More Shabby than Chic - The Allotment

I've been spending some time in the Allotment garden lately.  I managed to get some  timber last year to make a raised bed and then I found some more this spring.  They may not be the prettiest raised beds, but I've done my best to compensate by decorating a little bit.  To be truthful, I'm a lazy gardener.  I've always believed that gardening should be fun and not a chore.  One part of that is to be able to sit down, look over your work and contemplate the next steps, while sipping a cold drink and munching on something chocolate.

One of the first things that I did when I got the Allotment was to scrounge a few pallets to make a deck of sorts.  I stapled some dark material on the underside so that weeds wouldn't get through and then I put some old deck chairs on there.  The deck chairs were nice, but my mom couldn't use them, she chouldn't get up.  So I tried to find a pretty table for next to nothing, but just found a battered, ugly Ikea one, but it had to do.  My mom had bought a folding chair and I brought one of mine that wasn't in use at the moment.  I think I may need to put a tablecloth on that table and then the whole setup will be very nice.

When my husband and I were clearing out the garage the other day (I didn't actually throw anything away :) I had to do something with this monstrosity of a candle chandelier that had been hanging there (and regularly falling down) on a nail.  It was left over from the garden decorations for the wedding and I didn't have the heart to throw it out.  It really is kind of cute, but I don't have any place for it at home.  The perfect solution, of course, was to take it down to the Allotment and hang it in a nearby tree.  Just to make things a bit more homey.  I would have loved to be able to build a shed, but the Allotments aren't big enough for that and we don't have permission for it anyway.  So I'm doing the next best thing: Decorating nature.

I also do some more serious gardening.  I spent the national holiday down there building a compost heap out of pallets and wire hangers.  It actually took all of fifteen minutes to put it together.  The rest of the time was spent cutting up perennial weeds (minus roots) and shoveling shit (sorry...manure).   And then watering everything and covering it, hoping to start a turbo compost factory.  And I dug up a lot of weeds, some of which I'm going to use for dye.  And then I watered the plants.  We have had a long dry spell with sun.  It's been wonderful to have to water.  Sometimes June is very wet.

I allocated a part of the space to some dye plants that I sowed this spring.  I have japanese indigo, woad and weld and madder and one rather lanky coreopsis.  I should sow some more.  I also need to sow a bit more salad and stuff.  I always make the mistake of not sowing regularly.  But lettuce, spinach, radishes and even beetroots can be sown quite late and it's often better to sow a little every week or two than to sow a lot at one time.  Or so I prefer to think when I'm running a bit late with everything.

Of course I could buy new things for the Allotment, but there is something extremely satisfying in reusing stuff that is destined for a landfill.  And, please, if anyone knows of a good way to use wire hangers, pass it on.  I really hate to throw them out but I'm not ready to iron his shirts either.


  1. Oh the chandelier is lovey. Beyond lovely. Really lovely. I'm going to look for one for one garden. Yes I am

  2. This one was black and ugly when we found it. Spray paint works wonders!

  3. I finally managed to get a hold of some Alkanet seeds recently - nice of the seeds have germinated so I'm really hoping that I'll be able to start a good patch. Have you grown it before yourself? Any tips?

  4. No, I haven't had any lusk in finding seeds of Alkanet. Let me know how you get on with that.

  5. Úps - that should have been luck


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