While weeding the cut flower patch next to the allotment shed I began hearing loud cheeping sounds, looking up towards the bird box on the shed I saw a tiny yellow beak and pair of eyes at the entrance hole.
I put some distance between us and along came a parent blue tit with juicy snacks, how wonderful! I’m thrilled to see the bird box being used, it only went on up on the shed last November.
Just below the box is a buddleia, this will no doubt cushion the crash-landing when the chicks fledge. The chick I could see looks well feathered so I don’t think it will be too long before that happens.
Leaving nature be I switched to some other jobs needing doing on the plot, first on the list was to put more bean poles up. After a lot of huffing and puffing I finally got a second lot of bean poles in. Why oh why did I leave this so late this year?! The ground is very dry which made it tricky but I managed to push the poles in after using a few cans of water to soften the ground.
I topped the bean beds up with fresh compost and set about sowing the beans which are borlotto/borlotti and Greek Gigantes, two climbing types I grow for the beans, not the pods.
Borlotto have the prettiest pods which turn pink and then dry to a deep purple. After harvesting I dry or freeze and use in all sorts of dishes, they’re also nice cold with salads and have a buttery texture and flavour.
Greek Gigantes beans are enormous buttery beans!
There are usually 18-22 seeds per packet, I sowed the lot which worked out around 3 or 4 seeds per pole. Hopefully they germinate and the mice leave them alone, if not I will sow Czar which is another runner bean I like for pods and dried beans, flavour is similar to butter beans.
Another job on the list is to remove the strawberry plants from the current strawberry patch (the plants are well past their best) and mend the broken raised bed. I still haven’t ticked this job off the list. I planted runners grown on at home into the small bed in front of the rhubarb to make a new strawberry patch, it’s small but I can treat this bed as a snack bed. Sounds good to me so I’m going with it.
I did plan to use this area for dahlias but changed my mind after seeing the size of the snails hiding under the rhubarb leaves, the dahlias wouldn’t last long.
I finished off a good day on the allotment with yes you guessed it, more weeding. It feels good to be getting back on top of it all, ticking jobs off my imaginary list. The weather was just beautiful today which always helps. Until next time, enjoy your allotments!