Monday, 22 February 2010


Many of you will know that about a month ago our allotment plot was destroyed. We had not been the first to have had our plot torched. About seven years ago a handful of plots on the site had been torched. Early this year two other plot holders lost theirs, and I also learned from reading a local newspaper that two other plot holders have just had their set alight too. Unfortunately one of committees spokesman eluded that the fires were caused due to poor fencing implying that it was external arsonists at work, which I think is not so. As a matter of interest, not one of these plots torched belonged to committee members, their family or friends. Take my plot, snug between the Treasurers and the Presidents plot and neither of theirs had been scorched by the roaring flames. Would you not agree that this is interesting?! All I can say ‘hand on heart’ is that we have been open, honest and kind to people at the allotment site, where we have seen misdemeanours we would say so, where we may have noted unreasonable behaviour we would say, so much so that other people who did not have the confidence or courage of their convictions would come to us for support, D had even joined the committee in October. I think us standing up and doing the right thing has cost us our plot. There is so much wrong with this private allotment site, but one of the major issues are some of the committee and long term residents think they are sitting on a site worth millions and are just biding their time for when property developers make an offer. Hence don’t really care about what is going on the site.

I know D is still very upset about losing the plot, but I can only speak for myself. I am still really hurting, for the loss of the plot, the hut, the tool shed and the plants too. Those that did not survive such as my beautiful lemon verbena that was in the greenhouse. The loss of the growing plants too, that I cannot bring myself to go there and harvest such as: leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, beetroot and my first lot of nine star perennial (white) broccoli. The daffodil shoots will probably be out too. We had accumulated so much gardening stuff. In the huts, spades, tools, the hoses, various sized seed pots, recycled materials, rolls of netting to keep the pigeons away, issues of Grow Your Own and Kitchen Gardening magazines and various other bits that amount to hundred of pounds. Of course I know all of these things are replaceable, but it’s the small garden related things that my nephews gave me, some handmade, that hurts me the most, they are not replaceable.
I know some of my fellow blog readers mention karma, and my mother often mentions something similar too, but a number of life experiences have made me unsure about such things for a while, and this experience has reinforced that even more. I am trying not to be negative but to keep a positive outlook, but it really is not that easy as small incidental things provoke me to close tears. For example, take this lunch time I walked over to the local supermarket and was reminded that Jerusalem artichokes were in season. In this supermarket they were costing £1.50 for 3 that is ridiculously expensive. This angered and frustrated me inside. If I had the will, I could go over to the allotment this evening and dig up a bucketful from my plot, but the truth is I don’t have the heart to go there. I have no love for the place or the people there now.

I was advised by fellow blogger to get in touch with the local council and explain the situation and maybe they would look at my case sympathetically. I did and the Allotment Officer advised as there are long waiting lists, I should basically stick to where I am as it is better than having no plot at all. I completely disagree. There was no understanding at all. So I am hesitant in registering at an alternative site right now, especially in this area. I may change my mind in the future, but right now I am just don’t have the motivation. Instead when good weather dictates, I will put that energy of growing into my tiny garden plot and pots. However, this does not mean I won’t refer to times at the allotment plot, the vegetables and fruit I grew there. We both have fond memories of our time at plot 11 and 45 and will remember them, but now to have some sort of closure on this matter, I share with you a film I made of the plot this time last year. Just follow this link.


  1. Reading your post makes me feel very sad. The plot looked like a great one, and you had obviously both invested time and love into it. Please have faith that your next plot is just around the corner and that things will be better.

  2. :-( I am so sad to read about your beloved plot being wrecked. All that love and sweat you put into it only to be destroyed by some pratts! I hope you enjoy growing veg in your garden just as much - we enjoyed growing in our garden immensley last year.

  3. Lovely plot you had there, I enjoyed the video. So sorry for what has happened there.

  4. It's such a tragedy, it's so hard to believe anyone would do such a thing. It looks like a real home too and all the hard work and love that obviously went into it. It must be so hard for you, but guess all you can do is try and move on.

  5. Hi Mangocheeks,

    I've only just come over after you kindly commented on my blog but reading this has made me feel so sad for you. I hope everything works out.

  6. This is such an awful story, no wonder you're upset, I'm sorry to hear about it.

  7. that's horrible - really horrible. I'm so sorry for your loss. These people have no decency.

    You are in Scotland aren't you - are you anywhere near Lanark... or is that too far away. Email me if it isn't - perhaps I can help...

  8. Oh darling I do wish I could see you to give you a big hug but a cyber ((((hug))) is all I can offer.

    I so very much understand the grief you and D must be experiencing and make no mistake it is grief and as such will take time to heal.

