It’s been two whole weeks since I’ve been able to get up the allotment and yesterday was the first free day that I’ve had in such a long time. It’s been all hands on deck getting the website and shop up and running, getting the vintage stock, making products and getting everything ready for the village day stall (blog post about that to follow shortly!) The greenhouse however, is groaning with all the plants packed inside, lots of things are ready for planting out and I’m sure the weeds have grown knee high by now. The sun was shining and the birds were singing so off I cycled with a bicycle trailer full to the brim with plants and seedlings for a day up the allotment!
I decided to make my to-do list rather short so I didn’t feel pressured to get everything done in one day, it seemed more realistic to focus on smaller jobs so that I could feel good about ticking them off at the end of the day! So today’s main job was to get the two flower beds planted up with all the seedlings I’ve been growing in the greenhouse. There’s calendula, gypsophila, malope, linara moroccana, dwarf cosmo, scabious, wild carrot, giant sunflowers, sea holly, ranunculus, dianthus and some poppies too. All these flowers will be planted around the pond and also in my new flower patch down the side of the allotment. I’m hoping for a rather wild, almost cottage garden look where the bees will be happy and of course the flowers will make me happy too. I’m going to plant the four giant sunflowers at the back of the pond again and theres also a beautiful thistle like flower called Cirsium rivulare atropurpureum going in the new flower patch. This grows to 1.2metres in height and has these stunning bright pink flowers which remind me of thistles and globe artichoke flowers. I’ve also added in a few more herbs, theres some flowering chamomile and some garlic chives, aswell as a lemon balm which has the best smell ever! I have one of those herb teapots where you can add dried and fresh herbs into the strainer to flavour water so I’m hoping to make my own herbal teas this year.
The rest of the allotment wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, the worst part being the chicken bed which is just covered in weeds. I’m thinking about leaving the weeds there for the chickens to devour once they arrive of course! There are a few weeds on the vegetables bed and I managed to weed the carrots, broad beans the new swiss chard plants. Last years chard has bolted but that needs to be pulled up to make room for the kale and red cabbage, I’ll be making some quiche with the leaves though so not to waste it.
Everything else is growing beautifully though, the fruit bushes have lots of fruit forming and it looks like theres going to be a bumper crop of strawberries this year. I desperately need to net the fruit cage by the end of this month though otherwise I’ll be losing all the berries to the birds again! The vegetables are looking great too, the broad beans need supporting but theres lots of pods of them, the potatoes need earthing up and theres three lovely rows of carrots popping up.
There is still so much to do but I’ll beable to get up there some evenings this week and tick some more things off the list. The main priority right now is to get the seedlings which are in the greenhouse out so they can start growing nice and big. There is the general weeding to do aswell and that fruit cage needs netting pronto! All this work however, pushes the chickens to the back of the list again as I still need to make the walk in run and to finish the coop before I get them. If only there was just more time in the day!
Amongst all the hard work and whilst I was busy weeding the pond area I was pleased to see three little heads pop up out of the water. I am so glad the frogs are enjoying the pond, it sure makes me happy knowing that I’m providing the wildlife with a safe environment to live in. Now if only they would be so kind enough to eat all those slugs before they demolish my lovely young seedlings!