Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The First Wobble!!

Its only been just over 4 weeks since I got the keys to Plot No.5 but I have experienced my first allotment wobble!

I wanted to write this post to share as much realism as I can when taking on an allotment plot for the very first time, I'm singing Madonna's "Like a virgin" out loud to that sentence haha. 

Anyway as I was saying, there's the first steps of putting your name down on the waiting list, then there is the-what feels like FOREVER-wait to actually getting a chance to acquiring a plot and then finally that day arrives. You sign the dotted line skipping past all the small print (everyone does that right?), grab the keys with eager hands to get in and then you walk up and down the new plot fifty million times whilst chatting to yourself with lots of oooo'ing and aaaahh'ing over what could go where and how pretty its all going to look, BUT after a week or 2 of clearing out any of the rubbish and doing a nice bit of painting, there is something that just hits you. The reality of the graft becomes apparent.

I had 1 week away from the plot with my little boys birthday celebrations and a short illness but I was determined to get back to that plot to begin the work that was needed on it. What greeted me through that gate was the start of the wobble.

Now this isn't the greatest picture to really capture what my eyes saw but behind that ginormous fabulous rhubarb patch is just a huge mass of dandelions and grass. Like up to my hips grass (please bear in mind my 4"10 height!) My heart literally sank. I couldn't avert my eyes away from it because there was just another patch of grass whichever way I looked and it just made me want to cry! I just couldn't see how it is going to be managed and how it's ever going to become a productive plot. I questioned my capability of being able to take on this huge task, even though I wanted a challenge. Now if you follow me over on Instagram and saw my stories you will have seen my sad, overwhelmed mush seeking some reassurance. 

I was bowled over at how many people messaged and said you will be fine it just needs time and gave some great tips of doing it bit by bit. A lady at the site kindly reminded me that I have only had it a matter of weeks so it's going to be far from being perfectly maintained. Over the course of the day, after I came home from the plot the reassurance was helping kick the feelings of anxiety. It helped me regain some focus actually coming away as being there in that moment was becoming too much. 

The next day  I promised to go back up with a renewed positive outlook. After a little texting Mr.W at work telling him I really needed to trace some good materials to smother some of the plot he sent me the best reply he could. He happened to be stood by some huge boxes of super thick cardboard boxes and was going to run them up to the plot. I whipped the kids into a frenzy and headed straight up there to be start that process.

 Even though it was the same thing that waved at me when I walked through the gate I stared it down. Think of those intense cowboy scenes where they stare at each other for ages until one makes the first move and the other is taken down. Yes I am taking this plot down. It wont defeat me. Not for now at least. I am realistic enough to know there will always be weeds but when you are faced with them on a big scale it can make you feel like you are going to drown. I know its perfectly normal to feel this way too. At least for now the cardboard will suppress any more growth and allow me to work on a section at a time to get up and running and in my head its less shouty and panicky.

Something that I also found useful and again credit to those positive folk over on the social media platforms (Sara, Annabelle & Kimmy I am talking about you three!) was to look for the good stuff on the plot already. I have to admit I have been very fortunate with some of the established edible goodies that have been left on this plot. Rhubarb, Strawberries, Cherries, Figs and even Gooseberry bushes. That's before the other fruit trees reveal what they are too. Even if you think there is nothing I promise if you look close enough I am sure there will be something that will put a grin on your face.

That first wobble will teach you a lot no matter how soon it happens. At first you will panic then you might feel like throwing in the towel BUT It will make you a little more resilient and that bit more determined. It makes you stand up and grab the opportunity by the horns. Giving up won't reward you in the long run but holding on and working hard will. You get to put your stamp on a piece of land that will probably make you use a few choice words but make you feel amazing and you will be able to sit and admire it for all your hard work put into it especially with a nice hot cuppa (or a 'proper' beverage).

So there you have it my first encounter of an allotment wobble. Do not be put off in any way to taking on an allotment. There are so many benefits to having one and it wouldn't be fun if it didn't test you.

Until Next Time

You can see my first plot tour HERE on my Youtube channel


  1. Great post. I think it's great to write honestly about taking on an allotment. I had my own wobbles when I used to have a lottie and there were times when I didn't think I could take more couch grass invading my beds. It takes time and patience and we get there in end.

    1. Thankyou & yes I think it's important that people can see it's normal to feel overwhelmed but I'm not giving up far from it ☺️

  2. We all get allotment wobbles now and again for all sorts of reasons. Well done on reacting positively to yours. Happy plotting. xx

    1. Thankyou flighty that means a lot it's the best way to react otherwise others won't see how it can be turned around x

  3. I’ve lost count of how many new plot owners give up their plots after an initial burst of enthusiasm. Some don’t even get that far, they take one look and are never seen again. An allotment means hard work and commitment. A productive plot isn’t something that magically happens by spending a few minutes here and there. I once heard the comment that it is like eating an elephant bit by bit. It’s best to do as you are doing. Tackle a manageable area and just keep the growth down in other places until you are ready to expand the area. If you know some who will strip the growth back for you it will look less onerous. One thing is that the ground is probably very fertile. If weeds won’t grie nothing will. Good luck.

    1. Thankyou so much for your comment :) I can understand why people give up easy but I won't be giving up that's for sure. It's just keeping focused on one part & getting that on the go before the next.