Monday, 16 September 2013

Secret gardens

Suddenly we find ourselves in a secret garden... in fact, many gardens: the Canalside Allotments. These have been here since Saltaire was built.  The village houses have tiny gardens or yards but Sir Titus Salt and his architects wisely realised that people needed green space and a place to grow vegetables and flowers. These allotments are squeezed behind the church, between the railway and the canal. You might not even realise they are there. Privately owned, they are usually locked and out of bounds to casual visitors. There is a huge waiting list for one - hardly surprising, since they offer such a tranquil green oasis. I got talking to one lucky allotment-holder and she confessed to escaping down here on summer evenings, after a busy day, with a bottle of wine and a good book - so it's not all hard work!

They even feature in a book: My Cool Allotment by Lia Leendertz.


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