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Two Plots (Yorkshire and Islington)

Posted Jun 14 2012 12:00am
   I spent some of the day at the allotment trying to clear hundreds of weeds.The rain and sunshine has made them grow so fast.I have four compost bins on the go at the same time and they are all getting filled with grasses, and weeds.The raised beds that are in use are working quite well.I may need to black tarp the pathways between the beds and unused areas to keep them at bay.
 I am a bit OCD when it comes to weeds.I want the plot to look perfect,and weed free.It is not like our garden where I have control.Every time i have time away then all the weeds grow!It was lovely and quiet up there today with the sound of buzzing bees pollinating the Raspberry flowers.
 Not all weeds are ugly,this beautiful scarlet Poppy was growing on the edge of someones plot.I love the petals that are like a red silk hankerchief.They are so delicate blowing around in the wind.
 When the sun catches the red petals they glow like rubys in a sea of billowing grasses.The wind was quite cooling today,and made everything sway in the breeze.
 After the crazyness of work it is good to get my hands in the dirt.I planted French Beans,and another three rows of Peas.I need to look for more Parsnip,and Carrot Seeds as none have germinated at all.I thought Carrots were easy to grow.I wander if the dry conditions then waterlogged soil had rotted the seeds?Growing vegetables is a mystery still year after year why things work or fail.
  I am lucky I have a half allotment plot.Across Britain there are long waiting lists for plots.They were out of fashion for a while,and councils sold off whole swathes of allotments so there is a shortage now.I got an email about a project in Islington in London.I read there are only about 60 plots for the whole borough and that they now give new plot holders ten years only!A community project has tried to provide new ways of growing vegetables.
 The photo shows the aerial view of the Hovering Allotment project in Grenville Park,Islington.The design was made by design students from the American Intercontinental University.A plug in allotment garden that is irrigated by the tower at the back of the garden.It collects rainwater and feeds it down the zig zag channels.Pipes can be opened to water the planter boxes.
 It was comissioned by Islington council,and Friends of Greenville Gardens.The site has been infested with Japanese Knot weed so the soil could not be used after treatment.The students built the raised beds on stilts off the floor.The boxes are modular and can be adjusted to different heights for the needs of people to use them, like children,or the elderly.
 Each of the eighteen planter boxes is being looked after by a family from the diverse local community.The design mimics a river system where communitys are built on the irrigation planes and the students wanted the allotment garden to be a representation of the surrounding community.
 Islington is one of the most built up urban areas in London,so this green space must be a great place to sit, play,meet,and take children.I love the freshness of the design overcoming the problems of the site.
It made me realise how lucky I am to have an allotment.I think it is a great,simple but very effective.I saw the plans and the photos of all the hard work that went into the project.
   http://bottomupdesignbuild.wordpress.com/
The final photo shows the Mayor of Islington at the grand opening of the Hovering allotment garden on the 9th June 2012.I hope that they grow beautiful vegetables and flowers that will be a source of pride and pleasure.
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