greentapestry : Going,Going,Gone!

Sunday, 30 January 2011


My gardening week started on a slightly sad note but has ended on a high. I will do sad first. On Monday we visited the allotment for the first time this year. We went to shift some odds and ends as work was due to start on removing out current perimeter fencing and replacing it with a 1.8 metre high steel fence. This is not by choice ~  the local council have decided that all the plots on our site will have standard fencing onto communal pathways. The council are paying for materials and all the labour involved. Whilst I can understand the logic behind this decision and think that the plots will be more secure, I think that the site will lose in terms of individuality and character. Maybe it's just me but I like the higglety pigglety appearance that exists now. There are all sorts of wooden fences - both brand new and old, recycled from pallets and planks ~ they are different heights and thicknesses and different colours. Other folk including myself have chain - link fences. Many plots have hand crafted signs with their plot numbers or names including gems such as 'Backacres'. You can see one such example in the photo at the top of the page ~ this artwork was created by my lovely plot neighbours. There will be less scope for such charm once we are all fitted with the same fencing and there will be no more passing plants and seeds over the fence quite so easily.

In the garden the snowdrops have made great strides in the last week and just need a bit more warmth to open fully. Some perennials are showing signs of new growth which is always encouraging. Meanwhile it's a waiting game to see what's happening with the contents of the cold frame - its occupants having the misfortune to have chosen the wrong year to overwinter in pots. In the greenhouse there are still no signs of the January sown batch (replacement for November sown losses) of sweet peas germinating but the 'Solent White' garlic I planted in pots is now showing green tips.

Now for the good news. This morning I had fun taking part in the RSPB Big Birdwatch ~ most of the usual suspects turned up and a little goldcrest sneaked in an appearance at the very last minute. Then this afternoon I was delighted to discover that I was a prizewinner in the Irish Times Christmas Gardening quiz which I entered at the very last minute. I have won a year's subscription to 'The Irish Garden' magazine  - what a surprise. My thanks must go to Jane over at 'One Bean Row' - the brains behind a most enjoyable quiz. What a good way to end the week.


  1. Congratulations. I'm sure you'll enjoy your magazine subscription. I didn't find time to take part in the Birdwatch this weekend. I did see a Red Kite above the pet shop which I visited yesterday though, which was wonderful to see. What a shame about the individuality of each plot disappearing. In my opinion, that's what allotments are all about, but you do have to take security in to consideration in this day and age unfortunately.

  2. Congrats on winning Anna. I saw one of the most beautiful private gardens ever when on hilday in Cork some years back. I reckon the Irish Garden will be a good read!

  3. Hi Anna,

    Bit mixed about the allotment, can't really understand why the council decided that everyone has to be exactly the same, I can understand the need for the high chainlink fencing, but hardly friendly is it and I'd worry about feeling like I'm in a prison. Although yes security is very much a major issues these days for a lot of allotments.

    Congrats on winning the Irish Times competition and having a Goldcrest visit your garden! I've never seen one around here, but we have few conifer/firs around and so isn't a favourite habitat of theirs.

    Hsve a good week! :)

  4. Anna:
    Its sad when progress has to stall creativity. I have heard this same story by other allotment owners - seems council has a way of levelling their gaze at those who are least in the need of 'improvements.' Alas! As for the snowdrops..... hurrah! I only wish that mine would show this early but there is stilla foot and a half of snow covering the bed they are nestled in. As for the free subscription..... one can never hav enough gardening mags coming through the post! Good on ya! Stay warm

  5. Congrats on winning the quiz. I'm useless at all things quiz-like, though did learn to sail in a 10' polystyrene dinghy my Mum won in a Ski yoghurt competition.

    I'm confused and a little disturbed by the allotment fence thing. Is each plot fenced off from its neighbours? I've never seen this, just fences around the perimeter of a site, but then again I no longer live in the city and haven't been to a Bristol allotment in years.Even if the fences are just at the front, it still sounds rather isolating. Very sad.

  6. Hi Anna,
    looking forward to seeing pictures of your snowdrops in bloom.

  7. Hi Anna, Congratulations on winning the magazine prize in the Irish Times, it's a long time since I bought that paper myself.

    We have had 2 break-ins at our allotment site in the last few months, so I wish we were as lucky as you in getting proper fencing around our perimeter. We have been told that there is no funding for the allotments so nothing can be done.

    M x

  8. Congrats on the Goldcrest and the Gardening Quiz prize! Shame about the fencing at your plot. Hopefully there will be ways to maintain some individuality after they go up :-)

  9. Hi Anna, your report on the new fence rule is interesting. The allotment colony I'm in is considering doing away with fences between gardens altogether. That's supposed to make the place more wildlife and pollen friendly. The chain-link fences around the perimeter of the entire colony will remain, though. Have you been having break-ins? I agree with you that there's something nice about a hodge-podge of styles.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.