Tuesday, 22 May 2018

My wildlife allotment in May 2018

It is already the end of May now, how time flies, especially if you have a lot to do. I am out and about now a lot for work, driving to field sites and surveying for pollinators. But I still find enough time at the weekends to keep on top of the allotments and to enjoy all the flowers opening at the moment. With the sunshine and warmth everything is growing very fast, turn around for too long and you have missed something.
I had a bit of a scary time last week as the 6 C forecast for Thursday night changed gradually to 1 C! And I had already planted some tomatoes, beans, courgettes and half-hardy flowers out as they had grown too large for the greenhouse. My partner had to rush to the allotment with a rucksack full of bed sheets to cover everything too tender to survive a cold night unprotected. Luckily all plants have survived, but the tomatoes have a bit of frost damage on the outer  leaves. Nothing really bad. Everything else seemed to be completely fine. So next year I might wait a bit longer before I plant out the tomatoes.

Another problem at the moment is the lack of rain. In early spring we had so much rain I was begging for it to stop and slugs had a good time eating all the fresh new shoots. Now we have no rain at all, just sunshine every day and no end in sight. This means watering. I am now at a point where I only water the most essential plants, which means seedlings and newly planted things and plants in pots, everything else has just to put up with it. Luckily there is still some moisture left in the ground. At least all the slug-damaged plants have grown back strongly now.

Below you can see some pictures from the allotment, taken last weekend.

White Camassias flowering in the wildflower meadow
My small wildflower meadow near the compost area, looking quite pretty now
Poached-egg plant self-sows on the allotment, but is never a nuisance
The allotment with yellow Geums and Alliums on the right
Allium "Purple Sensation" with white campion (Silene latifolia)
A frog (there is another one to the right) hiding at the side of my little pond
Alliums are everywhere, providing splashes of colour
Allium "Purple Sensation"
Chives with white Camassia and the wildflower meadow in the background
Purple mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum) looking pretty in the wildflower meadow
The larger wildflower meadow with small burnet and germander speedwell flowering
Dark-leaved pretty Polemonium yezoense flowering
Anemone multifida is opening its delicate flowers in the new steppe planting
Helenium hoopesii has managed to escape the slugs and is finally flowering
Alliums look nice with ornamental grasses, here Stipa tenuissima
Pretty great masterwort (Astrantia major)
Cirsium rivulare with Stipa gigantea
Little heartsease flowers (Viola tricolor), self-sowing nicely on the allotment

Let`s hope we get some rain soon, but at the moment everything is still looking good.

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