Our allotment is in Bute Road Wallington, Surrey. Unfortunately it has a fenced off public footpath running right down the middle of it. This has over the years meant that the site has been considered as two separate allotments. When I first decided to get a plot, you could not even see one half of the plot due to some uncultivated overgrown plots being completely covered by brambles. Fortunately these plots have been taken on by some very keen gardeners and now the plots are visible from the path. The downside of this is thieves are also now aware of the site and there have been some break-ins and minor damage.
Two years ago a committee was formed with members from both sides of the fence, this has led to joint working parties, clearing communal paths and creating an area for deliveries and barbecues.
There is a thriving shop, staffed by volunteers selling a nice selection of gardening necessities. Gardening advice or a friendly chat and a cuppa are usually forthcoming, when the shop is open, and it would be remiss not to take the opportunity to thank the volunteers for their hard work and commitment. The site also has its own website, albeit, in it’s infancy at this time.
What I like about our site is the great friendship that permeates across the site. Some days, more chatting than gardening is done. Other days you can spend more time working on someone else’s plot than your own, but this is usually reciprocated. I have learnt a great deal about growing fruit and veg from fellow plot holders and formed some great friendships. Barbecues and Bonfire night are well attended events.
When I first started on my plot there were many vacant plots and over the years since, these have gradually been taken, with a waiting list, now in place. The mix of young and old and having representatives from many different countries mean there are no two plots that look the same. Different growing ideas and styles mean, there is always something new to see when you stroll round the plot.
A view across the site in July 2014
There are various fruit trees across the plot and people are usually welcome to help themselves to a handful of apples. Other trees are gradually being moved to make way for some bee hives, a new venture on the plot.
Left over produce can be taken to the trading hut or left on the memorial bench
May I say a great big thank you to the Bute Road Gardeners, for the great site, friendships and a truly wonderful experience.