When I was small, we lived in a tiny hamlet near Moreton-in-Marsh, with no streetlights and no sounds except the occasional flight from the aerodrome, which is now the Fire Service College.
Like many others across the country, we are getting ready for the National Garden SleepOut event that is taking place tonight kindly sponsored by Primrose. I love the idea of this and as a family we will be keen to take part in this every year.
When we took over the adjacent allotment to our own, not only did we inherit some wonderfully rustic home made out-buildings and greenhouses, but also a modest decking and fire pit area. Now the previous tenants clearly had some grand designs, but due to relocating have left these largely unfulfilled. One of the things that struck us was that we could have plenty of space for planting, growing and keeping poultry but also a perfect (almost) ready-made entertaining area.
With some elbow grease to clean down the tired looking wood and some more ingenious construction (that probably wouldn’t pass building regulations!) we steadied the deck and dug out the cooking area. So what makes an allotment perfect for those long late nights that summer holds?
Your allotment can be the perfect space for a few friends to share some food, drinks and chill out under the stars. Certainly for us with only a modest sized garden, it is a perfect place when we want to invite a few more than usual as our allotment affords us the extra space. It also gives us food, cooking facilities and the chance to show off our second home – in a busy season it certainly feels that way.
Firstly, be sure to check the terms and conditions of your tenancy. I would not advocate doing anything that is likely to cause you trouble. I think that most local councils would be reasonably relaxed about it, depending on the proximity to neighbouring houses and the potential for noise pollution or damage.
Some useful pointers to ensure that you make the most of your allotment party –
· Check you are allowed to have a social gathering in your agreement
· Ensure your guests respect yours and others property
· Don’t annoy the neighbours – music, noise, and littering, wilful or accidental damage
· Keep the guest list select – don’t invite hundreds
· Be careful with any fires lit
· Keep the party area well lit, don’t want clumsy feet walking on those plants!
· Clearly fence off areas that are no-go’s
· Make sure all fires, candles and naked flames are extinguished before leaving
On a cold but clear April night we stoked up a fire and got a feel for what those long awaited summer nights would hold for us. It was blazing success. A perfectly clear night allowed us for some unrivalled sky views of the stars and planets, the fire pit roared to life and somehow the food tasted all that better. We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to partake in our next one now that the temperatures have risen and the nights are just that bit longer. Whilst allotments may not be chic, and some may be a little shabby – they hold great promise for not only the raising of seeds but of glasses too.
Get ready, because Saturday 28th July is the National Garden SleepOut – a chance for kids and adults to spend quality time together out in the garden, rediscovering nature and having fun!
We’re trying to combat the cultural change that some are calling ‘Nature Deficit Disorder‘ – a lack of outdoor play in children’s lives. People are losing touch with nature, and as garden lovers, we think that’s dangerous! So we’re inviting you to sleep outside for a night and find out what you may have been missing all this time, while benefiting our great charities Just a Drop and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
After you’ve slept out, send us your pictures and stories – for every photo we publish on the site, we will donate £5 to be split between the two charities.
Here’s a gallery of some of our Primrose kids who have done a ‘trial run’ of the SleepOut – and they loved it, and can’t wait to do it again!
We’ve also got a special Pinterest board celebrating sleeping out, our chosen charities, and life in the garden.
Visit the SleepOut Website for more information, to donate to our charities, and to download an activity pack!
Joycelyn is a member of the Primrose marketing team.
She is a novice windowsill gardener but hopes to graduate to larger plants one day. She enjoys British food (despite its sometimes bad reputation) and British scenery.
At Primrose, when not tending to office plants, she deals with online advertising and social media.