glad you had a lovely time....

5 Jul, 2010


Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

Bloomer...I know these Poppies as Opium Poppies...they grow in abundance in this area, all self seeded.

5 Jul, 2010


Thanks ,Macpat,thats nice to know..

5 Jul, 2010


lovely kept allotments macpat, your right gardening folk are so friendly arent they, lovely pics to ;o)

5 Jul, 2010


What a brilliant way to send a morning!! A lot of thought went into this, with refreshments and produce sales on offer. Have never known anything similar here, but must look out for any. Many Thanks for sharing. :-))

7 Jul, 2010


Thanks for sharing your day out with us, Macpat! :-) I enjoyed looking around other people's allotments for a change! I have just started allotment gardening with a friend of mine from church. He had 1 & 1/2 allotments but, owing to a serious operation last year, they had got out of hand. He asked me over the winter if I'd be interested in helping him on his allotments I said yes & at the end of March we went down together & started knocking them back into shape again.

In 10 day's time we have an "inspection" for the "Best Kept Allotment" competition. I doubt very much we will win it but at least Gerry won't get a reprimand for having a very untidy allotment this year!!!

13 Jul, 2010


You both have achieved so much this year, Balcony!!! Don't write yourselves off quite so soon! Fingers crossed, and await news.

13 Jul, 2010


Thanks, David! I still have a week in which to tidy it up a bit more but after the heavy thundery downpour of Wednesday evening & a couple of showers since then the weeds will all be fighting to re-establish themselves just when I was more or less on top of them!

I spent several hours on Wednesday morning trying to clean out the weeds, especially bindweed, from the Onions & the Strawberries. The onions weren't too difficult as I'd cleaned them out a couple of weeks ago but bindweed was making its presence felt. The soil (sand?) being so dry it wasn't difficult getting them out while exposing the onions so that they could dry (?) out some more before lifting them in a week or two.

The Strawberries are a completely different story!!! The weeds, again mostly bindweed, get in the crowns of the plants & are extremely difficult to get out. It's a very frustrating, time consuming operation. I've already pegged a few runners into small pots buried underneath them in the ground with good compost. I want to repeat the operation with some more runners this Friday or Saturday. Then in the autumn we will make up a new bed & put them in for next year. I'm NOT repeating this year's experience next year!

15 Jul, 2010


Wednesday was an awful day everywhere, I think, Balcony :-((

I've had similar experience with the other garden I have taken on. Got all the weeds out, but were back in force this week. because of the weather, although to a lesser extent than when I began, so quicker and easier. Hopefully, by keeping ontop of the weeds, as sounds like you are doing, next year will be easier! ;-)

16 Jul, 2010


Perennial weeds will be missing, except for the eternally present bindweed. There are at least 3 different species of it & amongst the strawberries there is a kind that produces very thick fleshy roots & it throws out runners a couple of metres long! I don't know what colour its flowers are at the moment & have no intention of finding out either!

Annual weeds will need to be kept on top of constantly but they are pretty easy to deal with. The other "weed" is horseradish! It grows everywhere & because it produces VERY LONG, THICK roots it's almost impossible to dig out! I spent more than an hour pulling them up from all over the allotment today! I no longer try to dig them out - that will have to wait for the soil to become empty again. But because I've divided the allotments up into manageable beds it's a lot easier.

17 Jul, 2010

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