Monday, 14 November 2011

Too hard to Plot

Some of you may remember me mentioning my Dads allotment plot.  Sadly my father has decided to give up this plot.   Not for not wanting, as he really is keen on growing some of his own vegetables; and its not the hard, back-breaking work of digging and weeding that's putting him off- he was well aware of all that before taking it on. 
Its actually the location of the allotment plot.  Its at the bottom of a steep Welsh hill.  His plot is the only one down there.  He had come to terms with the fact that it was at the bottom of the hill, carrying tools back and fro.  But its the access to the water that is adding to the expected hard work of owning an allotment plot.  Even two water hoses attached together would not reach to the end of his plot.  I have to point out though, they are not allowed to use water hoses there, so you can imagine walking up and down a steep hill with bucket loads of water for a95 foot by 40foot land can only last so long; even the energetic kids have had enough of it; squirming their way out of going with their GrandPa to the allotment.  To add to this, my mothers has difficulty in walking, so has not been accompanying him to the plot either. 

My father is being realistic and envisages it getting much worse when the heavy rains and snow, making the downhill (or uphill) path slippery and therefore dangerous, so he made the decision to hand back the keys.

I also feel a little guilty - I was mean't to share and maintain the plot with him.  But my move down south has been hampered by circumstances, so he was not getting the shared interest and enthusiasm from the others in his growing ventures.  It has however dawned on me now, why these particular plots on this site were/are available - location and access to water.

Its not all bad news, he hasn't given up totally.  He did a little research and has registered with another allotment site.  Just have to wait and see when he gets a new plot; and his growing ventures begin again; and hopefully this time I will be able to be a bigger part of it.  


  1. Wow, I love to garden, but no hoses!! I think keeping up with the weeds is time consuming enough! Good for your Dad and I hope he gets a better plot second time around!

  2. Surely a transfer to the next available plot, with his current plot going to the next person on the waiting list could be arranged uder the circumstances.

    (We were transfered to higher ground years ago when our plot was flooded with sewage and I was going to give up. Our old plot is now 'the communal area')

  3. Sounds like your Dad has made the right decision for now, gardening needs to pleasurably hard work not a grind.
    My granddad & Dad always had allotments, got lots of memories of digging my own corner of the plot.

  4. it's a shame but totally understandable. I also have trouble get water to my end of the plot and that's without a hill! If his plot is the only one down there too then he must be missing out on the wonderful sense of community that is part and parcel of having an allotment. I'm sure the right plot on another site will come up at just the right time and maybe even coincide with you being able to move down. Good luck to you all x

  5. aw dad... sometimes it just doesn't work out. There's no reason why he can't grow some smaller things (or even bigger things) in pots by his house, is there? It's not totally self sufficient but if he loves the work then it'll afford him that.

  6. It's usual fo rthe best plots on an allotment site to go to the guys who've been there longest, like a pecking order.

    Your folks have a foot in the door though, and that's good.

    Best thing re the water situation is to get some water butts, old bins etc., scattered around the plot, and collect your own. I only use mains water on my plot for the chickens - everything else either survives on its own (via long, stong roots) or gets a watering from what I can collect in the bins.

    I hope you get a better plot though that's not such a long walk. :-)

  7. Sad to hear it. I understand how hard it must have been to carry the water. But good that he will get a new one.

  8. Oh my fingers are crossed for you all! Sounds like it was a difficult site and it is totally understandable why it was relinquished. Now on to a new site and one you can all access easily including mum.

  9. Hi Shaheen...ur father must be sad to have to neglect that plot...i hope he'll get a better plot & all the best to ur father with his new plot..:)

  10. That's a shame. But yes water is kind of necessary to any veg garden! What a pity. Hope a new plot becomes available soon.

  11. If your Dad plot is with a local council get him to talk to whoever is in charge, here they give plot holders 1st refusal on a plot that has been handed back and you want to move.

