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Allotment therapy

One of the hardest parts about living in a block of flats is not having a garden of our own. I have lived in flats now since I was 12 - but I do miss not being able to open a door and just be able to sit outside. We were on the list for an allotment for a few years, when we finally got to the top we declined it as we didn't have a car at the time so we couldn't commit to it.

Two weeks ago we were asked by a friend if we wanted to go and take care of somebody's plot for them, just helping to maintain it and of course start planting seeds ready to grow our own fruit and vegetables and flowers. Hell yeah!!

The allotment is just under 2 miles from where we live, so we have been going up late afternoon during the week and a couple of hours at the weekends. This is all new to us, we have some knowledge but we are learning as we go.

At the moment we have a tayberry bush and a gooseberry bush which need pruning. The beds have been covered over for a long time but have needed a lot of weeding, we have been digging up dandelions, burdock, bind weed and cooch grass.

We have seen lots of slow worms hiding under the covers. So far we have weeded three beds and the soil in apparently very good. One of them is ready to plant in now although we have left it late in the season but, apparently we can plant some radishes and beetroots which should do well.

We have 3 more smaller beds to weed, one of them is a strawberry patch, at the moment it is covered in poppies and borage.

What we are loving so far is that everyone up there is so friendly. They are all willing to give advice and help, they are loving that we have been getting the kids involved with the weeding. The borage (star flowers) can be used as a garnish for salads they are really pretty, and taste slightly of cucumber. Borage has been used in medicine for many years and is known as a cure all but particularly for rheumatoid arthritis, chest congestion, depression, PMS and menopausal symptoms.

Yesterday evening we even dug up some potatoes!

For us as a family it is doing us the world of good. We get stuck in a rut in the evenings, Lee comes home from work, the telly or Xbox goes on, we eat dinner and that is it. We weren't going anywhere and for me, having been working indoors (unless I am at the school or doing the school run) the routine was getting very mundane - you might even say slightly depressing.

This is like a release, a little piece of therapy! It is going to be a huge commitment and a lot of hard work but I am so looking forward to reaping the benefits.

And, to make my day even sweeter, the lovely lady from the plot next to us cut some of her sweet peas and gave them to me. It's the little things.

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