This week I’ve been digging a new flowerbed. I’ve been dying to get started on the area around the hazel tree near our gate. This end of the allotment has been neglected since we took the plot on in March. The ground is heavy clay and tough to dig, although there’s been plenty of thistle and bramble to pull out. The bath that came with our plot leaks so we don’t use it for water storage. At the moment it’s full of weeds waiting to be burned.
I haven’t any set plans for this new bed. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted hollyhocks. I’ve a store of seedlings in the greenhouse waiting for a home and this seemed like a good time to plant them out. I’ve placed 7 x ‘Giant Single Mix’ and 2 x ‘Charters Salmon’ along the line of the fences and down beside the hazel. I’ve also moved the ‘St. Anouk’ lavender and pink hyssop from the herb bed and repositioned them beside the gate and path. I thought the scent would be lovely as we brushed past them when we enter or leave the plot. I’m open to change, and if they get knocked about too much as they grow I’ll relocate them somewhere safer. I had a pot with 3 cardoons and 2 green globe artichokes that weren’t looking very happy in the greenhouse so I’ve taken the opportunity to plant these here as well. I think I’ve positioned them too close together so I’ll have to move them at a later date. I’m just happy to get them into the soil. I’m not certain the artichokes will survive.
I’ve also planted 3 hollyhocks (2 ‘Single Giant Mix’ and 1 ‘Charters Salmon’) along the fence near the firepit. I’ve a few more (mainly ‘Charters Salmon’) to go in along this fence once I’ve cleared the weeds from behind the greenhouses. It looks like we have new neighbours who are slowly clearing the plot next door. I thought a border of hollyhocks and other tall flowers would offer both our plots privacy.
I’ve moved a few of the nasturtiums from the herb bed to the salad bed, and planted out some calendula into the cabbage and cauliflower bed. I’m finally feeling brave enough to tackle the salad bed. I’m convinced it’ll be a favourite of the rabbits, but I’ve bitten the bullet and sown a row each of ‘Rainbow Beet’ beetroot and Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’.
I’m slightly concerned that the nasturtium leaves have been nibbled already. Strange considering these have chicken wire around the bed, whilst the calendulas are open and (as yet) unmolested. I suspect the rabbit is working its way down the plot and hasn’t discovered the calendulas yet. I did notice the lupins and sweetpeas have again been eaten. I think we must be the owners of the smallest sweet pea plants on the allotments. I reckon they’re about 2cm tall. We’re setting a camera regularly to try and record where and how the rabbits are getting in, but we’ve had no luck as yet. We just can’t figure it out, and I can’t, for the life of me, find the baby rabbit that ran for cover yesterday amongst the potatoes. We’ve both searched for it.
I heard news via L that P wants to give up her plot. She’s had enough of the rabbits eating everything. I hope she stays, but I understand her frustration. I’ll cry if the rabbits eat all my flowers, and I’ll be inconsolable if they touch my pumpkins and gourds.