“Get your hands dirty!“– how my experience of allotment gardening has led to friends, happiness and an excess of rhubarb!
It has been an idea ticking in the back of my mind for a long time. Like those ideas you have that you aren’t sure exactly where they come from or where they are leading to but when the planets align and the time is right you seize the opportunity.
I’ve been interested in growing since early memories of my mother growing flowers, fruit and veg in her garden. She has such skill and dedication that it all looked so easy. I have much to learn!
I am lucky to live close to some beautiful allotment space along from the water where I live and I put my name down on a waiting list late one night oh so long ago (perhaps wine had been taken). I had forgotten all about it until I had a call from the plot secretary asking if I was still interested and would I like to look around. I arranged a time to meet and instantly fell in love. The small plot was neglected, overgrown and at first sight ‘a challenge’. My experience at gardening to this point had been filling pots to put out on our balcony and herbs on the kitchen shelf. But this was different. This was food…this was something you can enjoy to eat, share and savor.
Having filled in the paperwork, paid my annual fee I decided to spend some time in my new space…the experience was a mix dread and anticipation. One side was completely overtake with weeds that challenged even my 6ft 4 frame and the other side was better but had remnants of broken old wood, metal and rubbish indicating someone had given up.
Here was my first lesson about myself and taking on a new project….
One: Start small, achievable and measureable…but start…
Each visit I weeded one square metre at a time…no more, no less. This has been the biggest realization for me. I often want everything to be completed now and sometimes struggle with the fact that I will have to plan, wait and try and be patient (btw I’m the worst patient ever).
Two: Make a plan (and DON’T stick to it)
As a hypnotherapist I am used to observing my own ‘trance’ moments ie when I go into trance. I know the therapeutic benefit of them so the what/when and how I am thinking about something is just as interesting for me as the outcome. I’ll be watching the news and thinking about what I need to do to solve a problem or puzzle in my life/work.
Three: That’s enough writing for today…I’m off to my allotment…