A Sunny Few Hours on Plot 52a – 8/1/2019

I am going to be very honest and own up to being much more of a sunny day gardener. Cold, grey, winter days do not have much of a draw for me. However, getting the allotment up to scratch might mean I’ll have to shake myself and venture out on days when the sun doesn’t shine. Today was cold and windy but a beautiful sunny day, so I packed a thermos of coffee, a cereal bar and spent 3 hours on plot 52a.

I have so many ideas of what I want to do and have to remind myself that I can’t do it all in Year 1. I am drawing up plans and to help me with this I tried a couple of apps, Veg Plotter and Garden Grow Planner, neither of which really do what I want. The Veg Plotter only has vegetables to drop into the planned beds which is frustrating as I want a garden flower area. The Garden Grow Planner, doesn’t have sheds and water butts etc to drop on to the plan. It may be I am doing it all wrong but I’m going to revert to graph paper, a ruler and coloured pencils.

In the meantime, above is my Veg Plotter plan showing the fruit bushes already in-situ and vegetables I want to grow in 2019. Frustratingly I can’t see how to label things. The two top left beds are my flower garden plan, I want to join three of the 1×3 metre beds and make a curved grass area.

Until I have bought my paper and crayons, I’ve made a rough plan of my garden area using the photo editor on my iPad. It gives an idea of what I envisage for my flower garden. The tulips I planted before Christmas, no sign of anything yet, but it’s still early days. I’m not sure what perennials are in the top bed but will also use it for my cutting flowers.

Today, I dug over a few beds including one nearest to the shed. Here there is a rhubarb (next to the grey container), I’ve covered the emerging leaves with flower pots until I get some manure to protect them. I had a bag of mixed alliums Purple Sensation, Christophii, Sphaerocephalon and Nigrum and, although a little late, I have planted them in rows height wise with the Nigrum bulbs around the edge. I then covered it with some plastic trellis I found to deter visiting night animals from digging them up. The other half, I weeded, dug over and covered with black plastic. I might plant lavender bushes here.

The dinky shed needs a few more shelves and brackets to keep it tidy. I’ve been watching YouTube videos from allotmenteers and have fallen in love with the way some sheds are decorated into mini-allotment homes. My plan is to buy some Cuprinol and paint the inside cream, to lighten it up. A small camping stove and kettle will be added along with a couple of pictures and maybe even some bunting. I’ve seen a wonderful idea of making a decoupage out of seed catalogue photos to paper the walls – the effect is stunning and unusual. You can see photos of his floral shed posted by @cavershamjj on Twitter.

I returned home, cold, stiff and a little achy but it’s been a holistic few hours, which is what owning an allotment is all about isn’t it?

Six on Saturday – 21 July 2018

My first Six on Saturday is Roselily ‘corolla’ which after a very long wait just looking at buds, eventually flowered in a spectacular fashion this week!

As promised here are the photos – aren’t they beautiful!

They are so different to other lilies, for a start they are pollen free so won’t stain anything that touches them. Also they have a very delicate light fragrance, which will please those who love lilies but dislike their heady perfume.

My second is pumpkins!

At first I though someone or something had thrown an apple into my pumpkin patch until I looked closer and found baby pumpkins. I’ve never grown them before and it’s only a little thing but I felt really quite excited.

Third are my Sunflowers.

I have always had this idea allotments should have sunflowers and am surprised there are very few to be seen on our allotment site. I raised a number of plants from seed, some are in my daughter’s garden and I planted the rest on my plot. Much to my annoyance, and ignorance I suppose, they were cut off at the pass by snails, leaving me only 2 to rescue. They are now enormous, standing proud for everyone to see, so it’s sunflowers 1: snails 0. Today, this little bee was feeding away, totally oblivious of me taking photos of him.

Fourth is Scarecrow and sweetcorn.

Along with sunflowers, I have this idealistic view that scarecrows are part and parcel of allotment life – again they are far a few to be seen. I know they don’t scare anything but they are a bit of fun. I made mine out of a pillow, and when I asked my granddaughter to name her she said “GRANNIE”!!! 🤣🤣🤣

What started as eight tiny sweetcorn plants are starting to reach for the sky, nowhere near as tall as some on other plots but they will get there. They appear to be the one vegetable thriving in this unusually hot, dry, summer.

My fifth Six on Saturday is Poppy (Pom Pom Shaggy somniferum)

This is one of only three wonderful shaggy poppy flowers that were successful and have more than made up for only being three. I sowed a whole packet of seeds direct into the raised bed I dedicated to flowers hoping for a big display. However I will collect the seeds with better luck next year.

Last but not least is blackberries.

At the back of the plot is a resplendent thornless blackberry growing along a very rickety fence. I have read that even the best flavoured thornless blackberries don’t quite have that aromatic sweetness associated with the true wild blackberry, but I bet they still taste good. There are so many of them I will be making lots of jam very soon.

So that’s my Six on Saturday. Please pay a visit to The Propagator Blog and take a look at the many contributions to this weekly weekly meme.