I had a request to share the contents of our greenhouse, and thought I would extend this to the whole of the allotment. The serious end of the garden.
Stevie and I divvy up our roles and space. I am flowers. He is food.
Here is the dividing line. Flowers left, food right.
Those who read my blog regularly might recognise Thug’s Corner, so named because of the invading raspberries, which started off on the right of the dividing line and are now on both sides.
But I am very partial to an Autumn-fruiting raspberry, so they can stay.
Alongside the raspberries is rhubarb, which I adore and Stevie pretends to hate. He makes the most delicious rhubarb and ginger jam you ever did taste. It is enough to rival his marmalade.
We also have two fruit trees on the dividing line, ‘Cambridge’ gage and ‘Farleigh’ damson.
Behind the greenhouse are the grapevines. Stevie is a certified wine-grower, so he needs a mini vineyard. He grows ‘Regent’ and ‘Bacchus’ here, and ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ and ‘Merlot’ in the greenhouse. We also have ‘Black Hamburg’ and ‘Muscat’ for eating. There is nothing like a home-grown sun-warmed grape. They are small, with very thick skins, and have pips. Children spit them out in disgust. Adults savour the deep, rich flavours in the skin and make moaning noises.
Vineyards always grow a rose at the end of a row. It is an early alarm in case of infection. So I helped Stevie choose ‘Snow Goose’ (pictured), ‘Bleu Magenta’ and ‘Veichenblau’. They are all ramblers, with great trusses of small flowers.
Now into the greenhouse. I rent the greenhouse in March and April, to start my annuals and dahlias off. Then I move outside (evicted) as Stevie sows his veg and salad.
It is all neat and tidy now because it is Stevie’s shift. If it was mine, there would be compost on the floor. The grapevines are in half-barrels on the floor on the left, which are trained up to the roof.
We have a lot of tomatoes. We like tomatoes. Stevie is growing a whole rainbow of tomatoes. We like the big fat beefy ones best. There are ‘Marmande’, ‘Black Russian’, ‘Black Opal’, ‘Prudens Purple’ and ‘Zlatava’.
The tomatoes are trained up cordons, along with cucumbers and gherkins. That’s why we need a stepladder, for picking. There are also a few chillis.
It smells lovely in here, of tomato leaves, but it is a bit hot. Shall we step outside?
Here are the veg beds with just about every type of veg known to man, except kohlrabi. I stipulate lots of broad beans and lots of beetroot, and Stevie kindly obliges. He made all the raised beds, and a few more for me, for cut flowers.
I have to stop to nibble some pea shoots and admire the flowers.
Ooh, hang on, are those some lovely roses I spot along the fence? I wonder who put those there?
On to the fruit cage…
The strawberries are plumping up nicely. There are also gooseberries, redcurrants, whitecurrants, blackcurrant and raspberries. Stevie is very pleased with his mulch of moss from scarifying the lawn. It is warm and soft and lovely.
The compost bins must be admired. Stevie made the wobbly chracterful ones from old palettes. I often get confused about which one we are filling, and what can and can’t go in there. How we laugh!
I disturbed a tangle of slow-worms here earlier on. We also see lizards sunning themselves occasionally. Our compost heap is known as the Reptile Riviera.
Down at the bottom is the ‘orchard’ and ‘meadow’. There are four apple trees: ‘Queen Cox’, ‘Christmas Pippin’, ‘Katy’ and ‘Egremont Russet’.
I hesitate to take a photo, because my meadow is a little slow to take hold. I think we may have two rapeseed flowers and a stitchwort. Let’s call it a work-in-progress. I have lobbed another couple of roses in here: Coral-pink ‘Morning Mist’ at the back, which is good for wild places, and the crimson-pink rambler ‘Alexandre Girault’ for the fence. They are newly planted, so you also need your magnifying glass for them. Come back in a year, and I’m sure we will have a softly swaying meadow of wildflowers and festoons of roses along the fence!
So that’s the allotment. A place for practicalities and problem-solving. And provisions.
And here is Stevie! Cursing and blinding because the strimmer is jammed.
Bless. I love sharing a garden with Stevie. There is no place I would rather be.
Stevie is in India this week. But I’ve picked some flowers for his return. He puts food on the table. I put flowers on the table. Their combined scent is blissful and perfumes the whole room.
Do you share a garden? How do you divide up the tasks? Do you have incursions into one another’s territory?