Sunday dawned as Saturday had finished. Warm and cheerful.
Up to the Pinfold lane entrance to set up for the Cheslyn Hay Open Gardens Day. This is a one-day local event which raises money for the charity decided on by the organisers. Our allotments was part of the set-up for the first time last year; a pioneering venture on both parts. Unfortunately the weather was poor and the directions to the allotments given in the programme were misleading.
This year … quite the opposite!
We joined the impressive list:
Dorset House, 68 Station Street – Plants will be on sale
76 Station Street – a beautiful garden with a modern flair that shows the owners personality
79 Station Street – come and enjoy home-made cake and tea and soak up the lovely Victorian Cottage Garden
119 Station Street – a stunning garden which goes on and one and on…
16 Rosemary Road – a chance to see ducks as well as some unusual plants
Cheslyn Hay Community Allotments, Pinfold Lane – come and take a peek at Cheslyn Hay’s best kept secret.
This year it had been decided by the powers-that-be that money would go to Katherine House Hospice in nearby Stafford.
The allotments shop was open, as usual, the gates flung wide and a steady stream of visitors, some with programmes bought at other gardens, some starting their tour with us (programmes allow entry to all properties on the day).
Visitors were, by turn, intrigued, amazed, encouraging and appreciative; and commented on the friendly atmosphere and community spirit on the site.
We added names to the waiting list and a few cottage gardeners. And gave guided tours. Among the main attractions on this walk was the beehive … and, in fact when I was doing the walk I was actually standing right by the thing but could neither hear it nor see it: a credit to the beekeepers – and the bees of course.
At one point a swarm of bees passed overhead and we were all concerned that the swarm had come from the hive and unable to remember the ‘phone number!
A couple of our plotholders, who had never been to the other gardens before did the tour this year, encouraged they said by the fact that the allotments were taking part.
One of our last visitors was a lady from the hospice who came to thank us for our efforts on their behalf. This was a really unexpected and lovely touch. Some larger charities could learn a lot from such a simple gesture!
At the end of the long day, the barrow was taken apart: it has been widely complimented and well-christened.
I expect it will be out again for the barbecue on 2nd July.
Until then, there are weeds to pull and crops to pick: never seen so many broad beans and strawberries!
Never a dull moment when you’ve got an allotment.
Thanks to the behind-the scenes organisers of the day, to everybody who came to support the allotments, to our members for their support and best wishes to everyone involved with Katherine House Hospice.
Image: allotment photos (editor)