Places & Spaces Whilst Away

The Pleasure of an Allotment

July 31, 2014

Hook Farm in Kent has been around since after the war. It’s a special place, cut off from main traffic and overlooking fields with horses. There are approximately 25 plots and as you would expect, a real sense of community. My partner and his family have had various plots there for over 25 years.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

On the weekend we went to the bi-annual BBQ, where everyone brings food and drinks and has a good catch up. Armed with my camera I snapped a few pics to show you how harmonious a space like this can be for everyone and everything living together.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

So, let’s meet some of the chickens. I love this sign that shows their names (made entirely by my partner’s dad who used to be in hand lettering, before the days of computers.)

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Happily roaming around and loving the leftovers of the BBQ they were given.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

The plastic tag on the chicken leg below corresponds to their names on the wooden planks.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

This bug hutch was build to encourage bugs, part of the food chain. I also happen to think it’s rather beautiful.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

This is one stylish chicken coop. Inside they’ve put rods for them to sleep on. Chickens like to roost just off the ground, like they would do if they lived in the wild.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Aren’t these teasles just a beauty?

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Anyone help me out with the name of this flower???

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Gorgeous roses!

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Susan, the Bee keeper has 11 hives. I was chatting to her about bees and could have listened for hours. They are the most fascinating creatures.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Some luscious vegetables. Love red chard.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Look at these courgettes with their much sought after flowers.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Fancy some red cabbage?

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

There’s even a resident owl living in the dead tree, here below. Of course, he was retired as it was day time. And they have 3 ponds for frogs.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Some allotment owners have signs like these. WANT!

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

You’ll find fruit, like these grapes.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

The mandatory apples. There were also quite a few pear trees.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Plums anyone?

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Wild blackberries. Just love them. I recently paired them with some fresh flowers.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Meet Basil. Resident flower pot man!

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

A water tank. That’s as good as the plumbing gets.

Hook Farm allotment - colourliving

Being an urban chick I just love going there and pretending I’m in the wild. It’s therapeutic, beautiful and best of all I get to eat a lot of the produce. I call this a result!! But let’s be real for a moment. Having an allotment plot and keeping an allotment site takes a hell of a lot of hard work.

Hope you’ll have a good weekend. x

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  • Reply Alexandra July 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Your mystery flower looks like an onion to me … and the allotment looks like a lot of fun and a great place to spend time in the summer. 🙂

    • Reply tina July 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Ha, yes, thank you. Riddle has been solved, thanks to brilliant Twitter. It was an allium!

      Yes, it’s a great place. Hope you are well!

  • Reply Judith July 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    An allotment plot (or any vegetable garden for that matter) is so much hard work indeed, but seriously: what a stunning garden, Tina! Lucky you that you get to enjoy the results of the hard work every once in a while. Yumm!
    I LOVE the name panels for the chickens, really your partner’s dad is talented! Great hand lettering! Oh and I think the mystery flower is the flower of an onion 🙂

    • Reply tina July 31, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Haha. I know. I just swan in and benefit from it all. But I do appreciate all the hard work.

      Yes, LOVE the ‘girls’ names on the wooden panels. So striking and so cool. Not all chickens are still there but they keep all the names up:-)
      Actually the Dad is responsible for the chickens so spends a lot of time with them.

      Well, you know, the good old skills. Proper craft, not like today when everyone thinks they are a designer and stylist:-)

      Yes, mystery solved and amended. Thank you x

  • Reply Igor July 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    An urban allotment is a little dream of mine. I imagine myself in Paris with a little allotment in an urban garden where I could exercise my veggie growing abilities! A perfect combination of urban & rural life!! Love your pics, Tina!

    • Reply tina July 31, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Ha. It is a wonderful thing. I’m in awe of all of them, looking after animals, growing fruits and vegetables and generally creating such a haven.

      I’m lucky to be benefiting from it and am hugely appreciative, trust me!! You know how much I love ‘real’ food!! Thanks Igor. Would love , one day, to visit you in your Paris allotment:-)

  • Reply Katy July 31, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    We have a communal roof garden and try to grow as much fruit and vegetables as possible. It’s been such a nice way to meet and get to know neighbours, which is becoming rarer and rarer in London. However, we’ve quickly discovered it takes soooo much work! Big respect to those who dedicate themselves to allotments. Lovely post x

    • Reply tina July 31, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      That is so cool! I totally agree. What a wonderful way to build community. Anyway you know I love your area:-)

      Hahaha, I’m sure. It doesn’t just all do it by itself! Yeah, I’m also in awe. You need to get down there at least twice, if not 3 times a week. There’s always weeding and other stuff to do. Big respect.

      Thanks Katy x

  • Reply Liza August 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Tina, I LOVE receiving your posts! Just wanted to let you know as I don’t get round to commenting very often. They are always interesting and beautiful!
    When we lived in France we had chicken running around free for a while and it was curious to see them sleep in the trees at night. Eventually we did build a chicken coop because they were leaving their traces everywhere!
    Have a lovely day, Liza

    • Reply tina August 1, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Hi Liza. What a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much:-)

      Ha. I bet the chicken loved running around free and sleeping in trees, but I can also see why you decided to build a chicken coop.
      You know, if I would have known you guys then I would have LOVED to come for a visit and stay for a while! One day you must show me photos.
      Have a good weekend.

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey August 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Wonderful pics Tina. So vibrant and full of nature and life… and those chicken names are sweet 🙂 x

    • Reply tina August 1, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you Gerard.

      It’s good to be in nature amongst all living things. As an urban chick, it’s really important to have that balance.

  • Reply Giova Brusa August 2, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Love this so much! I’m half urban chick, half farm girl. I really hope one day to give more to my other half, which has been neglected.
    Beautiful place!!

    • Reply tina August 4, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Ha. Love your description of yourself:-)

      Hope you’re having a nice summer!

  • Reply Anya Jensen August 3, 2014 at 11:12 am

    We have a thing in Copenhagen called school gardens, where kids who live in flats can have their own little allotment, where they can grow veg, and flowers, and learn about growing things and where everything comes from. I LOVE the idea, and these images are exactly like there. Happy weekend Tina Axxx

    • Reply tina August 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

      How lovely and how wonderfully Danish!

      In fact, a third of my partner’s Dad’s allotment he gave to the nursery next door for exact that reason. Kids come and work on the allotment. Happy new week xx

  • Reply alison sye August 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I love community-based allotments like th this. Yes, very hard work (my dad has has one all of his adult life – and at 79, still has), but the rewards are tremendous.
    Love the hand painted signs, you don’t see much of that these days x

    • Reply tina September 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      I know. I love going there and seeing the community come together. O’s dad is 78 and goes out there everyday. They also have a huge garden he attends to daily with more stuff growing. I just reap the benefits and am always mega greatful!

      The signs are great, right? x

  • Reply Mel September 25, 2014 at 8:15 am

    This is wonderful! They had a community garden not far from us in where we had our Sydney apartment and dreamed of having my own allotment. I thought it would be so lovely to take our son (only one at that point) to help me grow vegetables – then I truly thought about the work involved! Lovely post and nice to know about your partner. Mel x

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