Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Social Side

In the last year and a bit, we’ve had a few visitors to our allotment. Visiting family and friends, who would come by to “see what it’s all about.” Kind compliments have always been given and they’ve even assisted with some weeding. Given that we don’t have a garden, only three little window boxes on our Juliet balcony, we’ve always wanted the allotment act as leisure space, as well as a “working garden.”

Lindsey enjoying the sun.

Lindsey enjoying the sun.

When we started re-organising the plot back in November 2011, we marked out a small lawn area next to the herb beds. Scott did the Man Thing; levelling, adding top dress and seeding the area. Over a year on, it’s now a great patch to stretch out on after a hard morning of weeding. A lovely charcoal BBQ was donated to us earlier this year and last weekend we finally got it fired up.

FIRE.

FIRE.

We gathered with our friends; Lindsey, Dan and Jen for a slap up meal in 30C weather. We stayed for several hours and were all lovely and pink by the end of the day. Our next allotment purchase will likely be one of those cheap pop-up marquees from Argos.  Still not quite prepared for this proper summer weather!

Jen & Dan say hi!

Jen & Dan say hi!

Still, despite the heat, we managed to pack two bottles of chilled Prosecco with us. Made even more delicious by the addition of strawberries and raspberries picked right there and then. Here’s hoping the weather keeps up and we can do it again this weekend. It’s a whole other aspect of the allotment to enjoy, the joy of sharing it with people.

Prosecco and Strawberries anyone?

Prosecco and Strawberries anyone?

Busman’s Holiday

Took the day off work on Friday to head off to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. Yes, I took time off from tending plants to go… and look at plants. When you love what you do, this is what happens. I also like the show at Hampton Court much more than Chelsea, which tends to turn into an endless mass of people elbowing you in the sides. The little old ladies being the worst perpetrators. I also have a soft spot for Hampton Court Palace as I spent a blissful year there doing my horticultural/ garden design training. Nice to be back in my old stomping grounds.

Stunning & inspirational

Stunning & inspirational

Scott came along quite willingly and we had a good wander about, sampling gin, foods, and possibly more gin in the ‘Growing Tastes’ tent. We also picked up some more seed garlic from The Garlic Farm, which will go in the ground in a couple of months. Scott acted as my own personal plant attendant when I left him to nap in a shady spot while I bought plants. I generally make a rule not to buy things at flower shows, things are often available elsewhere and for much cheaper. I try and confine myself to taking photos of plants to help me remember names of varieties.

One to remember!

One to remember!

With the ornamental beds finally clear and under control (I’m making this sound like an advert for zit cream), I would really like to fill the beds with  mix of perennials. My impulse purchases that day were a few Salvia patens with stunning blue flowers and several Cosmos atrosanguineus (Chocolate Cosmos) with their lovely cocoa scent. Neither are particularly hardy, but I do love them. I did also see lots of lovely orange Achillea millefolium in the show gardens this year, so I’ll add them to my wish list.

Lovely orange Achillea in the foreground.

Lovely orange Achillea in the foreground.

Now, with my head full of ideas, I really should sit down and make a final list. In a year’s time, our allotment will end up looking like this:

IMG_5759

Heh.