Monday, 2 June 2008

the times they are a' changin'


We began allotment gardening in 2000. It is interesting to reflect on changing fashions and attitudes over the past eight years.

When we started, it seemed that very few gardeners were 'out' - an organic way. Chemical sprays were openly used and inorganic methods prevailed. We got the impression that being openly organic was considered a bit odd. Well, I am a bit odd, so no big surprise there. Now, it is more usual to meet organic gardeners than 'the other side'. Organic products are stocked in the allotment shop because of demand.
So, that's evidence, on a very local scale of a change in attitude - or fashion amongst gardeners to organic methods.

Another change is in the choice of plants. In our first year we planted garlic 'themidrome' and its broad leaves were mistaken for gladioli.
Garlic is now quite a common plant grown at the allotments. Last years crop was excellent, 'marco' yielding well and some bulbs were used in todays dinner!

This year, 'marco' has a competitor in the great garlic race. Whilst at the Malvern Show, we spotted 'white solent' bulbs and have planted a block. At the moment they are looking much stronger than 'marco' - their foliage is taller and greener and generally looking more vigorous. The wet weather of the past week should be bulking up those bulbs nicely.

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