The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
Tuesday was craft posts because of the Sewing Bee but the holidays have thrown that structure out a bit. This is a different kind of craft.
So we’ve had an allotment for about eight years. And I reckon this year it’s at its best ever. I’ve become a bit fanatical about growing things and keep adding permanent plants and new types of food.
This year (so far) we’ve got chokeberry, wild garlic, seakale, horseradish, mint, lavender, and rosemary ‘squeezed’ in already!
I’ve planted seeds for echinacea, salsify and walking onions too.
So space becomes an issue. And we’ve focussed on a few ideas this year for adding height to our growing areas.
This has meant some new crops hopefully and some good news for our bees too.
Project 1: Operation Cucumber
We have a cold frame that was in our allotment at the beginning. It’s made of concrete sections.
This gave us an idea.
How about taking it up?
So we’ve added four two metre posts to the corners and a cargo net across the top. Then we’ve put hooks around it and a rope to help the climbers on their way.
We’re intending to have gherkins on one side, a sweet dumpling pumpkin on the other. Gherkins cos they grow more readily than cucumbers outside and the fruit is smaller. Two people can’t eat a whole cucumber fast!
Project 2: Bee Arching Upwards
Allotment keeping is like a foraging process. At work recently a colleague was sharing her new garden development. She’d had arches removed.
While admiring the changes I asked what she planned to do with the arches now. As good fortune would have if she hadn’t figured that out.
Guess where they are now?
On our plot : )
I’m really keen to add more flowering plants to the plot for our recently arrived bees. They joined us last summer in June when adding plant was tricky. We do wanted to do this in a clever way to avoid loosing too much veg space
So we added a narrow flower border with plenty of bulbs along the central path. Now this path ‘feature’ has an archway too.
So how can I add flowers and produce to the arch?
I started with a Passion flower that can be used for tea as a stress buster and a clematis. (There’s three arch sections. ) and then added nasturtium seeds. These provide edible flowers and we’ve used the preserved seed as a poor man’s caper.
To take the full benefit of the arches I’ve got a cunning plan. We created a new rectangular trough and filled it with comfrey leaves and compost. The comfrey is a great feeding mulch.
I’ve sown achocha seeds at home. This is a climber that bears an edible fruit similar to cucumber. I’m hoping they’ll join the arch gang.
And then there’s the normal height adding stuff. Our neighbours were disposing of a huge garden umbrella. First we took the cover and used it to replace the cover on our umbrella. Then we took the skeleton to the plot. It’s perfect for climbing beans. Now it has two varieties at its feet.
I’m looking forward to seeing it covered in beans and flowers!
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...