I am off to a good start!

I have to admit that my first thought, when seeing my allotment, was “Where do I even start?”. But with the help of both old and new friends my little ‘solidarity garden’ project is off to a good start!


So, as the rain stopped I went down with my shovel and some other useful things to just have a go at it. Poco a poco / One step at a time. I started by identifying plants that would be worth keeping and getting rid of weeds. Slowly I ‘liberated’ what is now known as the strawberry patch.

Soon Tim joined me and helped weeding more whilst I was cutting down the two blackberry/bramble shrubs that had overtaken much of the plot. Sounds of ‘OUCH’ were frequently heard from both of us 😉

And then a miracle happened: 88 years old Eduardo come by and showed us how it’s really done! In an hour or so he got more of the plot cleared than the two of us together had managed in much more time!

If you think you are too old for something, you really should meet Eduardo, who also happens to have the biggest allotment in our little gardening community!

So, at the end of the day, the three of us managed to weed around half of the plot and prepare a quarter of it for sowing/planting.


I set out in the morning to plant/sow in the now prepared soil. So far I have done: Strawberry and chives (transplanted from last years balcony gardening) and rocket salad/rucola, carrots, radishes and potatoes. As for the big potato plant in the picture, it has been pre-grown on the balcony 😉


Tomorrow afternoon I will go down to finish weeding around the rose bush and then planting herbs (rosemary, lavender and parsley) around it.

Hopefully by tomorrow 50% of the allotment will be planted/sown and ready to produce a lot of healthy food for both me and my neighbours!


I have to say that even that I knew already that (balcony) gardening was good for me, I never imagined what a huge, positive impact the allotment would have on my mental health. In short, in just two days I went from “Thank God I don’t have to leave the flat today to run errands!” to “Sun, when are you finally getting up so that I can go out gardening?”.

This allotment truly has become my happy place …

18 thoughts on “I am off to a good start!”

  1. I desperately miss my allotment – but alas, they built a school on top of it, and now I’m number 500-something in line for other allotment gardens in Oslo…

    1. So sorry to hear that! But when you are in Santiago you are welcome to visit my little solidarity allotment!

  2. Dear Sybille,
    So happy to hear 👂 of your progress in the garden and within yourself.

    Such joy can be found in a garden as you have shared.

    Many blessings that you and your garden allies.
    Carol and Denis

    1. Hi Carol and Denis,

      Yes, gardening does me a lot of good, expect an update here on the blog with lots of photos.
      Hugs from Santiago, SY

  3. What a great job you’re doing with your new garden and your neighborhood pantry. I will be in Santiago on Good Friday till the next Tuesday. It would be an honour to meet you. CC Williams

    1. That would be wonderful, Catherine! I will happily show you around my two little projects, if you like, SY

  4. A huge WOW!
    The thing about being a giver is that you attract more of the same.
    Kudos 👏👏👏 to your support crew too (today & future).
    Age is no barrier .


  5. I totally get it Sybill.
    My garden has the same effect on me. Sadly this year I won’t plant but I’ll experience it all through yours!!!!!!!

    Happy gardening and well done.


    1. Hi Ellen,
      I promise to keep you all entertained with photos! The other advantage the garden has for me is that it keeps me away from the news and I can forget, at least for a little while, what strange times we all live in.

  6. Wonderful to read, Sybille. This is such a great initiative on so many levels. After two years of the world feeling insecure, everyone should embrace the opportunity to enjoy (at least a little) food security. That it comes with such positive health and community benefits rounds it out as the perfect activity! Congratulations.

    “Life’s a garden… you gotta dig it!” ~ Joe Dirt

    1. Thank you, Jordon,
      I will keep you all updated how my little projects develop,

  7. Ha Sybille, the bug got you. Allotment bug that is.

    Take care though not to be carried away by beginners enthusiasm, there will be days when you can’t be bothered, just like walking, that us when the mind tries to bully you into suission, and then that us when you just have to take a deep breath and do a little, (which I find turns into a lot more than I originally thought I would be up to doing). Do you have an azada they are great both for saving your back when digging and very useful for weeding. Wet newspapers around plants can stop the weeds, but if you use this method watch out for the slugs which love damp cover. The next important part of an allotment is the compost heap. You xan collect vegetable peels etc from neighbours to help build a pile quickly.
    My favourite you tuve gardeners are Red Gardens and Charles Dowding who champions a no dig method of gardening.
    The veggies you frow yourself will always taste way better than anything you buy.

    1. Hi Jim,
      Thank you for all your good tips! I promise to go slowly 😉 Azada and also a big watering can are on my shopping list for later this year!

  8. That is great! It is amazing how therapeutic gardening can be and a great way to build community too. Fresh food will be a pretty good benefit too.

    God will bless you for everything you do for the community.


    1. Thank you Mike, like I always say: helping others means helping myself! (Structure of the day/week, purpose etc.)

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