The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Another day, another year on the plots!


By balcony


Another day, another year on the plots!

Yes, it’s another day, another year down on plots 58 & 59B!

As we all remember, March made meteorological history by being the hottest since records began which led us into another history making month, on the weather front, April, by being the wettest month in history! Though I’m sure that where I live in the UK, in East Anglia, it wasn’t a record breaking month of rain! I have no doubt in other places it certainly was!

May has been like neither March nor April, though the highest temperature was recorded, in Scotland, this month, over 29C! If anything it has been a mixture of both. A cold, wet start but a hot, dry end!

Once we got over the cold start to the month of May things really started to move apace on the allotments & it has been a real struggle trying to keep up with the growth of everything!


Although you can’t see them there are potatoes beneath that heap of soil! I had just earthed them up for the first time!

What’s so special about that you ask? Well, they were planted in the middle of March but made slow progress during April. With all the rain we had I would have expected much quicker progress. I suppose the low temps that came with the rain was the main cause for their slow growth.


In spite of the way above average temps of March the strawberries were no further ahead than other years.

They started flowering just as April was coming to an end & still continue now in June. There are quite a few berries, still green, on the plants so perhaps April’s rain has made up for the excess heat of March & the cold first half of May.

Apple tree blossoms

Now this is a real sign that spring is well under way & that the summer is almost around the corner!

This photo is from May 10th yet I’ve checked out photos of the same tree from other years & on April 15th last year there were many more flowers on the tree! Even in a photo from the 1st May 2010 there was more blossom on the tree!

Broad beans

This is a photo of Gerry’s Broad beans. I don’t know the name of the variety nor does Gerry remember what he sowed.

Here are the same Broad beans a few weeks later, now flowering.

Broad beans ‘Aquadulce Claudia’

The seeds for these plants came from a swap organised on another gardening forum I post on. They weren’t as advanced as Gerry’s when I planted them out but I put them in a bed alongside his to see how they would develop & to compare crops later on.

Here are the same plants a few weeks later, at the end of May:

Fig trees & Raspberries

You may remember from a previous blog how I covered the Fig trees with fleece in an attempt to protect them from the cold of winter & with the hope of avoiding the late frosts at the beginning of May, that have plagued our allotments the last few years. I had hoped they would be protected enough to give us some fruit this year. But …

… here you can see them a few days after I removed the fleece protection that had been on the all winter! I wasn’t very impressed – to say the least!

I should have take a photo the same day I uncovered them as I was very surprised indeed to see how much the branches had died back! They had up to 4 layers of fleece as I went around the trees with a blanket of fleece! The fleece was on from December till mid May.

Runner or Green beans

I had these beans from last year:

& these:

I planted them out & this year, &, for a change, I made wigwams for them to climb up. I planted 2 seeds at the base of each cane.

Here they are having begun to germinate only a few days ago:

I wasn’t able to get an earlier photo as they couldn’t be distinguished very well from the, lumpy, soil!

Irises at top of plot

As “all work & no play makes Jack a dull lad” here are some lovely bearded Irises now flowering at the top of Gerry’s main allotment:

This white one is the first year it has flowered that I’ve helped Gerry on his allotment:

Yet this Purple one has flowered every year:

Here is another white one that hasn’t flowered till it did so this year for the first time:

Comfrey in flower at top of plot

I’d never seen Comfrey in flower till this year! In previous years I’d cut it down several times during the year so it never got to flower! I think the flowers are quite pretty but I shall be cutting it down in a few days time! The bees seem to like it as well! I’ll have to make some Comfrey tea!

Lettuce Cut & Come again

The seeds for these Lettuce came, again in a swap, to me from another gardening forum. I have never grown these before as my wife prefers the Cos or Romaine type. I have grown the cabbage-head type, as well as the Butter-head type. I, myself, am not partial to Lettuce & I can’t eat it unless I have a piece of Tomato &/or Cucumber with each piece of lettuce leaf! The birds, however, certainly seem to like them as when I went to hoe away the weeds that had grown in the 32 weeks since planting them out I fount the majority of them had been practically stripped of their leaves! I sowed them for Gerry, so that he would have some Lettuce leafs for his aviary at home!

Strange that the birds leave all my Lettuces alone yet strip the ‘Cut & Come Again’ ones!

‘Tom Thumb’ Lettuces

I grew some ‘Tom Thumb’ Lettuces over the winter & harvested them a few weeks ago:

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’

These have since been planted in my own allotment: Plot 12A. More on these in another blog, on my own allotment: Plot 12A, in a few days time.

Amaryllis moved down to the allotment

Like previous years, my Amaryllis have been moved to the allotment for the summer.

After a couple of weeks, when I could be sure all danger of frost had passed, I moved them out of the greenhouse.

Here are some behind the greenhouse:

Here are some beside the shed:

View down the plot from the shed:

Talking of the shed it’s time for a traditional photo or two of the view down the plot from our shed.

Well, I’ll put an end to this blog here & do another one in a couple of weeks time. Meanwhile I’ll be making one to show you how I’m getting on with my stuff on my own allotment: Plot 12A.

Till then, happy gardening!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Allotments during April - May 2012

Next post: Garlic from allotment lifted today



Wow you have been busy. Looking good. Shame about the fig tree, you'd have thought all that fleece would have done the trick. Hopefully it'll pick up quickly.

3 Jun, 2012


Very interesting blog. Nice to see the cars and know there are plenty of busy tenants.
Did you see the blog of the Iris GC over in Cambridge ?
Now, that was something !

4 Jun, 2012


Isn't it great to see how things have come along after that cold snap! Love those deep purple irises - what a colour! :o)

4 Jun, 2012


Nice to see things doing well again for you this year.

4 Jun, 2012


Thank you all for commenting. :-))

Like you Sam I expected much better protection with the fleece so I'm disappointed, for the moment at least! We'll see if later in the summer my efforts were worth the while.

Diane the cars you spotted, (in the only 2 photos were they appear), have nothing to do with allotment tenants parking, they belong to people who don't work on the allotments field. Those allotmenteers who arrive in their cars almost always park inside the allotments field.

No, I haven't seen the blog. I thought it was one of yours but I checked out your blogs & it wasn't there. Who wrote it?

Yes, Nariz, the Irises have done much better this year, including the 2 white ones that have flowered for the 1st time this year.

Thanks, Hywel. :-)) Things are growing at rocket-like speed this year, really different from the other years I've been on the allotments.

5 Jun, 2012

Add a comment

Recent posts by balcony

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Jun, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008