A new start Feb 6, 2020 12:53:49 GMT
Post by Admin on Feb 6, 2020 12:53:49 GMT
February is always a time of mixed emotions and of plans rather than fulfilment. On the one hand there is the sight of daffodils and crocus pushing through that kindles the hope for a new growing season; on the other there is often late snow and frosts that hinder the urge to get outdoors and do something. This year it seems to be complicated by the exceptional mildness and wetness of the past 4 months. Since October there have been few days which have offered the prospect of dry ground that can be dug over, composted, sown with winter crops or over-wintered with alliums or broad beans. We don't know what we can face as we move through February. In the past few years we have had Siberian March and exceptional heat and dryness. Our climate is changing and the extremes are now the norm. Learning how to cope with these possibilities offers challenges to all of us, eapecially older gardeners who have developed a pattern of attitudes to the seasons, and now find plantings don't work out as they used to.
Adapting to these changes and learning how to vary our expectations is the art of the 2020s and perhaps its more important to understand and to accept that things ain't just the way they used to be than to settle for one catch-all solution. In some areas the challenge has been interpreted as how to plant for drought summers, and its true that hotter and drier weather does require not only different plantings but also an immense effort to conserve water. However the increasing likelihood of torrential downpours at inconvenient times also means changes to the ways we channel water off our plots, and imposes big challenges to those who run our allotment sites, whether its a Management Committee or the Council. We're all affected as individuals in that we want to carry out our motivations for allotment holding, be it thrift, or ecological concerns, or healthy eating or simply the fun of being outdoors and using the land.
With all of these challenges in mind, its still a great time for the senses to come alive to the pulse of things, and its a pleasure to see new tenants taking on plots, some for the first time. To those who have recently joined this forum, or have liked our pages on Facebook, we say Welcome. You won't find all the answers from your plot neighbours or those who post on here, but perhaps we can all join in asking the same questions and trying out possibilities, and learn from each other. For those on the council- managed sites at America Lane and Oathall Avenue there will be tenant-led Inspections starting on 19th February. Don't be alarmed, it isn't a visit from the Gestapo. Instead it's an opportunity for the Council and for those involved to meet tenants and offer suggestions about the best way to take advantage of the great possibilities of this new growing year.