Life on Lottie 52a – 14/01/2019

After a good workout on the allotment Tuesday, the following day I succumbed to a nasty viral infection. You know one of those were you just feel totally crap (my GP’s description 😄) with a hacking cough, loss of appetite and just wanting to sleep. Today, in attempt to shake myself and get some badly needed fresh air, I paid a visit to 52a.

My plan is to turn the top two beds into a flower garden. Today I took up the path matting which was separating the two 1.3m x 3.3m beds, dug over the unplanted bed and top of the path, to join them and have put weed suppressant fibre down the middle which will be grassed when the weather is right. After digging the new bed, I ran out of energy so called it a day, frustrating but you have to recognise when your body has had enough. The soil is fabulous, easy to work and clearly has lots of goodness put on it. This is the benefit of taking over a plot immediately from the previous owner and not having to work on one that has been derelict for a while.

If you are new to the blog, and/or missed my A Sunny Few Hours on Plot 52a – 8/1/2019 post, above is my plan for the flower bed. The top bed apparently has always had perennials and it’s been difficult, now the perennials have died down, to sort out the plants from the weeds. I don’t want to dig up good plants, so have to leave most of it until spring, it’s all about getting the balance right when it comes to weeding.

I unearthed foxgloves, aquilegia, lots of verbena bonariensis and what I think is michaelmas daisy. Now I have to carefully plan what varieties of cottage garden plants I’m going to grow, along with the dahlias and roses I will plant. I’m not a designer gardener and have always bought and then found a home, often shoehorning plants in. Higgledy piggledy is more my idea of gardening, organised mayhem, isn’t that what a cottage garden is all about? Having said that my one rule is to always take height into consideration.

The next job on my list is the cherry tree and strawberry bed under it. As with strawberry plants allowed to go unchecked, they have spread into several beds. What I will do is pull-up the strawberries, level the soil and grass under the tree. I’m going to have to read up about pruning cherry trees, because I don’t want it to grow too big. The previous owner said it was bought as a very small tree only a few years ago and she had no idea it would grow so fast. It is nice to have a little height and shade on an open plot but I don’t want it so big it casts too much shade. A neighbour of mine when I lived in Worthing had an enormous cherry tree and I certainly don’t want it to grow that large.

I paid a visit to my local garden centre after leaving the plot, and made for the clearance section – always good value! For only £8 I bought a sedum ‘Red Cauli’, salvia ‘New Dimension Blue’ and Hemerocallis ‘Pink Damask’. All drought tolerant and ideal for the allotment, especially when I might not get there every day to water in the height of the summer.

I’m always happy for help and advice so please leave a comment.