garden photography: ode to an allotment

July is about growing plants to eat.

(This month I’m looking at edible gardens – an allotment, herb gardens, a potager or even a single tomato plant. If you want to go bigger then why not a rice terrace in China, a field of corn in the prairies or lavender in Provence; you decide )

I’m going to start with my daughter’s allotment. She no longer has time for it so had to give it up, but for several years she managed a plot a few hundred yards from her home where she learned how to grow her own produce for the table. Beans, carrots, onions, squash, courgettes, sweetcorn, garlic, peas, radishes, beetroot, strawberries, rhubarb and even Cape gooseberries (I wonder what happened to those?) An allotment is a lot of hard work – preparing the soil, digging in lots of compost and manure (where she lives it is all clay), weeding, sowing, watering, keeping bugs at bay – but the rewards are immense. Not only the flavours of freshly picked produce, but also the ability to grow unusual varieties not found in the supermarket, the knowledge that no air miles are involved, the sense of achievement in growing your own and the enjoyment of sheer hard work keeping you fit and healthy and outdoors.

And with a swing suspended from the branch of an old oak tree, it was a fun place for my grandchildren to spend time in too.

allotment (2)

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JulyThe Edible Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in August.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.
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28 Comments Add yours

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    ‘Ode to an Allotment’ – that’s what these photos say to me, Jude. It’s a shame your daughter had to give it up when it looks so beautiful. But HARD work it certainly is, and on clay too. After several hours on my plot yesterday, I feel as if I’ve been through a mangle, and all the jobs always take longer than you think they will, so if you have other schedules to honour, it starts to become a very big chore. Anyway, now you’ve inspired me to look through my latest allotment pix. Post coming up – garden jobs allowing that is 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a shame she had to give it up as she had done a lot of work to get it good, but she is a child minder and collects kids from school etc. and then as her own children got older even weekends are full of commitments. She grew some great produce, if I can manage a tenth of what she achieved I’ll be happy. And yes, I love your idea for the title – maybe I should change it?

      1. Tish Farrell says:

        I think it’s great that she tried so hard. And doubtless someone else is reaping the rewards of her efforts. And good luck with your growing. While I’m here, here’s my allotment piece http://wp.me/pKVAM-1Vd

  2. Becky B says:

    Tish has it exactly an ode to an allotment . . . . wonderful photos and she obviously has green fingers.

  3. restlessjo says:

    That last sitting in the grass shot is wonderful, Jude. Made me smile 🙂 I was intrigued by the gem squash too. Tish has an unfair advantage here 🙂 🙂 I once grew carrots in a border, in a scruffy back yard. Think I was too poor to buy them at that stage 🙂 I did get some nice bits and bobs from the Burton Agnes garden the other day, so I’ll share them when I’m back.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The kids loved going to the allotment when they were little, but then got bored – such a shame. We used to eat gem squash all the time in SA and so disappointed that you hardly see it here.

  4. nannygrannie says:

    Wow looking so good!

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    She must have worked hard to grow all that in clay soil. Allotments take a huge time commitment and while its great for children to get involved I can see why they’d get bored with it. There is nothing like harvesting things you ‘ve grown yourself for flavour, and bugs, snails etc!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am happily eating one strawberry a day – that is if the birds haven’t got to it first! Quite excited to see radishes and spring onions erupting. Whether any actual produce results we shall have to wait and see. Great fun though 🙂

  6. These lovely photos are making me feel very hungry! It must be nearly teatime. 🙂 I’ve always thought an allotment must be a huge amount of work but I agree that the pleasure of eating your own home grown produce is immense – I have only managed tomatoes and carrots so far! Unless mint counts – for making mint tea.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not sure you can count mint as it seems to grow anywhere, but then again there are a lot of flavours. I have a chocolate mint which is delicious!

  7. Marsha says:

    Such utter joy! Your pictures are all beautiful, but the swing captures the pure simple fun of summer. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, yes, the swing was a huge favourite. She is now the swimmer and gymnast in the family!

      1. Marsha says:

        I can believe that! How fun! Have you ever seen this video of the Ross sisters from the 1940s. I just saw it the other day. You have to get into it for a minute or so when they finish singing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61cY1ILv60k

  8. Lovely photos from your daughter’s allotment, especially the ones of her little girl. My dad had an allotment and grew all our veggies and fruit there. My sister and I spent many happy hours there, especially in the long summer evenings during school holidays. Great memories. 🙂

  9. Sue says:

    Lovely images, Jude- definitely a pictorial ode to an allotment! 😀

  10. There is so much satisfaction in growing your own produce. We have citrus trees loaded with fruit and winter vegetables flourishing at the moment. The possums help themselves to the mandarins too.

  11. pommepal says:

    Such a healthy and productive allotment, your daughter has inherited your gardening genes Jude… Lovely photos of your grand children. I’m having a bit of a blog down time at the moment, but I will be back soon.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Seems like a lot of people are taking time off, but that often happens in the summer and over the holidays. Hope you and Jack are well – I’m sure you both have lots to do outside of blogging, but don’t be a stranger 🙂

      1. pommepal says:

        I’ll still be popping around every now and again. You’re like family, don’t see each other but feel a connection.

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