top of page

The Plot Thickens

Hi, I’m Karen Meadows. Thank you for visiting The Plot Thickens.

I’m lucky enough to be the tenant of one of fifty large allotment gardens in the middle of the small and beautiful stone town of Stamford in England’s East Midlands. The gardens were first created by Brownlow Cecil, 4th Marquess of Exeter in the mid 1800s and their layout has remained virtually unchanged. Between the plots we have some 200 old apple trees, many of them rare varieties, and in 2017 Natural England awarded the gardens heritage orchard status.

Over the centuries at least 500 people have worked these plots. Follow our quest to discover who they were, what they grew, and what shenanigans they got up to. Be prepared for numerous diversions and musings along the way about gardening life here in our quiet (and occasionally not so quiet) little corner of Stamford.

If you haven’t discovered our website yet, do head over to Waterfurlong Orchard Gardens, where you will find a wealth of information about our gardens and gardeners, past and present.

And now for the small print...

The Plot Thickens is a non-commercial blog. All recommendations are based on personal preference and my own or our other gardeners’ own experience. Payments or free goods are not accepted in return for reviews of products and services. If an exception is made this will be clearly stated.

All words and images, unless otherwise credited, are my own. If you would like to copy text or images, I’d kindly ask that The Plot Thickens gets a positive mention and a link back to this blog.

Recent Posts

'No Biographer Could Possibly Guess This Important Fact About My Life ...'

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

At this time of year I’m reminded of my favourite Virginia Woolf quote. Data mining companies might be able to extract every last mundane detail of my life, whether through my online shopping habits or by listening in via my fridge (though why they’d want to is beyond me), but they will never begin to glimpse the private, magical moments I spend in my garden …

"Many scenes have come & gone unwritten, since it is today the 4th Sept, a cold grey blowy day, made memorable by the sight of a kingfisher, & by my sense, waking early, of being again visited by 'the spirit of delight.' 'Rarely, rarely comest thou, spirit of delight.' That was I singing this time last year; & sang so poignantly that I have never forgotten it, or my vision of a fin rising on a wide blank sea. No biographer could possibly guess this important fact about my life in the late summer of 1926: yet biographers pretend they know people."(1)

Woolf is quoting from Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem, 'Song':

Rarely, rarely, comest thou,

Spirit of Delight!

Wherefore hast thou left me now

Many a day

and night?

Many a weary night and day

'Tis since thou art fled away.


(1) Virginia Woolf, Diaries, September 4 1927

With grateful thanks and acknowledgements to Gretchen Rubin for the link to Shelley's poem.

Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018

bottom of page