The last few weeks have been so busy that our rookie allotment has been left to its own devices, leaving us with two emotions – frustration and guilt. The sound of the weeds growing and the courgettes swelling has almost been audible from our house, where we have been, preoccupied with other things.
Aside from snatching the occasional half hour to water the plants in the greenhouse (Peppers, Aubergines & Cucumbers) and pick bunches of Sweetpeas to ensure their succession later in the year, we have been notably absent.
During the swift snatches of time watering and picking, it has become evident that we have missed the allotment more than it has missed us. Yes, the grass is long and covered in clover, there’s an obscene amount of weeding to be done and recently emptied beds to tidy and re-use, but the veggies and the flowers are flourishing all by themselves.
The Raspberries and Blackberries are beginning to fruit and the Gooseberries – which were picked young and green last year – have enjoyed being left alone and have swollen into giant purple beauties. The Sweetcorn, Jerusalem Artichokes and Runner Beans have grown high and the Lettuce, Radishes (at last !) and Onions are ready to be picked. The Parsnip and Beetroot tops are green and healthy and Pumpkin Corner has merged with the Gherkin bed to produce a mass of huge alien looking stems which are sprawling all over the plot.
Best of all, are the amount of flowers which are starting to bloom. Sweetpeas, Dahlias, Zinnia, Cosmos, Marigolds, Calendula, Love in a Mist, Poppies, Nasturtiums and Geraniums are adding colour and attracting lots of beneficial insects to the plot. The four tractor tyres that we used in the Spring to create four new raised flower beds are now full of plants and the first flowers are starting to come out. I love it when a plan comes together !
After our work and other commitments came to an end this week and we were finally free to venture back onto the plot, we as the rest of the country have seen some crazy weather – a heatwave, and then storms – rain, thunder, lightening, hail – and now the heat again. The crazy weather will soon abate, and then we’ll go back down to the plot and give it some TLC. Whether it needs us or not. I promise.