Wednesday was an afternoon out with friends, and where better to go than inspecting allotments in Swindon, where gardening and art loving Linda lives. While the soil was a little in need of rain, it is a nutrient-holding light clay, and the asparagus is certainly throwing up thick stems (good in the quiche we had later).
Both friends opined that this year will be good for fruit. Linda’s fig trees had plenty of little figs for this year, and the gooseberry bush (massive) looks as though it will be loaded, as do the currants. I haven’t a clue on such matters.
I was once, aged 15, Manchester’s youngest allotment-holder, and years later in 1978, I wrote a dissertation about the village allotments where I then lived. They are special places, both peaceful and hard work, yielding the satisfaction of fresh taste and something to share with others, as well as somewhere to chat.
Linda’s own garden features on her blog Swindon Open Studios (see “Blogroll” on right) and I loved the crabapples, now all blossom.
The day was finished off by a stroll through town, ending up at the Beehive, a friendly pub with excellent beer, one of Tim Carroll’s “Art machines” dispensing little art-works for £1, and plenty of art on the walls, about which we had heard much. It lived up to its reputation.