Friday, 11 November 2011

Fruitful abundance on the allotment

I'm still getting to grips with my new allotment and am fast becoming an expert on bindweed. One of the best ways to find out what will and won't grow on an allotment (or garden) is to see what your neighbours are doing. Everyone I've met so far has been very helpful and been generous with their advice, courgettes and apples.

Although the weather hasn't been particularly good this year, especially for anyone growing tomatoes, many of which were hit by blight, there was still a fruitful harvest. We went for a wander to take a few pictures.

There were certainly lots of apples, blackberries (indeed, berries of all types - Hawthorn berries above), medlars (below), even grapes.

We took some photos on the allotment (mainly on other people's plots) one sunny Autumn evening, which shows some the wide variety of fruits, flowers and other plants people grow.

Full of beans - runner beans

Black grapes growing on a rusty frame

There were plenty of apples, so many that one allotment holder 
was using crushed, fallen apples as a mulch

 Artichokes (above + below)

 The many huge sunflowers have lots to interest bees



It is nice to see that a lot of the allotment holders are growing flowers. I've set aside a bed on my patch to grow cut flowers for the house.

 Evening primrose

Dahlias are grown on many plots 
(and in some pots - below - as part of a garden design)

 Red peppers
Blue aster
 Pink cosmos

I saw quite a few cosmos growing in a walled garden at Osterley House (owned by the National Trust). So, I've bought some seeds for next year. I've gone for white purity and a mixed variety.

This was the biggest pumpkin we saw - most were a lot smaller. 
It hasn't been a good year for them

 From roses, you get rosehips...

Verbascum spikes can grow in all directions
They look particularly interesting against the sunlight

If you are interested in getting a plot you should read Cleve West's book. It delights in the joy of having your own allotment. But, also is clear about the hard work too. If you already own a plot I'd recommend Alan Buckingham's book - which guides you through what to do month by month. I also have a copy of the RHS Allotment Handbook which covers growing advice for fruit, veg, herbs and salad.

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