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Ellie's Allotment Diary #1

To those of you I’ve not yet met my name is Ellie and it’s been about a month since getting the metaphorical ‘keys’ to plot 7F. I caught the gardening bug at a young age and have fond memories of helping my grandad but especially helping him make newspaper pots and sow runner beans in his greenhouse.

A blank canvas

Jumping forward a good few years I spent most of lockdown in a top floor flat with no outside space so naturally when my partner and I moved to Claygate in 2021 I was delighted to find that the house already had a greenhouse at the end of the garden. It quickly became my happy place and I had aspirations of growing fruit, vegetables and flowers for myself, friends and family.

After a good few bowls of tomatoes, plenty of runner beans and one massive red cabbage is seemed that my dreams were just too big for the space I have down the end of the garden and that was when I put my name on the waiting list for Vale Road Allotments. To my surprise getting off of the waiting list and getting the plot has been the easiest part and much sooner than I anticipated which I am super grateful for.

My gardening aspirations have grown exponentially since then, with goals of growing pumpkins and squash for my friend's autumn wedding in 2025 and, hopefully, I will even be able to grow some of my own wedding flowers (I will have a couple of years to practice first, any tips are very welcome). However my first, and I think the most achievable goal, is to be able to grow all the vegetables for next year’s Christmas dinner. The hard work actually began on my birthday.

Huge progress already!

As it was my day I got to decide how my partner and I spent it and much to his dismay we weren’t going for a nice trip out and a meal we were spending the day digging over the allotment and pulling up as many roots as we could. Since then I’ve been working on marking out beds, filling in holes and leveling the ground as much as possible. I still have a long way to go but I am honestly loving every minute of it. If you see me on the plot before Christmas please ignore the fact that I have all the wrong tools and look like the brambles are actually attacking me most of the time. If I see you after Christmas hopefully I will have all the gear but, still, only a bit of an idea so tips are always welcome, I still think the cabbage was beginner's luck.

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