Tomatoes started it all for me. I was a child taken to my Dad's allotment. I can still remember the old greenhouse, a mish mash of windows. A Heath Robinson contraption that wouldn't be allowed today on any allotment site for fear of health and safety. Back then if part of a greenhouse fell on you it was your own fault. Now we sue. This is a great shame as my memories of that allotment where old men making do and mending. They would find the discarded and reuse it.

I remember a filing cabinet given over to plant pot storage. An iron bath planted with blueberries and rhubarb. An old bed turned on its end for runner beans. Nowadays there would be a fear that the filing cabinet could have confidential materials still in it, that the bath could fill with water and someone could drown in it and that the old bed could collapse on a walker. That is a real shame. We should all recycle. Yet, for me, my Dad's allotment and greenhouse meant only one thing, tomatoes. There is no smell like a tomato vine. I have spent many a happy hour pinching out side shoots in summer, my finger and thumb turning black and that smell, that heady scent that sticks in your skin for days. It will always remind me of that first allotment and my Dad. Tomatoes started it all and in turn, my Dad started me on the path to growing. Thanks Dad.


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