After being away from the rat race for nine months, I must admit that after a long day in the office and the inevitable commute to and fro, the thought of spending an evening up at the allotment digging and sowing really does not appeal. Thankfully all the hard work we put in beforehand has meant the worst is now hopefully behind us.
We still have a lot of work to do. We have lots still to get in the ground and the very nature of our patch means that every visit involves much weeding, hoeing and tutting. Despite our best efforts we just can't keep those weeds and dandelions at bay. They are quickly becoming the bane of our lives.
The onset of early Summer has brought the allotments completely to life. They are a hive of activity and everything is suddenly lush and verdant. It is a wonderful thing to witness the change from those dark, cold early days in February/March. The transformation is quite staggering. Despite our continuing battle against the weeds, other things are actually growing too.
We now have two different crops of potatoes in the ground, Red Duke of Yorks and Pink Fir Salad potatoes. The Duke of Yorks are already flowering, their purple leaves clear to see in lovely rows. The Pink Firs went in on the Bank Holiday thanks to some additional help from a very willing friend who was paid in fancy Belgian beer afterwards!
Our artichokes and asparagus are coming on well and the strawberry plants are flowering and taking over more and more space! The rhubarb is sprouting up all over the place - I've already made plans for strawberry rhubarb jam.
The peas and French beans we planted are beginning to show signs of life as is the borlotti bean we found on the floor of the ramshackle shed. We have also planted some radishes which so far look very healthy. Next to go in are our two types of beetroot, normal purple and golden beetroot.
Thankfully, we've already had our first taste of homegrown veg, if not strictly our own. Asparagus has been shooting up from under the rhubarb we planted and it tastes sensational. We also found some potatoes emerging from last year so those have been snaffled up for dinner.
Despite all the work and the competing pressures, we both agree that no matter what mood you are in when you arrive at the allotment you almost certainly leave in a better frame of mind.
Now that can't be a bad thing.