You know what it’s like: you wait ages for a new garden and then two arrive at the same time. Unlike the proverbial buses, however these gardens don’t require me to choose one over the other – I’m hopping on both and seeing where they take me. One garden has arrived courtesy of a house move and – joy 0f joys – is ‘ensuite’, which means we can walk straight out of the back door into the garden, unlike our previous detached garden which was sited up a narrow communal path behind someone else’s house. Luxury. The second garden is an allotment, which we were lucky enough to get just after we moved in. The home garden is in quite good shape and – although rather too well-provisioned with hydrangeas and hostas for my taste – that means we can take our time and mull over any changes in fairly leisurely fashion. I’m not sure I’ll be patient enough to follow received wisdom and wait a whole year though!
The allotment however does need some attention and today I paid my first visit, tools in hand.
My main goal was to do a recce, and cut down the raspberry canes. I’m taking a punt on them being autumn fruiting ones – time will tell whether I’ve made the right decision!
The plot is a bit overgrown but beneath the grass I discovered we’ve inherited one or two nice things, including a clump of rhubarb and a couple of fruit trees. Digging around, I came across a label identifying the larger tree as a Cambridge Gage Patio Bush plum. This, the RHS website tells me, is ‘a compact, partly self-fertile gage with excellent flavour. Use both as a dessert and cooking variety.’ Nestling nearby beneath a domed tent of netting, I spied a trio of other soft fruit bushes. I’m hoping they are blackcurrants, which is what I was planning on putting in anyway. A few less plants to buy!
The other thing we won’t have to spend money on is a shed and composting bins, since these too have been left by the previous tenant. The shed, Marie Celeste style, is still crammed with tools and various bits of horticultural jetsam. I’ve yet to explore properly, but the bounty featured a decent fork, watering can and a kneeler. The tools will come in useful as the plot is too far to walk laden with heavy forks and spades and the like. I’ve reinstated the plastic gutting and restored the shed to a vertical posture by popping a few concrete blocks underneath (the concrete slabs also being a ‘freebie’ from the plot).
Having chopped the raspberry canes (another nice inheritance), I couldn’t resist grabbing a fork out of the shed and doing a bit of clearing. Another pleasant discovery: the soil seems light and easy to work – a welcome change to the heavy going on our last plot. I’m looking forward to my next visit already!