    Like you I would feel the most lost for all those tended plants and given keepsakes from your love ones.

    But my hot blood would have made me dig up everything I could save but I truly know what you mean when you say it pains too much to go there if even to take what is yours to take.

    Just hang in there, I certainly believe in the term Karma they will get their comeuppance, you may not get to see it but they will get it.

    And as it says when a door closes a window opens, you may not see it yet but your window is open, you just have to give yourself time to see it.

    Thinking of you both.

  9. I just wanted to say how sorry I am about your allotment. I can't say that I fully understand how it feels to lose your plants because I am only an aspiring gardner at this point. But it seems very senseless for someone to destroy such a productive and peaceful spot. I remember when we had our laptop stolen (the only criminal act we have suffered from, thankfully) I felt completely violated and uneasy with the world. I hope that the clouds lift for you, and that your little garden at home produces above and beyond expectation. And that you keep posting your inspiring recipes. :)

  10. Mango - as a plot holder I can just imagine how rotton it's been to lose your bit of land, especially after what sounds like an act of arson. We invest so much time, energy, love and hope in our plots. To have it wrecked by violence is just sickening. Hugs to you and D. Maybe a neighbour has a bigger garden they're not using??

  11. That sounds horrendous, I am sorry to hear about your plot! I wouldn't give them the pleasure of leaving the plot space; it's apparent that they want you out of it and will play dirty to get what they want. I would start it from scratch again and invest in a few CCTV camera's!!! Dont let them beat you x

  12. Mangocheeks,

    I am so sorry for your loss! I watched the film and your plot was so organized and beautiful! I know you had put so much love, time, and work into it and it showed! I hope for the best and you find your way!

    Sending you healing blessings!

    xoxo Pam

  13. I am sooo sorry. Who would do such a thing and why?

  14. That is terrible. I belong to a community garden here in Oregon - aside from a few vegetables gone missing all has been well. Hope this turns out for you.

  15. What can anyone say, it's just awful, what is the point of doing something like that. My heart goes out to you both. You have always worked along such simarlar lines as us, I hope a new allotment will be found soon.

  16. M, I am so sorry about your loss. I know I would be heartbroken as well, if the soil I fed and nurtured and loved *Loved!* were suddenly and cruelly stolen away. I have followed your blog for a while and the love you had for your wee patch of soil was so very apparent. I feel the same way about my garden.

    It must be my lack of understanding about the whole allotment system, but I am not sure why you cannot return (beyond understandable heart reasons). Many plants do quite well with a level of ash in the soil.

    Tonight we are enjoying dinner from your "Spiced vegetarian roast dinner" post. I am not particularly a fan of Brussels sprouts, however done in this way I was actually excited to eat them! Everything was fantastic.

    I feel rather like we would be friends (if we lived on the same continent)! Do you have a PO box, or some other address you would feel comfortable sharing? You have my email from this post. May I send you a little something from America, or just from one doting gardener to another?

  17. Thank you to each and every one of you for your kind comments. It really does mean a lot. I am not really one who wallows in misery, that is one of the reasons after it happening I did not refer to it, but it is in the back of my mind, and it does really hurt. So I felt I had to write this entry for some closure. Once again, heartfelt Thank you for all your comments, each and everyone is appreciated.

    Thank you to you too Sarah-Jane for your lovely offer, but as per the e mail. Lanark is a little far away for us, but the thought and your kindness is truly appreciated.

    BT. This is so kind of you and I would be more than happy to receive a gift from a fellow blogger. I can't seem to access your blog to give you my postal details, but if you'd like to e mail me (see sidebar: a little about me) and I will give you my address. Thank you so much once again.

    PS I am so glad your and your family enjoyed the spiced veg roast dinner.

  18. it's such a shame your allotment officer wasn't more understanding. Further proof perhaps that the perfect little house with space for a back door allotment is waiting somewhere elsewhere for you and D. take care, N x

  19. I'm sorry you are so sad. I can understand why. If you lived here, we would gladly share our yard with you. We are fortunate enough to rent a place with a huge backyard.

    And I get frustrated when I hear people say "karma" too. I have yet to see karma pay people back. Ugh.

    I am sending well wishes and happy thoughts your way.

  20. so sad to hear that your experiences are still hurting you but it is understandable - a garden is a special space and it was so lovely to see you pride and happiness in eating your own produce in past posts - hope you will find something to fill the grief hole even if it takes some time

  21. Thank you Nic, Krys and Johanna.

  22. Reading your post makes me feel really sad too!
    Why won't the council listen & do something about it???

    Can't you grow your plants & fruits somewhere else???


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