The Big Four-Oh, and Other News from the Plot

I recently hit a landmark birthday and I have to say the allotment did really well out of it. I mentioned in my last post that Rob bought me a few fruit trees – they’re settling in well and putting on new growth.

Apple ‘Red Devil’:

Pear ‘Doyenne du Comice’:

and cherry ‘Kordia’:

I also received an arch to go over the plot gate. I hoped to grow Uchiki Kuri up it, but they’re currently battling slugs and shade.

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I was given a lovely peony support.  The peony is too small this year (I think it’s also suffering from too much shade) so the support is currently being used for my delphinium. The delphinium was a birthday present from a friend last year but the rabbits ate it so this is its first proper year of flowering. It’s beautiful.

 

I also received a tray of herbs for the herb bed – a tansy, caraway, chamomile, and hyssop. I’ve planted the hyssop near the gate to replace the one I lost last year ( …to the rabbits, quelle surprise):

And it doesn’t end there, I was also lucky enough to receive a whole batch of extra plants for the pond and bog garden:

I’ll write a post dedicated to creating this section of the garden when it’s a little more established, but the extra planting included lobelia cardinalis ‘Queen Victoria’ (beautiful, but severely damaged by slugs within 24 hours), lobelia chinensis (again, eaten by slugs),  an Osmunda regalis Purpurascens, two more candelabra primulas because I love them so much, and a Primula Japonica ‘Millers Crimson’. The Osmunda should hopefully be smaller than the regular royal fern. As an extra bonus, we’ve also inherited a water lily from Mum and Dad C’s home pond.

I felt very spoiled and lucky, and had a very lovely birthday.

And I wasn’t the only one who celebrated a birthday recently. Rob’s birthday is a week after mine and this year his main gift was a strimmer. Mum was put straight to work with it and strimming the weeds has made such a difference to the look of the plot. Whilst Mum was busy with this job, Dad, Rob and Steven finished building the bog garden.

The last few weeks has also seen a big planting-out spree on the plot. I’ve gone pumpkin and squash crazy! There’s Uchiki Kuri beside the gate, vegetable spaghetti beside the borlotti beans, Turk’s turban and Honey Bear F1 sharing Bed 5, and two pumpkin ‘Polar Bear’ and another Turk’s turban in Bed 1, the old fruit bed. I’m hoping to get a courgette ‘Black Beauty’ planted this Friday. I lost my first one to slugs.

Other plants that made it out this last week or so include 12 zinnias ‘Early Wonder’, 3 broad beans from L, 1 green globe artichoke, a bundle of nasturtiums and a few calendula. We’ve also sown beetroot ‘Subeto F1’ and chard ‘Bright Lights’.

Rob has been busy working on the greenhouse, and he’s planted 4 ‘Gardener’s Delight’ tomato seedlings in there, and 6 ‘Balconi Red’ in 2 hanging baskets.

I ordered a number of long tom pots a little while ago and since the slugs and snails have been going on a rampage I thought I’d lay some around the plot to make toad shelters and encourage more beneficial amphibians to move in. The main issue with getting approved wildlife on site is the tight security. We had a couple of rabbit attacks last month so now we’ve also netted the front fence. The only way toads and frogs are getting in is under the gate or by parachute.

To end on a high note – My sweet peas have started to flower! I’ve hit the gardening dream! I’m so happy:

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We celebrated this momentous occasion by making some rose & elderflower gin! The recipe is here.

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I hope you’re all watching the wonder of your plots and gardens unfold, and having better luck than us with the slugs!


2 thoughts on “The Big Four-Oh, and Other News from the Plot

  1. Happy birthday! Welcome to your 40’s. The plot looks amazing! I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get an allotment until after I turned 40, I would have done pretty well, but I guess there’s always 50, which is closer than I’m ready for! We aren’t allowed to plant big trees at the plot, but I’m seriously considering some dwarf cherries although I have no idea where I’d put them.

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 I’ve said the same about getting an allotment in my 20s. Still, we have them now and we’re loving it. A lot of allotments seem to have the tree height restrictions – and I can understand why. We’re lucky that our committee are so relaxed as this means we can make ourselves a little shady grove to shelter in when it’s too hot (and it doesn’t impeach on anyone else’s plots). Our committee are so relaxed that there’s only been 1 plot inspection since we’ve been here – and the only requirement to pass was to have evidence that the plot has been recently used.
      Could you grow trees in pots?

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