When I left the allotment it was June and I probably won’t be seeing it again until half way through July so things are going to be a little different then when I left them… However I’ve given my Dad instructions (with lots of pleases and thank yous) to water the plot if it gets too sunny but to especially keep the radish tank and the trough watered. I sowed more radish seed before I left for Wales and both the gherkin and squash were growing so well in the trough. I usually tend to neglect the trough once the tulips have gone and the poor squash that I always plant there seems to stay at a tiny size before giving up. This year is different however and I’ve made it my mission to get a squash harvest, so far the plant has taken over 2/3 of the trough and it’s growing at an alarming rate… I am so happy!
You may have noticed the huge galvanised tank in the background of these photographs and I can explain… That tank is my new (well very old) water butt and I’ll be selling the tall plastic ones next to my shed to make way for this beauty. I won’t be putting a tap in it but instead simply dipping the watering cans into the tank to fill them with water. I’m also tempted to put in a little ramp in case something falls in and needs to get out. The area where the tank sits for now however is a complete mess, this is where the strawberry beds were and after removing them and digging thoroughly to try and remove as much bind weed root as possible it looks like the weeds have returned… This is on the list of things to do in July as well as laying down grass seed, making a compost bin and planting up the comfrey in a pot. For now however, the Mongolian Giant sunflowers I planted out along the back are growing with pride and I can’t wait to see the sunny heads staring back at me.
The flower patch is also starting to bloom and I’m greeted with a new colour everytime I visit the allotment which just makes my heart smile. Even though the rest of the allotment is looking a tad messy this year this little flower patch is bringing me so much joy and I often sit on the shed step with a cup of tea and look out at my little meadow. I’ll admit it’s not at it’s best, there’s still lots of gaps in the border where I want to plant more flowers and the grass isn’t looking brilliant either. But for now I’m focusing on the little things like the beautiful lavender bushes in bloom, the vibrant colour of the dill, the poppy seed heads, the cloud of gypsophila, the sweet peas and the alliums which are going to burst into colour soon…
Now the rest of the allotment is made up of the three rotational vegetable beds, the wildlife pond and the fruit cage. The poor fruitcage has been left untouched all Spring and Summer and the weeds are growing inside rather quickly. However, the black currants are ripening and the Autumn fruiting raspberries will be putting on a show soon enough so for now it will have to do. The fruitcage door still hasn’t been made so some birds snuck in and helped themselves to my gooseberries!
The pond again has been left untouched with the small addition of some more Mongolian giant sunflowers along the back which are growing slower than the others on the plot due to the shade here. Self seed borage, calendula and forget me nots have graced the area though so I’ve simply left them be. The frogs seem happy enough which makes me happy and it’s so nice to watch the bees buzz happily around the borage flowers.
Now we come to the vegetable beds and what a disaster this year has been, as you all know I’ve been struggling to find the time to get up here due to all the work commitments, garden shows and what with my other love in Wales… Therefore the brassica bed is a no go this year, the bed is full of rubbish and weeds needing to go to the tip so I’ve decided to just leave this bed for the year. The root bed is full of potatoes which isn’t a failure at all but has been neglected, I actually harvested some new potatoes from here last week and even though the harvest wasn’t huge it was delicious! The most productive bed this year however, is the legume bed. The broad beans haven’t been the best but I’ve had harvests and soon they will make way for the dwarf french beans. The onions went to seed unfortunately and most of the borlotto beans have died but the rest of the bed is growing well. The sweetcorn is bulking up, the carrots are looking good, the pumpkins are getting there but the courgettes are stealing the show. I planted two plants in this patch, both a yellow variety called ‘Yellow Parador’ and they are producing beautifully. In fact I’ve told my Dad to harvest them because they look like they’ll be ready to pick in a few days! They are quick growers and even though I’m a little bit gutted to be missing the first harvest I know it won’t be the last…
It may not win any prizes for the best looking allotment or the most productive one… but I’m learning to live with the little wins in life and focus on the small things. However, I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty when I return!
Happy gardening everyone!