Our next door allotment neighbour is very experienced. His plot is immaculate and several times bigger than ours. He doesn't laugh at our efforts though. He encourages us and says nice things about my lavender hedge. He also gives us lots of things. Today, it was a beautiful bunch of asparagus and 60 bean seeds. He also tried not to look too disapproving when I planted out some of my courgettes in my impatience to get the summer going. He thinks it is a little early and he will probably be proved right.
These neighbourly interactions bring me great joy. The allotment gives me something else every time I go there. Peace, quiet and relief from a world which now and again gets a bit overwhelming. There is something so soothing about weeding around my chard plants, checking to see if any seeds have germinated in the last week, testing the gooseberries and admiring the progress of the blackcurrants. It doesn't really matter to anyone other than me and Anthony but every little bit of progress lifts my spirits and gives me more satisfaction than ticking everything off my to-do list (and I really like ticking things off my list).
And we are making serious progress this year. I've fallen behind a little with my allotment diary (the overwhelming real world again) but we've got lush looking potatoes:
We managed to erect some (very) rustic netting around the blackcurrant and gooseberry:
My marigolds are blooming and all is well: