It’s been another busy month at the allotment, getting on with the plot construction and nurturing my little seedlings! The weather throughout May has been more hot and dry than I can ever remember and although that has involved many trips to the stream to fill up the watering cans it’s been great for getting on with the gardening! Sometimes a little too hot in fact, but the evenings are light and I’ve been taking full advantage of them to work on the plot and get lots of jobs done. My lovely husband has been helping out a lot this month as we were able to collect the rest of the wood for the raised beds and planters with a very warmly welcomed lockdown restriction ease. We still need to source a couple of old scaffold boards for one, but all of the other large raised beds are complete!! We have been using the old cut offs to make smaller planters in between the large beds and those are coming along great as well, with two already filled with Nasturtiums and Sunflowers. Keeping himself busy on the plot, Chris even made me a new little bench with odds and ends of wood one day which has become our favourite spot for allotment shift tea breaks! I also picked sweetest little vintage kettle on eBay which goes on our little camping stove perfectly meaning there’s an endless supply of tea on the plot and making one very happy gardner!!
This month we finished and welcomed my new Upcycled Pallet DIY Potting Table to the allotment where it sits in pride of place and has become one of my most used and loved possessions! It’s where I’ve spent most of my allotment time throughout May potting on seedlings, sowing seeds and pottering on the plot, all whilst admiring the beautiful view! I just love all its nooks for tools, extra shelves for seed trays and storage space for keeping things tidy and organised. We started work on a new fence for the plot which I’m planning on painting the same F&B French Gray as the potting table, and hopefully we can make a cute little gate to match too! Mr Stin also salvaged an old and broken trellis from the bonfire pile which he fixed up and is now attached to the back of the Sunflower bed as a support. A lick of paint for that as well and you will never know it was bin bound!
May’s lovely sunshine has certainly brought on the plant growth, with the polytunnel resembling a bit of a jungle at the start of the month! It was so hot inside the tunnel that it was definitely time to start hardening some flowers off by taking them outside during the day for about a week before they were ready for a life outside. The Sunflowers, Cornflowers and Nasturtiums were first and are now proudly planted in the ground which was such an exciting day!! So very rewarding to finally see some plants in the beds we’ve worked so hard on over the past few months. I also started planting out the vegetable patch where we now have potatoes, onions, chives and red bull sprouts in the ground and looking good! The strawberries have been in beautiful flower this month and I’ve planted them in little terracotta pots and dotted them all over the plot which instantly brings life to muddy corners!
The tomato and peppers have been potted on after a seriously slow germination, which actually served as a nice reminder to be patient. They seem to like the toastiness of the polytunnel so I’ll keep them inside to grow in there. Now is a good time to sow perennials for next Summers flowers, so this month I’ve sown some Lunaria, Lupins, Foxgloves and Hollyhocks which are germinating nicely and are almost ready for potting on. I also sowed some pumpkins and squash which are just starting to pop through the soil which is very exciting. The Phlox, Amaranthus, Grasses and bunny tails have all been potted on now and are coming on great. One thing that hasn’t germinated well for me is the strawflowers! I’ve tried two variates three times but to no avail and I am desperate to get some going, although now I think it’s a bit late in the season for this year! The Cosmos on the other hand are giants now and I’ve pinched out all the growing tips to encourage bushier plants with more flowers. They are currently being hardened off along with the Sweet Peas, Marigolds and beetroot and will be next in line for planting out.
This past month at the allotment it really feels like the plot has come together and it has just been so lovely to look back on the transformation of the space over the past few months. Although I am of course delighted that it’s almost all set up, I am definitely going to miss the planning and construction as it’s been such a fun project to work on together with Chris! He has absolutely loved the excuse to get the tools out and get so involved in it too. In the next few weeks it’s going to be all about the planting on the plot and getting those flowers in the ground! I’m also going to get the paint out to do the fence and the trellis and work on tiding up the boundary of the plot making sure it is all weed free and tidy. I’m also planning on making a frame filled in with mesh to protect the veggie bed from any little predators and am going to forage some branches to make a sweet pea support too! I’m going to purchase some rose bushes for cutting if I can be ruthless enough to decide on just a few but most excitingly of all I only have one week left of my floristry course! It has been very consuming on the paperwork side of things and I have really missed the practical side since college closed in March, so I really cannot wait to have even more time to spend at the allotment and of course get my floristry plans up and running!!
~ Shortbread pictured kindly gifted from Walkers ~