Robin Shelton and his mate Steve were complete neophytes when they decided that having an allotment might save them a bit of money. It would also, very importantly, give them the opportunity to build a shed! But what had seemed like a good idea over a couple of beers seemed rather more daunting when faced with a weedy patch of ground. Still, both men were at a crisis point in their lives and the allotment represented their desire to achieve something concrete. They persevered and, despite conflicting and downright baffling advice from their elderly allotment neighbours, managed to plant and grow an impressive array of crops.
As he writes about their year in the allotment, Robin describes his own personal journey. When he takes the allotment on he is divorced, broke and suffering from depression. Working on the allotment brings back happy memories of his father, who died when Robin was sixteen, and also draws him closer to his own two sons. Gradually Robin finds stability and a sense of purpose in his life. Both he and Steve end the year wiser and much saner.