“The species allotment growers and its two sub groups: allyearroundi (seen every month of the year, harvesting in any weather),and hibernatei (finishes in October,clears the ground and reappears the next year).
"Spring is close because hibernatei has been sighted,wearing the Christmas present of new gloves. (What else do you give an allotment holder?)
"Contemplating the patch that had been left clean but is now growing weeds and covered with leaves,hibernatei faces its first big decision of the year. Which essential tool to use first – spade, fork, hoe or thermos flask? That initial decision determines the remainder of your season. It is imperative to make the right choice as a stewed thermos of tea or coffee can ruin everything.”
Well, it certainly made me giggle. Over at the Horsell Allotments, Chairman David Inns writes the allotment blog for the Woking News and Mail. It’s well worth following, not just for his wit. He’s currently conducting an experiment to see whether fresh chicken manure will help in combating club root in his brassicas. (Note: follow David's blog at a new address from March 2010)
Horsell Allotments themselves became in 2005 the only allotments in Surrey to be included in the NGS, open this year on 19th June, so it’s not surprising that they currently have sixty people on the waiting list, the equivalent of a five-year wait for the chap at the bottom. With over a hundred individual plots, at this year's Open Day they are also introducing a working beehive, with talks given by a bee-keeper.
Meanwhile, if Horsell sounds familiar, you must be a sci-fi fan. The sandpits on Horsell Common were the site of the Martian landing in HG Wells’ War of the Worlds, celebrated in Woking by this stunning sculpture by Michael Condron. Do have a look at his website; his work for public spaces makes me yearn for the money to commission him privately.