How it began

It’s late September 2010 and we’ve just taken over a plot on Dingle allotments in south Liverpool.  I have to admit I felt physically sick when we were first shown the plot last week.  The previous occupant has left it in a totally uncultivated state, covered in grass, dock and rampant brambles and bindweed.  Buried under all this is all kinds of rubbish.  There’s a ramshackle shed filled with old timbers and god knows what else.

We’ve had an allotment before – many years ago – but had to give it up under pressure of work and family.  When we retired, Rita started deep beds in our smallish back garden.  At the same time she put her name down on the allotment waiting list.  That was three years ago; now at last she’s got a plot, though not one where we can just start planting.

We’ll just have to take it one step at a time – that’s what everyone says.  There has been much friendly advice and comforting mention of  The Half-hour Allotment.

This blog documents our first couple of years on the plot at Dingle vale allotments.

The first day

Anyway, today was our first day.  This morning was warm and humid with thunderstorms forecast,  though none materialised and we were able to make a promising start by removing a huge amount of rubbish from the site and from the shed.  That proved to be in far better shape than had appeared last week.  It’s fairly watertight and, once the rubbish was cleared, it turned out to be quite sizeable.

These images suggest the scale of the task we’ve taken on.

The larger part of the plot, looking towards the shed

On the right-hand side the fence separating the allotments from neighbouring Shorefields school is overgrown with brambles.

Looking back from the shed over the main part of the plot

The top end of the plot: the bramble jungle beyond the shed


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