The Farnham Allotment Show is always a happy affair; beautifully organised and populated by a wonderfully diverse cross section of local people, united by devotion to their allotments. I find it so sweet as we all arrive, carefully bearing our various baskets, jars and trugs – then painstakingly setting out our precious offerings. There’s always a gentle hum of concentration mingled with appreciation of others’ displays. All on a perfect summer’s day. How fortunate to be part of it!

The day started for me at 6am at the huerto, bathed in bright sunshine and loud birdsong. On inspection, this is what I picked – the best I could find (and not necessarily what I’d planned; the perfect red cos lettuces had been shredded by slugs overnight, drat them, and the promising dahlia bud still hadn’t opened (Bishop’s Children, from seed).

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To my surprise and delight, I later found that the funny purple podded peas I entered on a whim had won Best in Show!! I had planted the whole of a mouldy old packet of heritage seeds – bought I think at a plant fair at Wisley – and only ONE had germinated. It then grew only very feebly, requiring agonising weeks of nurture before it finally took off …. but in the end here was this one plant’s crop proudly recognised. A lesson in perseverence.


It was altogether a lovely day of uncomplicated joy, sunshine and simple pleasures:

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About Ruth Paris

Leadership & executive coach, based near Farnham, Surrey, UK. Love my garden and organic allotment / potager.
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