Saturday, 3 April 2010

Pastures New: The London Vegetable Garden 2010

If you're not one of the London Vegetable Garden's more regular readers, a perusal of previous posts will inform you that my better half and I will imminently be moving to pastures new – pastures, if you'll permit the allegory, that do not come with a balcony.

But fear not, dear reader! Delve deeper into posts and you'll also be informed that after much campaigning, I have kindly been handed half of an allotment in order to continue my organic odyssey and keep the London Vegetable Garden running!

So this morning, I rose early and made the trek from Hackney to south-west London (no mean feat considering that the UK's planes, trains and automobiles are all on strike / undergoing engineering works / old and decrepit) to meet with the two ladies that had kindly answered my gardening SOS.

A gloomy, drizzling day met me (it's Bank Holiday Britain – sunshine is outlawed) and I made my way to my new horticultural home. The two ladies met me at the gates and walked me down the allotments to their plots, half of one which has been kindly given to me!

After quite a while discussing gardening, the whole London Vegetable Garden project and my imminent move to Richmond, I managed to whip out my phone and take a few snaps for readers of the blog. So here we go – this is the new, revamped London Vegetable Garden 2010!

First off, we have my 'main' plot:

This area is approximately 4m x 3m (give or take), which in all honesty, is more than I ever thought this allotment share would provide. In addition to this, the following 2 raised beds are also for my use, which measure approximately 1m x 1m each.

When I saw how much I was being given, I really was genuinely amazed and feel very lucky indeed. Yet another added bonus to the new London Vegetable Garden is the view directly from my plot, which is as below:

So there we have it – the London Vegetable Garden 2010! I now have the complicated (yet thoroughly enjoyable!) task of planning what I'm going to grow and where!

Not only does this 'real' piece of land (I still can't quite believe it!) offer me the opportunity to apply my learnings from the balcony, but it also affords me the chance to attempt things that really were unfeasible on a balcony, such as plants requiring deep ground and lots of space – step forward potatoes, leeks, courgettes et al!

Anyway, the arrival of 'proper' gardening space does not mean the London Vegetable Garden has sold out – far from it. I have an absolute wealth of gardening knowledge still to learn and several issues to address in the ensuing months. Here's what you can expect from the London Vegetable Garden this year:

i) A lively blog from a gardener who's no longer an amateur, but by no means authoritative. I want to share my experiences as I go along and learn from a community of like-minded people – you.

ii) A real delve into gardening issues in London. We live in one of the world's greatest cities, yet the bureaucracy surrounding allotments (40-year waiting lists??!!) and community gardening needs to be addressed – I aim to highlight these issues and campaign for action with your support.

iii) An entertaining read! I love writing this blog, so hearing from people who enjoy it really is the icing on the cake. I hope that over the coming year, you'll all continue to share in my successes, help me when I have problems and console me when things don't quite work out!

So there we have it – the start of a very exciting new adventure. Stick with the London Vegetable Garden and I'll attempt to inform, entertain and hopefully educate – this really is a project driven by the people who support it, from the kind ladies that have given up part of their allotment to the readers who email me tips advice and their own experiences.

Here we go – exciting times ahead!


P.S. As if they hadn't done enough to make me feel at home, my two lovely ladies gave me a unique and very appropriate 'moving in' present:

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  1. Allotmenteers really are a generous bunch of people. You've got a great space there, I'm looking foward to seeing what you do with it.

  2. I'm really glad I found your blog. I am now growing my first vegetables on my balcony and it's great to read about someone who has had success doing the same thing. It makes me think I can do it too!

  3. Selfishly I'm happy about your move from the balcony as it is in time with mine. I have also just found myself with a bit of garden & have no idea how to get started - so I'll follow what you do with your space.
    good luck

  4. @jo

    You're so right - what a lovely bunch of people! I'm looking forward to it too - although I've no idea how I'll get on in something this size! It's a lot different to a balcony!


    Thank you so much for your kind words! I honestly started having a go at growing a few things last April and there is so much that *is* possible, it's just important not to be put off. Have a look through some of the posts from April to August last year and you can learn from my successes (and mistakes)!


    Again, thanks for your kind words! This whole blog is about sharing knowledge and getting advice from other people - I hope we can learn from each other as we go!

  5. I am so very pleased for you and once you get stuck in you are sure to run out of space but oh! the possibilities, I cannot wait to see what you do with the space.

    And it is such a clean weed free space as well. Those two ladies were certainly generous, lucky you. I'm sure you will be having lots of fun.

    PS your statement (it's Bank Holiday Britain – sunshine is outlawed) made me laugh, golly you are so right about that..

  6. Great to see that you've found a good sized plot and the London Gardener adventures will continue in the wilds of Richmond! Looking forward to following your achievements over the year...

  7. @ Kella

    After 4 days of dubious weather, I'm sat back in the office whilst Richmond basks in glorious sunshine - I rest my case!!!

    @ Amy

    Thanks for your support! I'm certainly looking forward to gardening on a bigger scale and reporting back to readers of the London Vegetable Garden!

  8. I am so impressed that you made this happen through hard work and initiative. Looks like a lovely plot and, luckily, because you're sharing and not taking over someone's enthusiastic mistake, you can get stuck in straight away!

    Don't want to be a party pooper but just curious, what happens after the lottie couple have had their garden landscaped? Do you have to give it back?

    Anyway, looking forward to your updates.

  9. Woah dude - that looks like a lot of space - can't wait to see what you're going to put in there!

  10. Congrats on 14 square metres. Bonne saison!



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