The dictionary definition of an allotment is a plot of land rented by an individual for growing vegetables and flowers. So strictly, our front garden allotment is no such thing, but I like to call it that while I am waiting on the list to get a real allotment.
In our sunny, south facing and slightly sloping front garden, we have four raised beds, each one metre by one metre, filled with top soil. This year, I tried a new growing medium, Bloomin Amazing, which is described as a soil conditioner, feed and mulch all in one (disclaimer: I was sent a free bag after meeting the Bloomin Amazing team at this year’s Garden Press Event). I have been really happy with it and my veg plants and cutting flowers seem to like it as well.
It has been a very busy year (I say that every week) so the beds are by no means perfect and we have a huge bindweed problem. I am happy to report however that the flowers and veg don’t seem to care and are merrily growing away, glad of all the rain and sunshine we have had this year (more sunshine than rain recently).
- Sweet peas
Sweet peas are one of my absolute favourite things to grow. I make sure to keep on cutting them to produce new blooms and so we have had a little jug of sweet smelling sweet peas on the mantlepiece for over a month now, refreshed every few days. These are Ballerina Blue from Eagle Sweet Peas and Darcey Bussell from Roger Parsons Sweet Peas.
2. Potatoes, rose, geraniums and crocosmia
I love to grow vegetables and flowers together, hence the name of my blog. Here I have main crop potatoes (I think they are Arran Victory, but can’t quite remember), growing alongside my Tess of the d’Urbervilles rose, red geraniums from the garden centre and the ubiquitous crocosmia (not Lucifer, a more insipid orange variety – this one’s for Tony Tomeo as we were discussing how crocosmia or montbretia is a weed in his part of the world).
3. Long Tomatoes ‘Marmando’
I didn’t sow any tomatoes myself this year, but fortunately a lady across the road was selling homegrown tomato plants to raise funds for our local green space, so I bought three of these long tomatoes called ‘Marmando’ which are just coming into flower.
4. Lettuce, kale, chard and cosmos
This bed is a bit of a mish mash. Last year I grew potatoes and calendula in this bed (and carrots, but these were quickly overshadowed by the potatoes – note to self). This year we have some cosmos and lettuce, which both came free as seed in a magazine, and a couple of rainbow chard plants from seed from local allotments. I sowed in rows, but this is all that came up, so I supplemented with a couple of kale plants given to me by the garden team at Charleston farmhouse where I have been volunteering (I’ve had to take a break as July is such a busy month, but I will be stewarding at the Festival of the Garden there next weekend).
5. Calendula, no carrots
Granny’s Garden asked me last week where the Carrots and Calendula of my blog’s title are. Here is the first calendula about to flower this morning. Sadly, my run of bad luck with carrots has continued and the Paris Market variety I sowed never really got going due to a mixture of cats and slugs.
Just across the path from the raised beds, this pretty white bellflower has self sown from next-door. I love its delicate pink stamens.
As ever I am joining in with The Propagator’s popular Six on Saturday meme, where he invites us to show six things from our garden each weekend. Do check out his blog and the comments to see what other SOS-ers are up to.