This month has been a hive of activity at the allotment. Since the digger came and broke the ground for us all, there isn’t a day when there is isn’t somebody already there, following the social distancing rules, however there is always time to chat and esquire what others are doing. What once went from a series of bleak looking plots as suddenly turned into a series of art installations built from earth, bamboo cane and planks of wood.
As I walk past the plots, i’m increasingly aware that each plot, is like a blank canvas, and i’m starting to see Monet’s, Picasso’s, Da-Vinci’s, whilst mine looks more like a Jackson Pollock, or a Lowry. A bit thrown together and a little haphazard.
This months has been all about seeds. We’ve started seeing the onions sprouting along with the garlic. It’s great to see the potatoes starting to come up. I’m excited by how this will go, however we’ve had a month of sun with NO rain, so I’ve had to go over every day and traipse back and forth with watering cans.
I’m coming to the end of my fifth week in lock down, so I’ve been lucky to be living and working so close to the allotment, and It’s been nice meeting new people, I even started a Whats App group and people have started offering seeds, updating people on their plots. As someone who doesn’t socialise like the orange tipped butterflies I see fluttering by, it’s nice to be a part of something.
I know things aren’t growing as vociferously as other plots, but so far I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s a learning opportunity, I’m seeing what other people are doing and taking note. People with more experience of this. Next year I’ll be able to put into practice all the mistakes I’m making now.
Right now though, It’s just about the space. The moments between work and home and how confusingly blurred they’re becoming. Today on the 26th, there has been cloud and a few spots of rain. As April draws to a close I can see life and growth all around the allotments as these earthen canvases come to life and grow. Art is very much a personal thing and I’m no artist, but I know what I like, and the time I spend on my plot, I like what I see, as shoots start to burst through the caked soil, despite the harshness of the heat and lack of rain, with a little bit of care and attention, they are coming to life.
An that is the message here, despite the lock down, the tragedy, the little moments of care and attention we see and show others is what gets us through these times.