Friday, 27 January 2012

Tea Hut

I thought I might introduce our tea hut at the allotments. It's been too wet for digging, and the weather has been pretty cold and windy. I still go down to dig up a few leeks and other winter veg, and take down some old peels and eggshells for my compost bin. I might tidy up canes or bricks or netting, check on onions I planted in the Autumn, and see whether there are signs of Spring, and there are... rhubarb is crowning, all my daffodils and crocuses are pushing through, there are buds on my fruit bushes.

But, last weekend, I just had an hour with Eric in the tea hut. We boiled the kettle and put classical music on the radio. We sat on our wooden chairs with their heart and flower-patterned cushions, and talked about this and that, and got a bit stiff and cold (although we could have put the calor gas heater on and shut the door. But somehow it's life-affirming to sit there, with the drizzle outside bringing in the damp and the wind bringing in the cold, and watching Carole's raspberry canes bowing in the wind.

The photos will show you our little communal hideaway, a place of clutter and books, and teapots and cups, and Tony's beautiful paintings on the walls, and many clocks, chairs, chests and gas bottles, notices on the wall, tins of biscuits or nails and screws, and bits of everything, and hot tea.

Today, I ordered extra seeds (in addition to the tin full of seeds I already have). Bauhilde black beans. Savoy Cabbage. Belstar Calabrese. Chantenay carrots. Rainbow Chard. Buttercup Squash. Butternut Squash. Pak Choi. Esmee Rocket. Kevelden Wonder Peas. Halblange White Parsnips. Great Lakes Crisphead Lettuce. I love the names of seeds. I'd like to be a person that names seeds for a living.

And I've been a complete garden geek researching asparagus crowns. I'm getting them shipped up from a farm in Kent, they last ten years so might as well make sure I get good ones!

I can't wait for spring. It's the small things in life, that make it worth living. The cycle of things sprouting, growing, fruiting, dying back, rotting, lying dormant, and growing again. I love the seasons and the way the allotment changes every day as the weather and seasons change.

At the moment, my plot is waterlogged in places, muddy, damp, mostly everything has died right back, and the soil is bare or covered, and it's rough-dug or clumpy. The greenhouse is empty, the pond is over-flowing, there are dead artichokes on brown stalks, and dried up fox gloves and gladioli that I can't quite bring myself to compost yet. Rotting sunflower heads, ten foot jerusalem artichoke stems, and bare branches on my trees and bushes.

Everything is waiting, including me, for the time when it's growing time again.


sonia said...

beautiful post. your communal area is lovely- we don't have anything like that. my friend jim's hut used to be the informal cafe but he moved away.

Megan said...

I love your shed. And think you're totally the right woman for the job of seed naming

annie clarkson said...

Thanks you two, I think you are my two most devoted readers and comment-leavers. I love our tea hut, it's quite dirty and untidy, but very welcoming.. x