This is what my space means to me…

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - OUTDOORS -

Jour­nal­ist Ella Walker, 29, and her boyfriend Sam, took over part of Sam’s fa­ther’s al­lot­ment near their home, which hadn’t been used for about three years.

Each plot has its own shed, taps and wa­ter butts and there are shared wheel­bar­rows.

“It was a mess. We had to dig it all up, which is still an on­go­ing process, but we in­her­ited a cou­ple of ap­ple trees and three rhubarb plants,” she re­calls.

“Be­fore we got into gar­den­ing, we’d been grow­ing chilli plants on our win­dowsill and filled our win­dow boxes with herbs, but we wanted more space. There was no chance of us get­ting a gar­den, so an al­lot­ment seemed the next best thing.

“It’s just so lovely go­ing there. You feel you’ve es­caped from re­al­ity. A cou­ple of hours dis­ap­pear and your brain just emp­ties.”

They are now grow­ing black­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries, rhubarb, kale, leeks and straw­ber­ries. An­other al­lot­ment holder has given them two vines.

“Mak­ing time for it is the hard­est thing,” she agrees. “I try to go once a week, but if I miss a week, it’s very de­mor­al­is­ing be­cause all the weeds have come up.

“It’s very so­cia­ble though – ev­ery­one chats. There’s a Por­tuguese col­lec­tive and they’ve all got plots to­gether and they’re al­ways out cook­ing sar­dines.

“And be­cause we were new and the youngest peo­ple on the plot, ev­ery­one al­ways gives us tips, whether we want them or not!”

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