Monday, 20 July 2009

Allotment Jealousy

Our fledgling allotment in the corner of the garden is coming along pretty well. There are some tomato plants that definitely look as if they are going to yield some tomatoes. The carrots are growing. The rosemary, basil and parsley are going great guns. Even the peppers (or was it chillies, I can't remember) are getting bigger. The boys and I spend quite a lot of time pootling about down there, pulling up things that we hope are weeds and spraying water over the plants and, usually, each other. Adam is getting quite into it, proudly showing everyone which plants are the tomato ones and where the tomatoes are growing. The onions didn't make it, but I think that has more to do with our dog, Jess (who is on a strict diet at the moment) looking for food than them not actually growing.

But we have noticed, pleased as I am with our little patch, that it is nothing compared to our neighbours. They have great squares of vegetables with walkways between the beds. Their plants are neatly lined out in lines and not a weed to be seen. They have apple, cherry and plum trees. Their strawberries looked amazing, and their raspberries were pretty good too. I spend quite a lot of time standing by their fence looking at their garden in awe. Their beds are probably measured out to perfection and the odd millimetre difference would be noticed.

It's not all jealousy though. The cherries and raspberries overhang our garden and are ours, all ours. The great British tradition of scrumping* is developing strongly in this corner of a foreign field.

*for American readers. I just looked up the definition of scrumping and discovered that it means something else entirely over where y'all live. To avoid confusion and thinking that I'm up to something entirely inappropriate, the British meaning of scrumping is the art of stealing fruit (usually apples) from orchards and gardens that don't belong to you.

15 comments:

The wife of bold said...

I'm very impressed and a little jelous of your allotment as i'm too lazy to start my own. I always say "this year me and the kids will start growing our own veg, but it never materialises, the only thing we have managd to plant is a few tulip bulbs :(

P.s I'm intrigued as to what the american interpritation of scrumping is, so do spill???

Dancinfairy said...

Oh scrumping. The scrapes we got into when we were kids. Stolen, forbidden fruit just tasted so much better (pity our poor parents who tried to get us to eat fruit from the shops - no chance!)

Mr C is in charge of the fruit and vegetable growing round here. There are big plans for the back garden next year, involving removing all of the flowers and just growing edible things. I have agreed because he has made me a flower garden out the front. We are not ones for neat and orderly rows though, more scattered chaos. It is more fun that way!

zooarchaeologist said...

An allotment is something that i could only dream of. Im impressed. Meanwhile im busy scrumping in the Little Garden Helpers Garden he hehe

Dan said...

There's a book called "square foot gardening" that I've found very useful. Sometimes having everything in rows is just a waste of space and effort.

If you do get the book though I'd ignore the bit about having a "special soil"

TeacherMommy said...

I would simply end up killing all those hopeful little plants. Cuz I'm talented like that.

I love reading your Brit word choices..."pootling" is just wonderful and I may have to start using it, if only for the reactions I will get. :P

SandyCalico said...

We've all got to start somewhere. Home grown fruit and veg is the best. Next door's home grown fruit and veg is even better!!

Iota said...

Ooh, I'm going to have to look up what scrumping means in US English.

Iota said...

Aaaaah. Well I'm glad I know that. I could have embarrassed myself otherwise.

Mwa said...

That sounds wonderful. I don't think I've found the patience yet. I hope to, soon. (Have been hoping for a while.)

nappy valley girl said...

Heard of house envy but not allotment envy....and who knew about scrumping?

have tagged you over at mine.

Kathryn said...

Well rest assured I am very jealous of YOUR allotment - wish we had one!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

WoB - I love that we are calling it an allotment. It is a patch of earth at the bottom of the garden. Scrumping. Ah yes. Doesn't mean the same thing at all!

DF - scattered chaos rules. That is the rule inside my house as well!

ZA - Oo, I bet their goodies are well worth scrumping!

Dan - Hooray! I shall subscribe to their track of thought immediately. Special Soil? Very unlikely.

TM - I'm pretty talented at that too. Pootling is up there as one of the great words of the English language. So perfectly describes what we are actually doing.

SC - Their fruit definitely worth getting our hands on. The raspberries were amazing.

Iota - US English, it's a whole other language... I guess it is like the Americans talking about shagging to us...

Mwa - we decided to go for small and have just a few of a lot of things and are waiting to see what happens. Tomatoes are looking great though! If we can do it, anyone can.

NVG - thanks for tag. Allotment envy is quite huge. Their's looks wonderful and their fruit is amazing. I said thank you to them the other day and they looked at me in bewilderment. I'll just continue on in the 'weird English family' mode for a bit then...

Kathryn - as I said. It is more a patch of dug up earth. Calling it an allotment is a bit like calling a terraced house Buckingham palace. But there are (a few) growing vegetables in there, of which I am extraordinarily proud!

Mrs OMG Pregnant said...

I want a little allotment. One day. One day soon I hope :)

gaelikaa said...

Good work! Good for you and good for the children too!

clareybabble said...

Who knew what shagging and scrumping mean in America? Well I do now!