Fabulously and at long last – I have got the upper hand on my allotment.
Strawberry plants (Florence, Honeoye and Alice) are doing well in their smart new home and some are even in flower, there is a spectacular abundance of gooseberries swelling almost visibly and the roses are all in great shape following their first proper prune.
And that is just some of it…
I have been eating perpetual spinach (about to bolt), purple broccoli and rhubarb and just given up on the last of the salads planted in September and overwintered under cloches. I am being troubled, however, by weevils (that I never actually see) who are having a real go at the leaves of my emerging sugar snap peas and young broad bean plants. I hope that as growth accelerates, the damage will look less life-threatening.
However, there are rumblings at my local allotment. For the first time ever there is a waiting list, and multiple plot holders have been asked to relinquish ground to let in more newcomers. There is some behind the scenes wriggling and skirmishing going on, and rumour has it that the Rotavator Mob think that newcomers like me (dubbed ‘Television Gardeners’), who favour raised beds, are ‘wasting space’.
To my mind this negative attitude indicates a fundamental misunderstanding. I do appreciated that raised beds seem to have become the latest cliché in the slightly over-hyped New Veg Revolution, and personally raise an eyebrow at the profligacy that is being encouraged by the ‘call to arms’.
However I/we find that growing in beds is the best way of dealing with the impossibly claggy ground – basically Wadhurst clay – and in the intensely enriched and improved pockets of soil we create (with roughly equal quantities of coarse sand and organic matter that opens up the texture miraculously) we can actually plant our crops more closely.
But there you go, it takes all sorts. And as long as you pay your allotment rent you should be able to get on with things as you wish. Next thing, someone will object to my roses.