Wednesday, June 29, 2016

When it comes to allotments I am firmly a "vegetable" man. However I do think that a few flowers to encourage the bees is a good thing. I also like a little bit of a challenge. Early in the year I found that somebody had dumped the contents of a flower pot on the grass at the end of the Portakabin. On closer inspection at the pile of compost I could see the brown twiggy remains of a plant and took a closer look and found that the root ball was intact. I picked it up and took it back to the greenhouse and potted it up and waited for the green shoots of recovery on a nothing ventured nothing gained basis. Sure enough, a few green shoots appeared eventually and the shoots sprouted a few leaves and then it grew a bit taller. Eventually it sprouted some flower buds that had an intense wine red colour. At this point, I took it out of the greenhouse for it to get some outside air. This was the result. A beautiful Campagnula to reward my efforts.
In the background of the photo you can see Penstemons. In spring I took a load of cuttings from them when I cut them back and did the same with the Osteospermums at home. Most of the cuttings took and I now have lots of plants that Ann and I will be selling at the Glen Gardens Summer Fair on Saturday. Money from selling the plants will go in aid of the York branch of the National Osteoporosis Society. Ann will have a stall at the fair with information and advice on Osteoporosis.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Some Time Since Last Post

Much has happened since my last post. There was a big falling out of the Association and it fell into disuse. People have come and gone but the majority of plots are in use.
My greenhouse has extended at each end and as usual all available space is occupied.
The gentleman on the plot next to us finally gave up his plot when he went into a care home and we took on his plot. That allowed me to extend the greenhouse onto the second plot. So now there is the central 12 foot section of Aluminium and glass and the two 6 ft extensions of wood and PVC sheeting at each end. The second plot was a little prone to flooding so Nev on the other side of us offered me two skips of silky sandy soil when he was digging out footings for a garage he was building for a customer.  With two skips full there was no need to dig, we just placed the soil on top of the newly mowed grass and planted direct into the new soil. Because we are directly behind the manure bins I built my compost bins backing on to them. Now when I want to cap off the compost with manure I just toss it over the back of the bin into my compost bins, very handy.
We have also set up some compost bins next to the paths on the plot using Linka Boards from Armillatox. Double wall plastic with plastic corner pieces to link them make up in a square. Several squares are then stacked on top of each other and then joined using a plastic rod that goes down through the corners. The rod stabilises and fixes the squares in position to make a compost bin. They can also be used to make a raised bed for those with a mania for putting gardens in boxes. In the foreground of the photo are lettuce (Little Gem) with leeks behind. to the right are more lettuce (Lettony) and Pak Choi with potatoes in the distance.
Ann of course wanted a patch of flowers and so we utilised the short area at the end of the greenhouse, here you can see Alchemilla Mollis, Nigella that borders the path between us and the next plot. A couple of spurges a lot of Penstemon variegated Iris, a Geranium, some Hostas  that you can't see. To the left are the brassica plots made with plastic water pipe and netting stretched over them. This allows us to use slug pellets under the net and contains dead slugs and snails under the net so that they do not get eaten by the birds.