The glorious summer weather we have been experiencing these past few weeks has hastened the growth of the crops and together with the thundery downpours, as well as good levels of water beneath the raised beds, this has meant that the plot is at its best.
I am enjoying eating Charlotte potatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, beetroot, chard and carrots and the longpod variety of mangetout peas have produced an abundant and healthy crop, so I have sown another couple of rows for extra picking.
Each July we have the judging for the Wandsworth Borough best plot competition and having made a special effort to clear the remainder of the weeds beforehand, I found that I came in second place this year.
In previous summers, the Victoria plum has struggled to produce much fruit but this season it is resplendent with branches filled with plums turning from a brilliant lime green to their familiar purplish red colour. I have netted the tree to prevent the fruit being eaten by birds but it needs to be picked as soon as it starts to become ripe.
In the area beneath the plum and apple trees several scabious plants have grown tall, again having done little the last two summers. These have provided masses of flowers, attracting butterflies and bees which come to collect nectar and pollen.
Most Red Admiral butterflies migrate to the UK from Central Europe and the Comma butterfly, which went into severe decline in the last century but is now making a comeback, is a favourite of mine with its pretty scalloped-edged wings. The shape and the colouring on the underside of the wings help to camouflage it as they hibernate among dead leaves over the winter.