It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting here with a cup of tea, Santa Claus the movie (arguably the best Christmas film ever made) and a box of Victoria biscuits by my side reflecting on a topic that comes around in my mind every year and that’s allotment withdrawal.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy Christmas, but each year it arrives more prematurely than the last and becomes all time consuming, which naturally pushes your normal routine out of sync.
It usually starts with the clocks going back and the nights drawing in sooner, followed by a turn in the weather, leaving the ground either too frozen to work in or too sodden.
What comes next is the usual festive madness that involves socialising, the purchasing, wrapping and sending of presents and cards. While all of this carries on, time for gardening becomes limited and the next thing you know, it feels like time has run out.
At this point I can hear you asking…
What is allotment withdrawal?
Allotment withdrawal involve feelings of anxiety, pressure or wanting that occur when one hasn’t had a fix of gardening or going to an allotment for a longer period of time than expected.Said by someone at some point, somewhere… Probably.
At this time of year, my average allotment visit rate is approx. once every two or three weeks – which puts more of an emphasis on the fact that the time I spend at the allotment is precious.
We’re experiencing quite a fairly mild winter currently, which means that the weed growth remains slow but consistent as the winter months drudge on.
I’m generally quite grateful for the lack of weed growth as it’s given me a chance to really crack on with re-building the beds at the plot and this is where I’m at so far.
Dealing with allotment withdrawal
At the beginning of November, I found myself going to the allotment with a plan or a set of tasks that I was determined to complete and I have to say that it’s helped to keep everything on track – and subside the allotment withdrawal.
The reason being is that I’m coming away from the plot thinking, “Ok, I achieved what I set out to achieve” and so I feel less bad or anxious about the space of time between visits.
I’m also reminding myself that it’s ok to prioritise other aspects of your life, especially at this time of year, so I’m not being too hard when I plan to go to the allotment – and for one reason or another you never make it.
I’m also taking the time away from the allotment to do some research on different plants and what I want to grow in the year ahead. This helps keep up the momentum and for me personally, I’m looking into growing the more perennial plants and deciding what varieties I like and which ones I’ve had the most success from.
All of the above has really helped and I’m now wondering if others have similar sentiments when it comes to gardening and juggling a busy lifestyle.
Are you suffering from allotment withdrawal? I’d love to know your thoughts.