|Great Horwood History||
Having decided before moving here, that at 67 we could do with a small garden, we ended up with nearly half an acre! However I must admit that over the years I have loved every bit of it and the work has kept me very fit. There is nothing so therapeutic and satisfying, I find, as messing around in my garden (never mind the boats). Hopefully it and I will continue to enjoy each other’s company and from time to time to share it with friends.
[My husband] and I have two allotments in Willow Road and they were quite a challenge. The site was used by the RAF during World War II and we dug up enough bricks and chunks of concrete to fill a large skip, including a few very strange objects, but thankfully none that ticked or went bang!
We managed to grow a few vegetables the first season, of which we were very proud. Last year, 2011, was a brilliant year and we had more fruit and vegetables than we could cope with and were able to pass on the surplus to our friends and neighbours.
It is very peaceful working in the allotment with the birds singing, and occasionally the kites and buzzards soaring overhead, and our friendly blackbirds and robins, which are always on the lookout for an easy meal.
I have gardened in the allotments behind the Church for a number of years. I grew vegetables as a child and the allotment was an opportunity to continue my enjoyment, our garden not being large enough for a vegetable plot. There is nothing more rewarding than picking your own produce after digging, sowing seeds and seeing them germinate; the taste is delicious. The bountiful harvest of raspberries and other soft fruits can be picked from mid-July to the end of September.
Additionally, the allotment takes one outside to experience the weather and the sounds of nature. It gives you the opportunity to meet with other allotment holders, chat and discuss what you are growing and how your crops are all progressing and perhaps give and receive tips.
We pay an annual fee for the lease of our allotment and it is great that all the allotments are in use, showing that this is a tradition that will be enjoyed into the future and that the land will continue to give returns for the hard labour lovingly lavished upon it.
Wonderful, we had got an allotment! We had never had an allotment before but I pictured myself popping across with my basket to gather the produce, no more supermarket vegetables. We were lucky to have inherited a plot which already had fruit bushes. We managed to dig over about half the plot and set about planting. It all looked lovely.
However, the cabbages disappeared after the first night. The pigeons are rather partial apparently. My flowers were eaten by rabbits (previously I had always thought they were so cute!). The fennel grew to huge heights and my beans, even when picked young, were so tough. But the redcurrants were lovely. I waited for the right day, when they would just be ripe, I went to pick them - and the birds had beaten me to it! I was left with about a dozen to add to my summer pudding. All was not lost though, we had huge amounts of raspberries and blackcurrants but no strawberries – blackbirds had helped themselves!
This year will be different. A fruit cage, plants planted further apart and a fence will hopefully help the yield and we are now so much more knowledgeable. You do learn by your mistakes.