Plot 9 Blog (June ’21)

28th June 2021

Today I picked my first Sweet Pea, one called ‘Darcy Bussel’ a pale lilac /pink and I notice the first of the broad beans growing as I checked for black-fly on the growing tips. The beans planted in October last winter looked a sorry sight but are now 4ft high and full of tiny beans.
May into June is the time when the growth in the garden becomes overwhelming especially as the weather conditions combine and caused everything to grow extraordinarily fast. The weeds especially are troublesome including bindweed ground elder and horse-tale. We do keep a few weeds including Fumitory Herb Robert and few bits of Grounsill for tiger moth caterpillars and Evening Primrose for moths. Hornets like to feed on flowers of dark green marjoram!
The holly trees are shedding their leaves in the dryness and the hedges all need a trim.
After spring flowers begin to fade. I look forward to the emergence of the tall blue bearded Iris along the wall and then blood red poppies and dark pink Cistus along with Alliums and Aquilegia, although not so many now due to virus. Also the climbing roses along the wall and holding it all together the geraniums and greater celandine and greenery from summer and autumn blooms.
As I was weeding sides of the pathway I noticed a plant that was unfamiliar on plot 9. It turned out to be a Dracuncula vulgaris or Dragon Arum. Quite extraordinary and with a beautifully pattered stem and a red spathe looking particularity alien.
Runner beans are struggling in the heat. The nesting sparrows pinched the ties on the canes so we are now using strips of cotton. We planted Sweetcorn this week and watering has begun for the vegetables. No other plants are watered unless newly planted or we see ones in distress! The plot is too big.
Chicory is something I am going to try and grow and blanch for next winter along with some Swiss Chard. We have eaten all the Asparagus and it’s now going to seed and the bed needs weeding again.
Looking ahead to summer. Herbaceous plants need staking although I fear it is too late for some already. There will be Penstemons,Hemerocallis, Phlox and Aconitum and then maybe a few figs or raspberry’s, courgettes and one or two tomatoes if I can find the space!

Rosemary Hackett Plot 9 Volunteer