Monday, 18 June 2018

My wildlife allotment in early June 2018

It is now nearly a month since my last post, summer is always very busy and there is hardly any time for sitting in front of a computer. But I always find at least some time to take photos so you can see the progress.
I am quite pleased with the allotment this year, many of my plantings are looking quite beautiful now, most plants are growing well and flowers are opening everywhere nearly on a daily basis. Turn your back for a few days and you might miss something!
I have also grown a lot of plants from seed last year, planted them over winter and now seeing them flower for the first time is exhilarating. I even have some plants I forgot to label properly when pricking them out of the seed tray so I have to wait now until they flower to see what they are.

We had a lot of dry weather recently, the last proper rain was a few weeks ago. Summers here in the Thames valley seem to be getting dryer now with long periods without any rain. I have tried to adapt with planting more drought-resistant perennials. Most ornamental grasses are quite good for dry soil and many plants from steppe and prairie areas are suitable as well. I only really water the vegetables and newly planted things. Everything else has to survive on its own which saves me a lot of work.

Below are some pictures from the  allotment.

Alliums and grasses (Nasella tenuissima)
Rambler rose `Albertine` looks magnificent this year
Maltese cross (Lychnis chalcedonica)
Grecian foxglove (Digitalis lanata) growing together with yellow Achillea and other perennials
The smaller of my two wildflower meadows on the allotment
The larger meadow with ox-eye daisy, bird`s-foot trefoil and red clover flowering
Ox-eye daisy and Briza media
Fox-an-cups (Pilosella aurantiaca) with meadow buttercup and red clover in the meadow
The larger wildflower meadow
Dropwort (Filipendula vulgaris)has pretty flowers
Early bumblebee visiting the Knautia arvensis flowers
Common carder bees like the meadow cranesbill flowers
The caterpillar-like flowers of Sanguisorba menzisii
The allotment at the beginning of June
Sisyrinchium striatum is a bit invasive but has pretty flowers
Arnica chamissonis is growing well
Allium cernuum, grown from seed, is flowering for the first time this year
Leafcutter bee (Megachile) is visiting fox-and-cups
Aster tongolensis and Dianthus deltoides
Euphorbia coralloides looks pretty, adding a soft yellow colour to the plantings
Euphorbia coralloides and Dianthus deltoides
The oldest part of the allotment, now fully planted up with no space left
Echium russicum, a perennial viper`s bugloss
Eryngium giganteum flowers
More Eryngium giganteum in a sea of Nasella tenuissima
Meadow cranesbill (with Dianthus barbatus in the background)
Pretty yellow Aquilegia with Tanacetum parthenium
Dianthus carthusianorum with fox-tail barley (Hordeum jubatum)
Eryngium giganteum
Garden bumblebee drinking nectar from Anchusa azurea

Naturalistic planting with lots of grasses and perennials
Californian poppy and Armeria pseudameria
Digitalis lutea, a pretty shortlived perennial foxglove
Digitalis lanata
Lots of flowers and grasses (with Trifolium rubrum in the foreground on the left)
Tassel flower (Emilia javanica), a new annual for me which has very pretty flowers


  1. Wow. Love it. Nigel Dunnet should come and have a look :-)
    Glad I have found Pilosella aurantiaca. Seen it at Arlington Court, Devon in grass meadow.
    Now I know > "Fox and Cubs".

    1. Thank you :-) Nigel Dunnett would be welcome to have a look. I have worked in the Department of Landscape in Sheffield for James Hitchmough some years ago, also met Nigel Dunnett when I worked there. I must have caught the naturalistic planting bug there ;-).
      I love combining grasses and perennials and had so many more planting ideas that I have another large allotment now. On the new plot I have started planting a prairie and in late summer I will start some steppe planting. There is also a bog garden and a neglected pond which I will tackle in late summer.


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