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.

On reaching the garden gate, it is tantalising to wonder who was opening it 50 years ago, 150 years ago, possibly even 250 years ago ... Who planted the old apple trees? Who trimmed the hedges and dug the vegetable patch? Who drank lemonade in the summerhouse and played on the swing? 

 

Follow our quest to discover our gardening forebears, 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.

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January 28, 2019

Early January is an exciting time in Waterfurlong for it's when our long-awaited apple DNA test results arrive. This year has revealed another rarity - London Pippin - otherwise known as Five Crowned Pippin because of its distinctive ribbed shape. It's a truly ancient...

January 21, 2019

SERGEANT MATTY LIGHTFOOT GAVE EVIDENCE IN 'DUSTY HARMONIUM PANTOMIME' CASE

Police Sergeant Matthew 'Matty' Lightfoot was one of Waterfurlong's gardeners during the late Victorian and Edwardian years. A month after gaining his Sergeant's rank he was called to give eviden...

January 16, 2019

'There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.'

Ruth Stout 

Ph...

January 11, 2019

A nursery ball

with a bell inside

blown through branches 

 a bauble with a tail

peeks in its nest -

bell of lichen

David Morley

Flocks of chattering little Long-tailed Tits are one of the delights of Waterfurlong, especially in winter. Listen to their song and learn about the...

January 8, 2019

'The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is impe...

January 3, 2019

With the short, dark days and the bustle of Christmas, not much gardening tends to happen in December and this winter's heavy rain hasn't helped matters. But there are honourable exceptions. A few gardeners have been valiantly double-digging their plots...

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