Hertford Avenue Allotment Open Day
Eager to see what’s going on
We trundled down to the Open Day around 1pm, expecting there to be a bevvy of burgers and cakes for us to chose from.
Keith the BBQ man
No such luck the place was packed and most of the foods had been consumed, however we did manage to scoop up two sausage buns and chicken. The latter had been sourced locally and marinated in a spicy chilli which was most yummy.
rice salad with chive flower heads
Two salads had been laid on, one very interesting with chive flower heads to decorate and eat, I bravely popped one in to my chicken burger and must say it was very delicious and has become a firm favorite for future Summer salads. All four meals came to £8, a snip for Sunday lunch.
All cakes gone ;-(
My two children pounced on the last two cakes left, so mummy had to just smile and sup on a nice refreshing glass of water, until everyone was ready to explore through the allotment.
Money raised from the various sales which included raffle tickets, sales of plants and food, went towards general maintenance of the allotment.
At times they have had to prune trees back due to too much shadow and then insert drainage due to too much water logging. The trading shed has also had to have money spent on it, due to vandals damaging the roof upon trying to break in.
The Trading Shed
On the matter of the ‘Trading Shed’, if you have a nice patch at home that you grow things in, you might be interested to know that if you join the Barnes, Mortlake & Sheen Horticultural Allotment Society which is very cheap,you can get heavily discounted seeds from the shed, without having to have an allotment, details of which can easily be found on facebook here.
A story to tell
I met a very charming gardener called Keith, who also happened to be the BBQ man.
He has had his allotment for approximately 5 years. Keith is heavily in to re-cycling and up-cycling all and any materials he can find and told me the ‘cycle’ of his allotment which tickled me pink.
As you will see, at the back of his patch the tops of the bamboo poles to support various plants have champagne corks on, ‘a time in his life before children, social life abundant and champagne a plenty’, we also moved on to a golf ball as a topper, presumably ‘a time ‘before children’ when golfing could be easily fitted in’.
We move then on to CD’s to scare away the birds, which is a great idea, ‘a time ‘before and with children.”
Moving on swiftly to the stoppers being very colourful plastic baby food lids, ‘a time ‘now with children’.’
Ending up with a lovely bit of re-cycling, using a babygate on the seedling shed, then a proud display of a small floral garden made by his now 4 1/2 yr old daughter, a baby also soon on the way, so now doubt another small bit of ‘lifes history’ will be added at some stage.
Keith, both BBQ man & storyteller
Champagne corks of a life before children
Golf balls of a life before children
CD’s of a life both before & with children
Baby food bottle stoppers since life with children
Babygate upcycled to protect seedling area
Lovely pond which houses newts
His 4 1/2 yr old daughters flower garden
We all took a walk down the allotment, from one end to the other as you can see it is quite vast, the picture only depicts a portion of the space used.
I noticed many things on my walk, one being that there were many areas of small tables and chairs set up, some by the river, some under pergolas and it was obvious that great friendships had been struck between allotment owners as they sat chatting and drinking a bevvy.
There were also families, I could hear children by their own small little plots discussing the various things they had planted which was just wonderful to witness.
Below I am highlighting in a gallery some of the flower shots I took, one of my favorite things to capture as you might guess.
If you click on the photo twice, it will bring up an enlarged version, there will also be an arrow which will allow you to scroll through the whole gallery to see the floral display in it’s full glory.
Scarecrows were found everywhere, of which I took some photos.
There was a competition to make the scariest one, I do not know who won, which one do you think the scariest or best and why?
Different plots reflected the character of their owners too, some I found very ‘arty‘, some very ‘minimalist and functional’, some very ‘socially orientated‘, some had birds, some ponds, it was very varied and interesting to view.
I finished off the day a little sunburnt but happy to have been given the chance to peruse this green space saved for hard working green fingers.
If you wish to apply for an allotment you apply through the Council, there is a waiting list. Apply here.
If not and you just wish to enjoy the facilities when they are open, the next ‘Open Day’ will be in September so watch this space 🙂
Thank you as always for reading/viewing.
© Justine @ LivinginEastSheen.co.uk