three seasons & a patch of earth

allotment, bristol, gardening, growing

Nine months- a summer, a spring and a winter ago- we took on a patch of earth. It was January, it’s Britain, the previous owners didn’t leave behind a massive amount of inspiration. The place looked cold and tired, like life in greyscale. Dreams of the good life in this patch of earth seemed distant. 20141207_151643The willow tree is now full of leaf and life and shades our little shed. But in January, it stood stark against the slowly rotting pumpkins, plastic and weeds.

The soil was compacted. Weedkillers had been used. Before we had arrived there had been no plan.

20141207_151654

I wanted to breathe life and beauty and productivity back into the earth. But some things you can’t rush- after being compacted and poisoned by sprays, soil takes time to heal. I spread barrow after barrow of leaf litter, cow muck from a friend’s farm and even hops that smelt of sweet beer onto the beds. Over the months it became one with the soil, and gave me a space I could sow into.

springattheplot

By the time it was mid spring, we had made the beds and the first of the crops were in. We knew were on the right path. We built the shed- four months of building- alongside shaping the plot, and suddenly we had a base, a centerpiece, of our plot.

shed summer

As late spring rolled into midsummer, we stood back and looked at what we had done. Nine months ago here was a lifeless space, a space with no heart. Here, now, there is a plot with colour and life- and hopes of spring after the winter that’s sliding towards us.

lavender redcurrantWhen you are working with the earth, it’s never just physical. Don’t view gardening as a list of tasks. Planting, nurturing, eating is always much more than that.

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3 thoughts on “three seasons & a patch of earth

  1. Tommy,
    I continue to be awed by your sense of aesthetic on what seems to be every plane. I love finding new posts on your blog.
    Wish I could give you a bell and see what we might do with my garden dreams of loveliness such as in yours.
    McGregrr

    Like

    1. Mr MrGregor, thank you for your kind words. Do you grow at your home? I will be doing a few more posts, I just struggle finding the light for decent photos as the days draw in. You should really start one, I sense it would be a good read.

      Like

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