The allotment (along with many others on the street) has been home for pets and animals as well. Spousal Unit kept rabbits (Chuchyface, Blacky and Smoky) in the garden when he was a young boy. Chuchyface ate mashed potatoes and yorkshire puddings! When our expatriate assignment came to an end and we returned to the US, Mom and Dad cheerfully accepted the kids' two rabbits (Butterscotch and Sooty) and my guinea pig, Quiffy. (During his time with Mom and Dad, I would say Quiffy even came ahead of the grandkids! He had an apartment in one of the sheds, and came into the house to stay in the back lobby if the winter nights were too cold.) Number One Daughter (#1D) recalls how Quiffy learned to associate the opening of the garden gate with food, and that he would start to twitter as soon as he heard the sound.
Currently, Dad looks after one hen for a lady who has an allotment down the street. When we are visiting, I love going with Dad to put the hen in for the night and to check for eggs. She always uses the same box and reliably produces one egg every other day.
|A Young Samurai|
Our kids also enjoyed the allotment. If you were to notice some white specks on one of the sheds, most likely they are spit balls left over from vigorous fights between Dad and Number One Son (#1S). #1S found some plastic tubes in the shed and hatched the idea of the spit ball fight. Lo to anyone caught in the cross fire!!! An orange tree planted by #1S from an orange pip still grows strong in either the shed or the greenhouse, and he also remembers digging a large hole in the garden because he could! #1D has fond memories of pea and corn rice, accompanied by charcoal grilled sausages during barbecues.
|#1D with Nana's Squirrel|
Many a day Mom and #1D would feed the farm horses carrots and apples (ultimately, Mom stopped this practice because the horses developed an appetite for her flowers just over the fence). #1D will tell you that not all was rosy in paradise - she often had hay fever attacks during our visits ....
Over the years, Mom and Dad gained an adjoining allotment from a neighbor. Eventually, Mom joined Dad in the garden and flowers as well as fruit trees were gradually added. Mom's numerous bird feeders attract a wide variety of creatures. Mom enjoys experimenting with a variety of flowers, and in true gardener fashion, divides some plants in order to augment other sections of the beds. They both take great joy in 'pottering on', and it shows in the beauty and variety of the space.
Ultimately, Mom and Dad added a sitting area in the garden, tucked behind one of the sheds. From this corner of the allotment, you are far from the road, and have splendid views of the flowers, fruits and vegetables, as well as the horses in the field. 'Twitching' (watching the birds) is possible since the feeders are nearby. You can truly imagine that you have been transported to another time and place. So it was that some years ago, during one of our visits, the sitting area became known as 'the Riviera.' Now, whenever we are home with Mom and Dad, going 'Down the Riviera' is one of our favorite past-times.
|Abandoned blackbird nest|
This blog post is dedicated to Mom and Dad and all those who apply elbow grease to make their allotments a place of harvest, beauty, serenity and family memories.
Linking to Saturday Critters
Linking to Mosaic Monday