I am a complete allotment newbie, so I am learning on the job with the help,of reading other allotment blogs. If you are new to my blog (hello and welcome!) I am ‘caretaking’ a half plot allotment for an elderly lady who can no longer manage it herself but she is loathe to relinquish it. She is happy for others to look after it, she pays the allotment fee and it’s mine to do what I wish. I am on the waiting list so will only manage it until I have my own. It was terribly neglected and since April we have had almost no rain so the ground is rock hard and it’s been very difficult to get it looking the smallest bit cared for.
The plot at the end of April (when I took it on)
The plot as it looks today (1 July 2018)
I have decided to work a few beds and keep the rest tidy. I’m loathe to spend lots of effort only to have to walk away in March, which is when I believe I’ll have a plot, the waiting list is very short and they have recently released 10 half plots so I’m almost at the top of the list.
The pumpkin patch
The plot consists of a few little square beds and I have used one at the back for some pumpkin plants I was given by a neighbour allotmenteer. They were initially quite spindly but had plumped up a bit after a few weeks and we’re ready to plant. They now have flower buds so fingers crossed I will have at least one pumpkin for Halloween. I have left all the dead grass hoping it might work as a mulch.
Flower patch bed
Not having a garden anymore (😢😢) my main plan is to grow flowers on the allotment. As I’ve already said I’m not going to invest anything this year, but did buy a few summer bulbs. All the gladioli are coming up, which I am delighted to see and should be a bright orange/red flower. The lilies have struggled and I’m not sure why, but there is still hope they will be late flowering. When moving the dahlias into my daughter’s garden I inadvertently broke off a shoot, which I put in a small pot and am happy to say within a couple of months it is looking good so now lives in the allotment flower bed. I think you always have to have sunflowers on an allotment and I raised four plants from seed, planted them when about a foot high. The snails had two of them before I had to breathe. The other two I protected with a thick bed of slug wool, which I also put around the dahlia.
The vegetable patch bed
I had to think carefully what vegetables I could grow in one bed and came up with sweetcorn, sugar snap peas, pak choi and mangetout peas. The sweetcorn is coming on great guns loving the sunshine. I have a few flowers on the mangetout but something has nibbled the tops off the sugar snap. I’ve strategically placed a few bird deflectors so hope they may get a little protection now.
Odds and ends
Do you sometimes buy seed packets without any idea as to where you are going to plant them? I did this with a packet of Thompson & Morgan climbers. Having started them off in seed trays, they are now happily growing at the back of the vegetable bed. From left to right they are Morning Glory ‘Grandpa Otts’ Cardinal Climber and Spanish Flag which has a lovely red flower and is great for cutting, it should really be in the flower patch.
what is this white flower?
As time goes by it is clearer to see the plan of the plot and where various beds and paths are. At the front of the plot there is a triangle space which I am keeping tidy with strimmer. I’m not sure what grew in there but there is the odd verbena bonariensis and a shrub with the most beautiful white flowers. I don’t recognise it and neither does my PlantSnap app. It has very woody stems and initially before they flowered I thought it might be a chrysanthemum. Do you know what it is?
UPDATE: I’ve been informed it is Achellia ‘white pearl’.
As always, a big thank you to Helen at The Patient Gardener who hosts this monthly meme. Please pay her a visit and take a look at her wonderful garden.