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The Healing Power of Allotment Gardening: Our Plot (A winning blog submitted for our Annual Show)


My name is Ghada. I was filled with an indescribable, wonderful feeling when I first visited Meryl's and Chris' plot at the nearby allotment accompanied by my 17 year old daughter. It is just a short 18 minute walk from where I live in Osborne Road. The feeling was overwhelming; it brought back memories of my childhood when my father tended to a small plot in our house, cultivating vegetables and nurturing various plants.

The view of nature was truly magnificent. It was filled with lush greenery. Accompanied by the melodious sounds of buzzing bees, chirping birds and joyful insects, it was almost an orchestra of its own, conducted by mother nature itself.

When we spotted my friend Meryl and her husband at the Highbury South allotment, they were already diligently tending to their plants and watering them. They were growing a number of fruits and vegetables like cabbages, peas, cherry tomatoes, squash and courgettes.

While wandering around the allotment, pleasantly taking in all that it hard to offer, we expressed our fascination with the idea of being able to grow your own food and cook it at home, with the sort of satisfaction you only get when you know you have reaped the benefits of your long hard work and dedication . As a response to our enthusiasm and clear passion for gardening, Meryl happily mentioned that there were a few available plots for us to choose from and grow plants in. Excited at the prospect of being able to grow some of our own vegetables and plants, we humbly welcomed her suggestion and were grateful she had told us about it. She then showed us the plot and we were happy with it. After a few days, Meryl brought us the good news; she spoke to the allotment admin and let them know about our interest in having the plot and luckily they agreed to letting us have it.

Despite our satisfaction with the plot, it was grassy and messy, so there was a lot of work to be done. Thankfully, we got a tremendous amount of help from Meryl and her husband

Chris, and if it weren't for their help, we would still be clearing grass and pulling out roots!



After a fairly long day under the heat of the sun, we managed to make the bed look much better and have cleared the vast majority of the grass. After that, we were ready to start growing! Meryl and Chris kindly gave us a number of plants to grow and had even given us what would be considered 'short gardening lessons' and tips on how to properly tend to the plants. We planted leeks, a number of herbs such as mint, rosemary and parsley as well as some flowers such as lavender and other flowers. While we were planting, a lovely lady called Joan from the school allotment came through and gave us some flower seeds to plant, which thrilled me as I have great love for flowers. Our friendly plot neighbour, Dave, had also given us strawberries to plant as well alongside our other plants, which was to my daughter Erin’s absolute delight, as she has expressed previously her desire to grow strawberries. He even invited us to feel free to sit down on his bench whenever we were around and wanted to relax, which happened to be right next to our bed. We sat down and he showed us the flowers and plants he was growing, and so we chatted away!

 

Today the plants are growing and happily thriving under the sun.

We visit the allotment every few days to observe the progress and water them, sometimes also planning to meet up with Meryl and Chris to catch up and have a chat! We also like to grab a cup of tea to enjoy and sit in the school allotment - which is available to everyone - in the cool late afternoon surrounded by the various colors and sounds of the allotment, which is very relaxing, calm and restorative!


 

It is always such a refreshing sight to see people at the allotment going about their day tending to their plants and offering help to those who might need it. It feels as though we are one big close knit family tending to a huge shared garden, and hope we continue to grow plants as well as bonds!





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