Plot Notes

A personal journal, open for the world to read, recording the progress of a novice allotmenteer on his allotment.

Weed it and reap.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Brown Stuff

My 8 year old daughter loves painting. Not painting pictures in an artistic way but just painting, painting anything, slapping it on in the style of a decorator. If there is nothing for her to paint she is happy to take a paint-brush and a bucket of water and spread a thin coat of water across the garden wall, the garage or the patio slabs and once it has dried she will start all over again.

It was no surprise last weekend when she volunteered to paint my compost boxes. I provided her with a tub of paint, a nice wide brush and a flask of orange juice and left her to it.

Unhappy with the colour of the paint she complained, "It looks like poo!". I did not really have much choice. Site rules stipulate that structures on the allotments must be painted only in natural colours by which they mean various shades of brown and maybe a delicate shade of green for the daringly flamboyant types.

My daughter argued that as flowers can be such colours as pink, red, purple and orange and as the sky is blue these must all be natural colours. I have to agree with her. I think the site would look great if all the sheds and boxes were painted like multi-coloured beach huts but I could not allow her to paint my compost boxes in pink and sky-blue stripes.

For a while she could not bring herself to touch the brown paint. She lounged around in the sun for a  few minutes and sat with an allotment book over her face absorbing gardening knowledge by osmosis. She watered her strawberries and did a bit of hoeing around the vines. Eventually she was overcome by the compulsion to paint and despite constant complaints about the colour she did a really good job.

Whilst my daughter painted I was able to prepare a bean bed and frame for the French Beans and Runner Beans and plant another row of potatoes.



  1. I think she should take over and insist that compost bins are painted in rainbow stripes and sheds are disguised as jungle huts or fairy tale castles.

  2. Good job. I think it would have looked better in pink and sky blue stripes though.

  3. lol love it, I think your little one would make a great designer! Beach hut style compost bins would have looked fab!

  4. Stage a rebellion! Go down there very early one morning and paint everyone's stuff in dayglo stripes!