Thursday, 24 April 2014
Allotment ...... Post 4
Firstly let me express my humble gratitude for the advice and ideas offered by your good selves regarding the allotment that I am endeavouring to run, or should that be ruin? Any and all advice or ideas offered are always gratefully accepted.
As you may have gathered from my previous allotment posts a lack of knowledge has not stopped me, upon occasion, attacking the plot with some gusto..... even if I do say so myself. I now have an idea of where I want to go with this 'Kingdom of John'. So to recap, the basic, but fluid, plan looks something like this....
About two thirds of the plot will be given over to apple orchard, which has now mainly been planted although I'm considering the addition of a row of cordon apple trees which will also define the line of one boundary. The purpose of the orchard, instead of filling the plot with row upon row of manicured vegetables? Well it's quite a simple answer...... Cider! The other third will be given over to vegetables in raised beds. I wish to lesson my impact on nature so I'll be avoiding herbicides, pesticides and other such chemicals where possible. I'll also be trying to incorporate measures to encourage a balance of wildlife within the plot, which may well cause some raised eyebrows with the other allotmenters. I've received some great tips from Countryside Tails on helping to encourage wildlife and her post here is an excellent read regarding plants to incorporate in such a scheme. Which leads nicely to one of my ideas which is to turn the floor area of the orchard into a wildflower meadow hopefully attracting a host of wee pollinating beasties which will benefit not just mine but also the neighbours allotments. A further boundary will be defined by a low mixed fruit hedge and my thanks for this idea to annie b. There will of course be a shed and Cro's idea of one seems most agreeable, with one additional item...... I'm hoping to incorporate a living roof on the shed.
I have already started upon the wildflower meadow and bearing in mind that the majority of it will be under the dappled shade of my cider trees I'm incorporating some woodland flowers and then letting mother nature add what she wishes too (obviously she knows best). My aged and rapidly decaying parents cleared one of their flower borders the other week of several clumps of bluebells and just cast them aside into their 'dump anything that doesn't fit into how a garden should be' area. I was supposed to be doing this for them so that the bulbs could be saved, patience is not one of their virtues I have to say. So arriving there t'other day expecting to grab myself some freshly dug bulbs I ended up rummaging in the dump zone trying to find as many bulbs as I could salvage. I ended up with quite a few but unfortunately most, if not all were now in poor condition. Not to be disheartened I have planted them into the strimmed grass of my plot, mainly around the two golden delicious cider trees which will have the wider spread of foliage of the cider trees that I've planted.
I've painstakingly planted each bulb separately so hopefully if some die and rot they won't affect others. One bonus was a clump of snowdrops found in with the bluebells and these have been planted the same way. Fingers crossed that a reasonable percentage will appear next season.
My next task is to free the two original cider trees from the jungle that is strangling them, they are also in dire need of pruning but I believe that will have to wait until late autumn and their sap to drop so that they don't bleed to death.
At the rear of the plot it is bordered by traditional council insecure fencing which the local youth take great pleasure in climbing and causing mayhem on the allotments (bless em) at the point it passes my Kingdom , as here is one of the few bare spots in the fence. So I've encouraged Bear's name sake, instead of ragging it out as a weed, by threading it's tendrils through the fence, providing a future thorny deterrent and perhaps some 'cultivated' wild fruit... result methinks.
Finally this week I'm hoping to have one if not two raised beds in position ready for filling with compost.
I'm hoping that this allotment will give me a place to shelter from the world and to collect my thoughts when the black dog next bites. I have no idea how long I'll be able to tend this ground as my life is still fluid and staying in one place is something that may well still elude me.
Till the next time, thanks for taking the time to read thus far and please take bloody good care of your loved ones..they are so special and should be treated as such every waking moment of your lives.