I RECENTLY learned that the word “paradise” comes from the Persian word for a walled garden.
Being cocooned in a well-tended, walled garden, with the outside world hidden from view, is something akin to paradise. However, I am going to extend my definition of paradise to include the newly regenerated Yetholm Yewtree Allotments in the Borders. It’s not a walled garden, but it has those qualities of peace and tranquility plus distant views of a stunning pastoral landscape.
The local plotholders invited me along to the celebrations marking completion of their regeneration project. The sun shone as I travelled slowly there. It was new territory for me and I didn’t want to miss anything. As it is, the allotments blend in so perfectly with their surroundings that I managed to miss their lovely wooden gates and drive straight past.
John and Stan began the formal proceedings. Judging from everyone they thanked, a great many people had lent their skills and time to give the site an impressive makeover. Nothing had been skimped, no corners cut. There had been some ups and downs, but the end result is a remarkable achievement.
Sustainability was their watchword. They made the imposing communal hut themselves from local Borders timber. Innovative water harvesting from roofs means no problems with soaring water rates. Communal compost bins and a shredding and chipping area mean locals won’t be annoyed by bonfires or unsightly skips. There are no tumbledown huts or ugly security fences.
The site includes the remains of the oldest building in the village, which has been re-roofed and brought back to life as a potting shed. There are a number of old trees dotted round the site, a legacy of its former use as a market garden, which add to the way this site fits in so well in the heart of the village. Judging from a row of perfect peas and some whopping cabbages, the soil is pretty good too.
I know these allotments are in a rural location and many of our urban sites try to maximise the number of plots they can fit in. However, as the barbecue began and the bar was declared open, I was convinced of the wisdom of setting aside enough space for occasional get-togethers. It was a wrench to drag myself home from this present day garden of Eden.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West