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7 Mar 2016

Mother's Day in the Garden

Fiona Rhodes
It's was Mother's Day in the UK yesterday. I have lived abroad for about 10 years now so rarely see my mum on this day but I still spend it missing her even more than usual.

Me, my mum and my bowl-cut.

With twin toddlers it can be quite hard to get time to yourself. Now that they are walking (running) everywhere, going anywhere alone with them is pretty challenging so my husband and I rarely spend time alone at the weekend but there are days when I just crave an hour to myself!!

When we first got our allotment garden I envisaged us spending a lot of time up there barbecuing, sunbathing, planting a few courgettes and strawberries. Eventually, once having a family, I saw us pottering around with plants and enjoying the space we have so craved after living in a city apartment (with no garden) for so long. However, the reality is quite different and I now really appreciated the effort it takes to grow good, healthy, organic, pesticide-free produce. The main tasks are weeding, watering, preparing soil, composting, cutting hedges, mowing the grass. In 3 years we haven't yet sunbathed or had a barbecue up there but I wouldn't change a thing.

Our allotment has become my sanctuary, the one place I go to alone. Two hours up there and I feel like a new person, with no technology, phone, company, twins to take care of. I am able to completely switch off. This time of year the garden is full of anticipation. There is little growing but the odd snowdrop, daffodil or bluebell. Now its the time to start preparing the beds, weeding everything in preparation for planting at the end of the month.

So this mother's day my husband gave me the gift of 3 hours up in my happy place to dig. After 5 minutes of hoeing, the blue skies disappeared and horizontal snow started pelting in my face. So I sat in my shed and went through a ton off seeds, planning what to grow this year and savouring every minute.


The walk up to the garden at the bottom of the snowy Uetliberg.


Everything looking a bit barren. Our shed is the one in the middle. It looks much better from the inside thanks to the Italian touch of the previous owners.


Not surprisingly I was the only person up there in this weather.
 
I think I have a seed addiction. There are about 100 more packets like these...

Fiona Rhodes / Author & Editor

A blog about running an allotment as a novice gardener in Zurich, Switzerland (with the help of my twin toddlers).

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