The back patch gardens are left to take care of themselves with very little attention given, now that we’re constantly heading to the allotment.
But that’s not a problem really, as most of the back patch planting is of perennials and so do fine on their own, with only sporadic weeding required, and of course watering if it’s dry and hot.
But as the weather this summer has been variable, with lots of rain and cool temperatures throughout July, there’s been no pressure for us to run out back to water. It’s a rain day again today.
The flowers are loving it this summer. The patch of Japanese anemone usually flowers later in the summer, but with the cool conditions has come out in full flower.
Japanese anemone is a really great easy-care plant for the garden. Once established they can be left to themselves, and if happy can spread by themselves. To propagate you can do clump divisions in spring and autumn. Root cuttings can also be done, but we’ve no need for any of that fussiness as they’re doing fine spreading all on their own.
Last summer we added two sea holly plants to the back patch – mainly because the sea holly planted at the allotment is growing very slowly and has not set flower since the first year it was planted (in 2018). At the allotment the sea holly is again growing well with foliage, but no signs of flower stalks. But the back patch sea holly plants are doing fabulously well and have exploded into bloom in late July. The big guy loves these spiky little blue flowers, and so do the bees.
Our next back patch project is to dig out the creeping mint from below the white rose pergola to make room for the perennials I have growing in pots at the allotment. Mint can be troublesome as it spreads quickly. Yesterday I moved some bricks to the bed to define an edge to the mint patch, and will have to dig the bricks in lengthwise to make a boundary in the bed to discourage the creep of mint roots. Once that’s done and I can turn over the ground and pull any weeds out, I have a great collection of new perennials to put in under the pergola to add extra spring colour for next year.
Earlier in the summer we ordered perennial plugs from Thomson & Morgan, including an assortment of columbine (an Aquelegia Mrs Scott Elliot), daisies (Leucanthemum Crazy Daisy), foxglove (Digitalis Dalmatian), verbena (Verbena Buenos Aires) and echinacea (echinacea Primadonna Rose). All the plugs have been potted up and also many repotted again, and are ready to dig their roots into a fresh new bed.
Speaking of new beds, I moved one of wicker hampers I had in the flat to the allotment to create a new growing bed along the steps. We cable-tied an old garden waste bad in as a liner and then filled with soil.
I’ve not seeded it yet, but am thinking I might try some carrots in this one – or maybe quick growing pak choi and turnip…. Or maybe more lettuce? We’ve not done so well with other crops this year, but the lettuce have been a real treat, and each lettuce equals a complete dinner if you add other bits from the plot and a nice chunk of grilled halloumi cheese. Yum!
This picture shows the new growing hamper, with our harvest from last Friday (including zucchino squashes, pak choi, lettuce, lemon verbena, yellow tomatoes, a red beefsteak tomato, purple beans and half a kilo of blackberries)
Postscript: the sunflowers I started from seed earlier this spring are growing but not yet in flower. We learned that slugs LOVE to eat sunflowers, and we lost many of our started plants, but there are about four or five planted at the allotment and I can’t wait to see them when they finally come into bloom…. Soon we hope!