Before small boy (and Chris) when my 2 older boys were younger we lived in a house near these beautiful allotments. I would walk the dog we had then at ungodly hours trying desperately not to meet anyone because he was a rescue dog with serious issues. There would be owls in the branches above me (I wasn't joking about the hours, the dog was a nightmare) and it was a truly magical place to be all on my own, just as the sun was coming up (or going down). It was and still is the most lovely allotment site, a tiny patch of countryside in the middle of the city. Unlike my own allotment site it is well established and the plots have huge mature hedges around them, making them more into private gardens. I was always quite envious of them as the hell hound dragged me round, there was one in particular I couldn't resist peeping at through the hedge (I know it was wrong...sorry) to have a moment dreaming of what it would be like to have a space like it. It had a mature tree with a bench round it set in a small patch of lawn, the rest given to a wild mix of flowers, fruit and vegetables. It was for me, the secret garden I had read about as a child, completely perfect and probably what I'm striving to achieve subconsciously with my own plot now.
I took small boy and daft dog there the other day, in broad daylight (daft dog quite likes his own species thankfully) and it was lovely to see not much has changed, that's one of the things I love about allotments, a sense of time standing still. I didn't peek through any hedges so missed a chance to see my dream secret garden but was really happy to see the eclectic mix of gates was still very much there, they add an certain eccentric originality to the place that I really like. I can only dream that one day my plot might be established enough to warrant it's own gate, wonder if I should get one now, it'll need a good few years of wear to look right;)