Thursday, 17 November 2011
The tap on the water butt dripped relentlessly during my visit to the town allotments, late on this November afternoon. It dripped as if ticking away the seasons, although it was already plain to see that Autumn is finally moving towards Winter. The air had a distinct chill that has been unusually missing until now. The low afternoon light passing through the leafless trees, caught the presence of my breath as I wandered between these end of season plots.
Taking in this special atmosphere at the allotments is an enjoyment that all should experience. They are busy, vibrant places during the growing season and yet peaceful, and ever-valuable patches of earth during the dormant months.
Yesterday I saw the few remaining flowers doing their best to add the last bit of vibrance to the new seasonal colour palette of assorted browns. I saw the few remaining vegetables sitting jauntily in the ground, hoping to be harvested before they rotted. Bamboo canes gathered into bundles, pots stacked neatly into piles and compost heaps covered with old carpet.
But most of all, I saw the people. The people who may not physically have been there but the individuality of their own special little place, showed me so much about these gardeners, that I could almost hear their chat between each other on those sunny summer afternoons.
That chat will come again, as sure as the seasons come and go.