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It’s been a month since I returned from the long lockdown in North Carolina but it didn't take long to get the allotment back in shape! I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty and so the weeds were soon removed, seeds were sown, plants were planted and it feels almost like I’d never been away. It’s quite amazing how quickly plants catch up at this time of year. So, apart from some vegetables that I was too late to sow, there is plenty on the plot from an over full squash patch to a brassica cage full to the max with some not too munched cabbages, sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. It is perhaps my favourite area in the vegetable patch.
Quite a few of my herbs have flowered and instead of pruning them, I have allowed them to be fully enjoyed by the bees and butterflies. The herb and cut flower area has been absolutely full of life, often leaving nature to do it’s own thing is the best way to keep a biodiverse garden. I have seen so many more species of butterflies this year, the usual Cabbage White trying to get to the brassicas, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and Common Blue plus the pretty Orange Tip enjoying the flowering Lemon Thyme.
I have some exciting news as well! I have spent the last two years looking across the plot from me to another half a plot that has been left to the wilds of weeds without being taken up by a new plot holder. Turns out it is because access to it is really bad, unless there is a way through mine and my plot neighbour. So we had a chat and after checking that no one on the waiting list wanted to take it up - it is now all mine! So finally, I have a full size plot in two halves!
Soon it will be time to have a shuffle around as my cut flowers and perennial vegetables will go to the new plot along with some new fruit trees and my current plot will be herbs, soft fruit and annual vegetables. It’ll be a busy autumn for me as it will also be no dig meaning there will be a lot of compost needed to cover that plot over ready for spring next year.
At this point it’s worth me saying how very important it is that when you purchase a greenhouse, always get the biggest size you possibly can. That’s not a sales pitch! It’s completely true. My Rhino greenhouse is just about big enough for seeds early season and then tomatoes, chilli’s and aubergines for the summer before keeping tender plants safe over winter but now I have a bigger plot, there will be some serious stressing about running out of room. So always go big because you will always fill it up!
To read more about Ellen Mary, you can find her on social media and on her website - https://www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk/