The Flowering of Fruit
Though the annoying drone of aeroplanes has returned to the air, making allotment solitude seem slightly less blissful, blue skies, cans of beer and the quiet chatter of happy gardeners working and playing in their island’s of green makes the allotment one of my favourite places to be. And with our hard work from earlier in the year paying dividends with a feeling that we are not fighting a losing battle, Mary and I can happily potter around our ten rod plot at our own speed.
With me off to consult on a landscaping job this past Saturday, Mary got in the swing of potato planting, putting in five or six rows of Kestrels, mulching up and covering our already appearing first early’s, and planting a row of parsnips which, though wanting to chit as per The Good Life’s instructions, had revealed themselves in the packet as a roll of ribbon with seeds impregnated into the membrane. It seems an easy way to sow, simply rolling out a piece of string, but whether anything results will take time to tell.
Another glorious day later, more beer, more chatter, and a sowing frenzy took our plot, with four French bean varieties, Runner beans, Parsley, Carrots, Lettuce and Rocket all being sown in-situ as the earth warms and the threat of a late frost starts to diminish. With more luck than judgment this latter issue could devastate our year’s beginnings so I hope that crisp, cold earth has bid farewell until the autumn or you are likely to hear tales of woe here very shortly…especially if my Brussel Sprouts fall victim.
Elsewhere Summer Pudding Alley has an abudance of flowers, with the Gooseberries now in full bloom, and the Red Currents, White Currents and Black Currents joining them. The newly transplanted Strawberries are also thriving, and in the sunny climate are already pushing through multiple buds and flowers ready to make their traditional engorged, sweet red fruit. Stawberries and cream at Wimbledon here I come!
But not everything goes to plan. The Broad Beans which I put out early due to them becoming far too leggy got severly frosted. Though they have showed signs of putting up new shoots, growth seems to be severely stunted and with the likely onslaught of blackfly I imagine our crop this year will be little to none. Meanwhile, whilst the peas attempt to thrive, mice have already begun to nibble! But, a handy tip from Mary’s partner to place holly leaves around the plants may be the answer…and I await to see a little mouse with prickled nose and prickled paw!