Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Lovely Thyme despite The Conflict with The Council

Yesterday evening I stopped by the allotment with a sole purpose in mind. I was however distracted by the sight that greeted me as I entered the gate.  

The Herb Beds were a wash of pink, purple and green.

The creeping thyme was so beautiful that I just had to momentarily pause to appreciate the picture and enjoy the scent.

The Bumble Bees also enjoyed the Thyme as they greedily devoured the nectar

Thyme and Nepeta with Lupins and Lychnis

After my pleasurable period of procrastination I returned to the errand that had brought me to the plot in the first place. You may recall that in my post "Sunshine, Freedom and a Little Flower" I had made the extremely annoying discovery that the council had massacred the plants along my boundary. Although I did not want to focus upon the destruction at the time, I knew that I would have to act sooner rather than later.

Teasel and Montbretia with their heads chopped off.

So I made a polite phone call to the Council. The equally polite lady that I spoke to requested that I e-mail her the details and assured me that no doubt the council workers thought they were obliging me by cutting right up to the boundary. Hmmmmmmm!!!!!

Thus I drafted a very nice e-mail to the Council lady, including before and after photos to ensure that I got my message across. 

Her civil reply came soon - informing me that she had passed my message onto the Environmental Team who look after the allotments. Pleased that my message had been delivered I e-mailed back my thanks and proceeded to dismiss the matter from my mind.

Two hours later the Council had reverted back to their normal confrontational and aggressive approach when dealing with us plotholders, whom they seem to hold in the lowest of esteem. The e-mail that pinged into my inbox was curt and aggressive. ON NO ACCOUNT was I to grow plants along my boundary. The council would not be taking any responsibility for plants damaged or lost outside of the agreed boundary.

Instantly my blood pressure rose and I seethed at the contempt and disregard with which we plotholders (who I must point out had to accept a staggering increase in our allotment rents last year in return for even less) are treated by the council.

It does seem to me that the Council really do not understand their allotmenteering tenants. I must confess though that the same could be said for us allotmenteers - who cannot fathom the Councils out-dated and unimaginative style of gardening, demonstrated by their penchant for placing large tubs of bedding plants along with a few Hybrid Tea Roses upon roundabouts,

or their liberal use of pesticides and obsession for cutting grass verges where once bloomed wildflowers and a safe habitat for wildlife. I could go on, but I will stop there.

I cannot see why they have to be so unreasonable;
Firstly all we are doing is attempting to make our little plots attractive and appealing.

Secondly we are not asking the council to actually DO anything, merely that they DON'T strim the edges - which surely would be more cost effective, as this practice only began after they agreed to stop spraying the edges of the plots (a positive result for our committee that solely came about due to cost cutting).

Thirdly - technically speaking the plants that were butchered were inside of my boundary, as my fence, (which I must point out was put up by me - NOT the council), is set inside my agreed boundary.

Lastly the most important point of all! In the minutes of the meeting between the council and the committee last year, it states - "Plotholders are responsible for maintaining the boundary of their plots themselves!"

Nevertheless I have no faith that the Environmental Team will place any importance whatsoever upon anything agreed with us grubby and bothersome allotmenteers and so I am making a last ditch attempt to salvage the fresh green growth newly emerging from last months wreckage along the picket fence.

Will they pay any heed? I admit I am not hopeful!



Elizabeth Bennet-D'arcy said...

It seems to me that only Philistines and morons work for Local Councils. Last autumn I was delighted to see the abundance of blackberries, sloes and rosehips along the nearby towpath and looked forward to having the time to forage at the weekend. I dreamed of making quantities of sloe gin. blackberry jam and delicious rosehip wine. On the Saturday I got together some bags, a basket and my hooked walking stick and headed out.I was confronted with total devastation. The Council workmen had been out with high-powered machines and decimated the hedge rows! In Autumn! Season of mists and mellow FRUITFULNESS! Did these people actually have an education or is lack of same necessary in order to get the job. I have no doubt it will be the same this year and as you have found-complaining is just a waste of time and effort.

Charlotte Garden said...

Elizabeth - I have just seen the following article where a council workman wiped out an entire wildlfower meadow that it had taken 15 years to create!