Is Frippery Ok on an Allotment?

I had a strange conversation with a passing fellow allotmenteer this morning and am still pondering if she was being derogatory or funny.


She stopped as she was cycling by, nodded disparagingly at my scarecrow and asked:

Do you think that works?”

I laughed and replied:

I don’t think so but it does work in as much as people stop and talk to me.”

This was received with a bit of a snort so I continued:

“I have always had this fun idea that allotments should have a scarecrow and sunflowers.”

Much to my surprise she said:

“That is a misconceived idea of town folks don’t you think?”

Which she then followed with:

“I grow vegetables.” as she cycled off!

I know I’m only a beginner and this is my first allotment season, but it made me wonder if I do have a misconceived idea.  When I looked around there are lots of vegetables being grown, in particular an abundance of sweet corn, but only about 3 other plots with sunflowers and no other scarecrow that I could see.  What is your take on this?  Should an allotment be a place for a little bit of frippery or should it be taken seriously under the control of the ‘allotment mafia’?

Now that is off my chest, let me share the goodies growing on the allotment today.


The blackberries are almost ready for picking – there will be some jam cooking soon!


The sweet corn is coming along just fine, with at least two silky tops of emerging cobs on each plant.


After a slow start and the first lot of flowers being eaten  I’m delighted with the sugar snap peas, and collecting a good harvesting on each visit.


I’m gobsmacked with the pumpkins and how fast they grow.  This one has doubled in size since Sunday.  Something had a little nibble but I think it’ll be ok.  It was recommended that I place the pumpkins on stones or slabs to prevent them from rotting, so I found a few large stones lying about the plot and have used them.


There is a little apple tree on the plot, but I have no idea what variety they are, or whether they are cookers or eaters, but I expect I’ll find that out soon.

I’m happy with what I am doing, although I have made a few rooky errors, having a scarecrow and sunflowers are not one of them!  What do you think?

Sunday Morning on the Allotment

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Oh boy it’s hot hot hot!  It is far too hot to do any work on the allotment, anyway the ground is so hard you can’t get a fork in to do anything.  All that can be done is massive amounts of watering.  I have two large watering cans which I fill from one of the strategically placed troughs on the site.  All of this has three benefits (1) free exercise (2) firm biceps and (3) in this summer of 2018 – a healthy tan.

Of course there are other benefits, good fresh food.


Today I picked my first mangetout peas.  Only a few but it’s a start.


On 5 June I planted out tiny sweetcorn plants, they were only about 4” tall.  A month later they are romping away and producing ears which is exciting to see.  Clearly the sweetcorn is relishing this weather, on some of the other plots it is a good 6 foot high.


The other plants enjoying this weather are the pumpkins, now full of flowers.  I was given three tiny weedy plants only about 3 weeks ago and they have really taken off.


I’ve inherited an enormous thornless blackberry which is laden with berries just about to ripen. Fingers crossed I get to pick them before the pigeons have a go.  They are not in a cage, and I’m thinking I will buy some blacknet to drap over them, my only concern with is I read that any netting should be taut to prevent birds catching their feet.


The flower bed is looking promising too, the sunflowers have beaten the snails and are sporting some large blooms.


When I took over the plot at the end of April, there were three small globe artichoke plants.  I’m not sure that happened to two of them, I suspect it was my fault being too  gung-ho with the strimmer.  As this is an old plant I let it go to flower and it now has a very fetching purple bonnet.

This hot dry weather appears set for sometime and whilst we all like a sunny, dry summer day, it is about time now we had some decent rain.  Everything is looking parched and all the grass has gone brown.   So from a gardener’s point of view I am hoping for a bit of a wet spell, but perhaps only at night please.