I took my little dog for a walk via the allotment this afternoon, the weather was perfectly sunny, way too nice to be sat in front of a computer. However, due to a lack of time, I wanted to avoid doing any work while down there, and there’s very little to harvest just yet, so instead I took some pictures of the flowers that are looking beautiful on the plot right now.
The circular bed is home to whatever manages to self-seed itself successfully enough. For the last couple of years the wild poppies have stolen the show, and have been beautiful, while this flower above – Cerinthe Major Purpurascens, to give it the full and proper title, aka Honeywort, has been quietly waiting in the sidelines. It has self sown over the last 2 or 3 years, just around the perimeter, growing a few more each year, but still overshadowed by the flamboyant red and pink poppies. But this year it has stepped forward into centre stage and thoroughly taken over the joint. The bed (about 2 metres in diameter) is full to brimming with deep purple, it’s covered in bees, and the buzzing noise is just incredible.
Also flowering on the plot are:
Some calendulas that have been growing since last autumn. I need to resow a new bed of these this year.
Some narcissi that I don’t even remember planting!
The purple sprouting broccoli has had it’s day and is now providing food for the bees instead. That’s okay, my freezer is full.
And the herb bed is looking colourful right now. This is very much a work in progress area. I’ve lost quite a lot of the original herbs I planted when we started 6 years ago, and the weeds have been a constant battle to control. Gradually it has become more of a mixed flower and herb bed. In truth, herbs are better grown at home where you can pick them as you need them in the kitchen. Occasionally I’ll pick something for a specific meal I know I’ll be doing that evening, but I’m rarely that well planned, so most of the herbs I grow here get picked en masse for drying and storing. My parents had a stash of spare roofing tiles lying around that I decided I could use to edge the border, but in fact I’ve ended up laying them down along one edge and then randomly throughout to create little pockets for the herbs and flowers to self-seed into. I’m hoping this will help to block out some of the weeds and create some warmth and space for what are mostly mediterranean herbs, that will hopefully thrive in a dry bed like this. When I dig out enough stones from the main beds I throw them onto here too. A herb rockery if you like, albeit a flat fenland one, rather than a hilly lake district one! The forget-me-nots seem happy anyway.
John and I will be busy little bunnies this easter, potatoes to plant, beetroot, parsnips, carrots, spinach and lettuce to sow direct, beds to finish digging over. I just hope this good weather holds out, easter weekend has been a wash out in every year I can remember. Hope yours is a good one.