Does allotmenteering make you a better person?

In my case, the answer is no. Sadly, not.

This week’s sins are pretty substantial I’m afraid. To begin with, look at that picture – couldn’t it feature on the cover of Country Life? Those are Louise’s stained glass cane-toppers, which I’ve mentioned before. And the sins of greed and covetousness are the result of me getting my hands on them for long enough to take a photograph. Now I really want that kind of pretty thing for my sweet pea canes!

I’d only just started talking to Louise about her allotment, which she’s had for three years, and her garlic harvest, which she lifted early this year because the last two years she’s encountered onion blight, when my phone rang. One of my nearest and dearest had managed to get himself stranded in the wilds of Sussex, where he’d been volunteering, so I had to abandon the interview and head off to find him. That added impatience to covetousness and greed, and then when I couldn’t actually find him (my sense of direction is feeble at best) I did a bit of taking the Lord’s name in vain too! And what made it even more annoying was that Louise and I had just begun a fascinating conversation about some glass sculptures she’d had in the Chelsea Flower Show – which is a pretty big deal, as we all know – and how she wants to develop her glass sculptures by accepting commissions from gardeners. It feels like a real cliff-hanger not to have finished our talk, and now I’ll have to wait until we find ourselves up at the allotments together again.

So that’s four sins, resulting from one single allotment visit. Add to that the frustration that I’m feeling because I still don’t have the beautiful striped geranium that I’ve been after for weeks (so that’s double covetousness and double greed, actually) because Andy and I keep passing like ships in the night. Each time I get to the allotment he’s just leaving, or I’m just leaving (in a rush usually) as he arrives, so we haven’t coordinated the collection of my desired plant yet.

And to round out the sin collection, my broad beans have developed rust as a result of all the rainy weather we’ve had recently, so I’m envious of all those folk who still have smooth green bean pods now mine are speckled and scabbed with red/brown spots. So, let’s add it all up: two lots of greed, two lots of covetousness, one impatience, one bad language, one frustration and one envy. Eight allotment related sins.

I’ve got to admit that at present, allotments seem to be bad for my moral health!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, July 10, 2007

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