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On the mend: One step at a time

At the end of June, I suffered what I thought was a minor garden injury: I fell over the allotment ‘wonky’ path, hurting the side of my foot. It hurt like crazy but I comforted myself with the knowledge that no one had seen me fall!  I limped home, wincing with each step, a 100% sure that it was nothing major.

The next morning my foot was swollen and heavily bruised. I could barely walk. My family tried to persuade me to go to A&E but… ‘no way was I going to waste NHS resources with a bruised foot’ so I plodded on, literally!

Fast forward to the end of September, I was still in a ridiculous amount of pain, my foot had changed shape and I had lost all movement in my toes!  I visited the doctor.  Long story cut short…I had torn the ligaments, chipped bone and fractured my foot!

My foot was placed in a surgical boot (actually 2 boots because I wore one out!)  for 9 weeks.  I’m left with possible nerve damage, post-traumatic arthritis and a programme of physiotherapy 😦


Apparently…’ Around 300,000 individuals in the UK attended Accident and Emergency departments after having an accident in the garden in 2004. Some 87,000 people were actually injured while gardening.’

Gardening injuries are terribly common, I know. I’ve had plenty of bruises, cuts and aches but this has stopped me in my tracks. No digging. No clearing. No weeding. Nothing.  Luckily, my injury has fitted nicely into the ‘quieter season’ of gardening.  The weather hasn’t been brilliant either, so the whole allotment site has been generally deserted.

I’m itching to get back to my ‘sanctuary’ plots but this gardening season I’m going to have to plan carefully in order to make things easier for myself.  So far, I have a basic 5 point plan…

  1. Have a kneeler or seat nearby for regular rests.
  2. Get all the tools ready before starting a job.
  3. Look out for adapted equipment…more raised beds, tools with longer handles or lighter weight etc
  4. Invest in a cart or barrow.
  5. Consider a tool belt or work apron to carry ‘bits n bobs’ like secateurs or a knife.

Do you have a tips for a injured allotmenteer?  What about you?  Have you ever come a cropper in the garden?








































1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

So much to do…but I must remember to have fun along the way!

There’s no better feeling than ticking something off my allotment to-do list. Done. Finished. Completed.

In day to day life, I’m constantly writing lists.  I worry that I’ll forget to do or get something, so I write it down.  If I don’t, my brain gets locked into a ‘list loop’…repeating over and over.  Writing things down stops the jobs from ‘pecking my head’ and helps me keep track of things that could easily disappear when life becomes especially hectic.

Although writing, generally, is a powerful tool which helps me to organise and simplify my thoughts…even when it comes to gardening.

Reminder to myself: I garden because it is enjoyable and relaxing.

However, I often have to remind myself to stop running around like a blue-ar***d fly and flapping about the amount of work the needs to be completed!  I know that, ultimately, doing a little as often as possible, is the best way to work but that’s easier said than done.  I’m trying to focus on the important jobs first, ensuring all the jobs are achievable within my time-frame.

However time is ticking.  The signs of Spring are evident.  Daffodils, primroses and crocuses are flowering.  The growing season has begun and April is always busy month. My window sills and greenhouses are full of seedlings that need to be hardened off and planted out but I still have so many jobs to do on my allotment!

In no particular order, here are my top ten jobs on my ‘To Do List’…Errrrrm, there’s a lot of digging involved!!!

1. De-clutter the allotment greenhouse ready for tomatoes and put the second cold-frame in place.
2. Dig the front of plot 4a.
3. De-weed the top pathway.
4. Replant the strawberry patch.
5. Line new planter and plant up with the best of the strawberry plants.
6. Dig and de-weed the ex-gooseberry bed.

(There was an old gooseberry bush here but it was being strangled by bindweed and suffocated by couch grass.  I dug it up and washed the roots for replanting.)  

7. Remove grass from currant bushes and replant gooseberry bush next to them.
8. Dig over flower beds.
9. Finish digging plot 5a.
10. Dig over cardoon and comfrey bed.



Time for Beds

It’s a Saturday and it hasn’t rained!! Whoo hoo!! Obviously I had to make the most of the opportunity and grab a few hours on the allotments.

Plots 4a and 5a are coping quite well with the appalling winter weather, but the clock is ticking and I need to get the plots ready for the growing season.

Jobs of the day were:

  1. The 3rd raised large bed needed to be erected and filled.
  2. Move mini raised bed.
  3. Put weed suppressant on the paths between the beds.

All done!

I have a second mini bed to take up tomorrow (if the weather holds) and I need to buy some bark chippings for the paths.

Raised Beds X3

I must admit that when I took over plot 5A January last year, I was 100% against having raised beds on the plot, even though for some reason, it seems most new gardeners grow their vegetables using raised beds. It’s fashionable at the moment! Gardening magazines and programmes are full of raised bed images (and adverts).

Allotment site
Allotment Site.  A mixture of methods!

However, I like the look of veggies planted in rows.  I love the watching the experienced allotmenteers, use traditional methods to produce plots bursting with tasty goodies. Every possible space is used for growing!

Last year some of my ‘ground grown’ vegetables  weren’t entirely successful.  Carrots for example…they grew. Yes – but were very misshapen! I tried growing a batch in the mini raised bed and the results were fantastic!! My cauliflowers grew nicely but were nibbled to nothing by tiny slugs!  So frustrating!!

For me raised bed gardening seems like another useful trick up my allotmenting sleeve. It would be absurd not to give it a go… I have enough room, with two plots, for the best of both worlds.  Who knows, my ‘chosen veggies’ may actually enjoy being snuggled up in a nice warm bed!