I’ve spent a few hours up at the plots during the week and managed to tidy up the strawberry beds – filled the clay crevaces with manure, trimmed the fruiting stalks and removed any dead foliage. Strawberry leaves are remarkably strong and simply do not just snap off the plant after they die off – these need to be trimmed with secateurs. It’s tedious but I got it all done.
Haven’t dug out the strawberry beds to rationalise and space out the planting in a better way, but that can wait for September…
The hollyhock we started from seed at the back of the frog pond have finally matured to flowering! We weren’t sure what colour would come out and it turns out we’ve got a pale pink hollyhock. Happily it’s a natural form flower (not double blossomed) so easy for the pollinators to get to. Go bees go!
A few weeks ago sometime in June we found a seating bench in the good old garbage – so brought it up to the plot. This bench will sit on the platform that we reinforced with a big sheet of good quality plywood – also rescued from garbage/ landfill. London’s street refuse provides a lot of our resources for the allotments! I love it when we find something really genuinely useful and save it from heading to refuse heaps and landfill. So satisfying!
The big dude took time this afternoon to put a coat of green weather proofing onto the new seating platform, which we tucked in behind the greengage tree (trunk showing in the photo below) and to the side of the frog/ newt pond. This will be a great little seating space
We’ve not seen too many butterflies this year. Could be that we’re not up there in the daytimes…
(Hhhmn… Is it ok to admit that we miss the lockdown and furlough programme?? During those days which were admittedly a nightmare for many people, we were able to get out to the plots each and every day, so could monitor the goings on of bug and bird life much more closely. I do miss that, as does the big guy, who in June confessed that working for a living was interfering with our progress on the plots and flower gardens. But so it goes, eh?)
In terms of less butterfly sightings, it may simply be that there are less butterfly about. The news is always worried about the dramatic decline in insect life.
Much as me and the malink do our absolute best to promote biodiversity the trends are clear…
But this little butterfly is surely loving life on the allotment. We think it’s a Comma Butterfly, and looks very handsome and striking sitting on this blackberry leaf.
Earlier in the week I trimmed some of the rampant vinca that is overhanging onto the allotment path by the long bed planted with beans, squash and sunflowers.
This afternoon the big guy raked it all clear, then installed a new wood plank to create a new planting bed.
This will help protect from the vinca over-reaching it’s growing space under the greengage tree.
We are planning to plant this new narrow bed with perennial flowers. Maybe more red hot poker plants? More hollyhock? The beast loves those!
Whatever the ins and outs of declining butterfly populations, there’s nothing wrong with the birds by the plots. We have a new friendly robin.
This guy is a juvenile and hasn’t even grown a full tail yet. Absolutely fearless, he’s very curious and comes right to our feet.
So no surprise he was the first to check out the new bed and give it a good inspection.
The front narrow bed top-dressed with manure with the fork in it in the photo here is still unplanted. So there’s more to come in our beloved little allotment.
Oh yeah! And we ate our first yellow tomato today! Delish! And the blackberry bushes are starting to show ripe sweet early blackberries..
There’s always something happening at the allotment. We LOVE it!