We can’t believe it either. I assume the long hot days of the heatwave made them too lethargic to attempt to break in, or maybe they found an easier plot to target because even when the heatwave crashed and the days became cooler, the rabbits still didn’t come. I’m not going to curse this by saying we’ve beaten them because we know full well that they’ll be back, but for now 2018 was our first summer free from rabbit damage.
That’s not to say that it was all plain sailing. We did partake in a little rabbit wrangling in late spring:
But the rabbit didn’t eat any of our seedlings and after a few days of showing it the exit, we weren’t bothered by it again. So this is the first time that we’ve been able to witness the evolution of our plot throughout the growing season without having our crops annihilated before they’ve had a chance to mature.
During the heatwave the ground was too hard to dig, so we watered as best we could and left the plot to its own devices.
The borlotti beans, in particular, loved the hot summer conditions. I’ve never seen so many beans!
It really feels like we’re finally getting a return for all the hard work we’ve put in over the last year and a half.
We have some firm favourites that we’d definitely like to grow again next year. Salsola is a great summer crop, and ‘Honey Bear’ squash has such a wonderfully sweet and mellow flavour that’s perfect for autumn-inspired dishes. I’m also really pleased with the beetroot ‘Subeto F1’, which was a trial variety from DT Brown. It’s a much sweeter and juicer beetroot compared to the rainbow mix we grew last year.
We’re absolutely loving the sweetcorn. It’s a variety called ‘Earlibird F1’ and we’re not the only ones who have a taste for it.
The allotment magpies love it! We may have to cover them next year.
The pond and bog garden needed a lot of topping up over the summer. I’m amazed at how quickly everything has grown, and it now looks like a wonderful jumbled mess of plants. I’ve replanted the lobelia cardinalis ‘Queen Victoria’ that I saved from slug attack in June, a week after it was originally planted. It’s doing much better now after a summer sat in a bucket of water in the garden at home. The biggest lesson I’ve learned about planting this area is not to get pond plants from Freecycle – or to take a little bit more care if you do. Our flag iris came with a big batch of duckweed but we didn’t realise until it was too late. I removed the flag iris in the end as I thought it made the pond a little too cluttered. I can’t get rid of the duckweed…
This is one of our favourite places to come and sit. The star of the pond has to be the water lily from Mum and Dad.
Thanks to the pond our plot has become home to frogs! One even took up residence in my watering can.
And it’s not just frogs. The pond is teeming with life. We’ve had goldfinches visiting, bees stopping to quench their thirst, spiders and flies playing cat and mouse, damselflies brightening up the place, and dragonflies flying around us. This part of the plot is constantly moving with life.
I have to thank everyone who commented on my last post offering advice about my apple tree. I’m pleased to say that your suggestions paid off, and it now has fresh new growth. I still need to mulch around the trees, but I’m currently digging out all the nettles, dock, brambles and bindweed in that area ready to plant spring bulbs and the wildflowers Shelley, from Imperfect Zen, sowed when she visited a few weeks ago. Click the link to visit her amazing blog and read about her trip.
I’m really looking forward to autumn and preparing the plot for next year. The beekeeper mentioned to Rob that the bees are still struggling so we’ll incorporate as many flowers as we can. Last week I brought stocks from home to give the bees a little something extra as the majority of our flowers are beginning to fade. The zinnias put on a magnificent show and the bees and butterflies love them, so they’re a definite for next year.
There was so much I wanted to write about, but I’ll have to save that for next time. I think this post is long enough already! I’ve been absent of late from blogging and I’m looking forward to catching up with you all again. I hope you had a good summer.