Allotments, or community gardens, are a big feature of life in the UK city of Bristol. We just switched to a new patch and I wanted to share photos of the beautiful produce and flowers the outgoing tenant left us!
We have a tiny city garden, so it’s a joy to cycle to our allotment patch in the nearby valley. People call Bristol ‘the city in the countryside’, it being placed between Somerset, the Cotswolds and South Wales. But it’s also the countryside in the city that makes it such a special place – woods and rivers and random rural tracks.
The allotments are one giant garden divided between tenants – a patchwork quilt of nature and creativity. My son loves the allotments, with their giant sunflowers, scarecrows, ramshackle sheds, chickens, bath tubs brimming with bits and bobs and an orchard. I had a very different childhood, growing up in the countryside with a large garden for me and my siblings. We can’t get a big garden for our son, but we can provide him with the allotment – a place where our friends tend their own gardens too! We now have a pear tree, cherry tree and plum tree, and for that I’m blooming grateful.
It’s a peaceful, spacious place. My partner, front-line NHS ambulance crew, relishes the allotment as a place to unwind, away from busy parks and streets and work. This morning I cycled up there to join him in the sunshine and my morning’s anxiety eased.
And at home we are lucky to have any outside space at all. When my son was about five, a couple of years ago, he overheard me complain that I wished we had a bigger garden for him. He said, ‘Mum, I don’t want a bigger garden, I’ve never wanted one. You need to enjoy your life.’
To the point. But, point taken!
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