  12. That's a shame he had to give it up - but that sounds really difficult having to cart the water etc. I hope he gets a new site soon. I like your photos - great effect.

  13. Oh good luck to him in getting a more suitable plot. It might be worth pointing out to the owners of the other site that the bottom of the hill plots are impractical. Maybe they could put in a tap at the bottom of the hill.

  14. I hope he can get a better plot, it will be so good for you both to be able to work together when you do finally manage to move.

    Sue xx

  15. Thanks Ajax.
    Here's hoping that the wait will not be too long.

    Hi Mal.
    I should have mentioned in my post, but my Dad did go to the secretary and he pointed the only plots avaialable were those where he is - at the bottom of the hill and others were unlikely to come up for the offering - you know whats its like - you got to be one of the est. boys or gals to get a proper move to a decent plot. My Dad has a feeling he'll be waiting a long time there.

    Thanks Jane.
    I agree it has to pleasurable hard work not a grind.

    Thanks Nic.
    I appreciate you comment and your empathy of the water situation without a hill, some people would have just deemed my father being finicky, but it takes those who have experience to know. Your right to point out the communal aspect of it too.

  16. Thanks Kristy Lynn.
    But I am glad he made the decision, as I would have found it hard to give up. Don't know how long it will be before he gets another one.

    For now. with my mother he will contine grow some in his house.

    Thanks Chris.
    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT - and my father is not one of the boys. Even if a good plot comes up you know its already been ear-marked.

    My father has a couple of water butts on the plot already, but no building for drainage pipes - so collecting water has been a bit of a bind too.

    Thanks so much Lela.

    Thank you so much Gardeningbren.
    Yes, shame we did not see it when we took on the plot, but sometimes you have to take on the challenge to foresee the other challenges. I'm glad he made the decision though, as he does really want to include my mother :) Now that is love!!!!

  17. Thanks HangKebon.
    i hope he'll get a better plot too :)

    Thanks Bridget of Cabbage Tree Farm.
    Lets Hope the wait is not too long.

    Thanks Cookie Jar.
    It is council owned and he did talk to someone who wasn' really that helpful, so he made this decision. I hope he doesn't have to wait too long.

    Thanks Liz.
    It is really a shame - but the water was proving really difficult to cart. Thanks for your wishes. And the compliment for the photographic artwork.

    Thank you MorningAJ.
    I know my father pointed out why he was giving it up, nothing to do with the digging and weeding, but the wter - the response from the secretary though understandable and sympathetic was the council are making cuts so will not be putting in any more taps and thats just the way it is.

    Thanks Sue.
    I hope so too - it will be good for us all :)

  18. Well absolutely sounds like the right decision. Especially if your Mum couldn't get down there. Fingers crossed he doesn't have to wait too long for a better plot. x

  19. Thanks Lou.
    He does want here to go with him now and again, and the location was proving a deterrence for her participation. Fingers crossed eh :)

  20. I hope the new plot is much easier on him and that your mother can at least visit when she likes.

  21. We have just moved plots for exactly the same reason. The last two years have been so dry just when you need the rain so all we could grow was fruit and flowers. I am sure he will enjoy his new plot a whole lot more.

  22. Thank you e.
    YOur right - it is important for my mother to be part of it, as she's the one who loves growing the most. My father in his way, is doing it for her.

    Thank you Scented Sweetpeas.
    I had not realised that you had a similar problem with your plot, so am pleased for you that you have moved to a better location.
    Thanks for your kind wishes, I hope he gets a better plot somewhere soon too.

  23. sorry to hear another allotment has come and gone but it sounds like it has been thought through and am glad you are sounding hopeful about another one coming your way - sounds like there is still much change in your life right now - hope it will settle down for you at some stage

  24. Thanks so much Johanna.
    I have hopes that he will x
    Things are happening: but its all emotional - nothing seems to be happening at the rate we wish. I hope next year brings us some warmth, the past two years have been cold, emotionally and literally.


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