June has been a good month at the allotment and the favourable weather has lead to a burgeoning of fresh green foliage, the like of which we have not seen for the past two years.
As I delved beneath the top layer of the compost heap, I was surprised to pull out the largest potato that I have ever grown. These potatoes have self seeded from last year’s crop and are already under threat of blight carried over from last season, but plotholders have been advised to quickly destroy any plants that they suspect of carrying the disease.
Those over-wintering onions which survived either being pulled up by birds or flooding following heavy rain in the autumn, have grown broader than ever and are ready for harvesting. Likewise the garlic has also been harvested and hung out to dry in the sun.
A grass path runs the length of my plot up the middle and there is a point towards the far end where I have a favourite spot to sit.
Here the stems of rhubarb rise like pillars beneath a canopy of ample leaves to one side, and an extensive bank of nasturtiums now grows over the compost heap to the other side.
From this viewpoint all manner of smaller life forms can be seen. Bees hover around the flowers, disappearing inside to reach the pollen, before re-emerging a few moments later. Bright green shield bugs are well camouflaged against the young plant leaves and a frog leapt at rapid speed through a small puddle where I had been watering, before plunging out of sight amongst the foliage.
Most of the hard work is done and it is time to begin harvesting the crops that are now ready and planting new crops, such as cabbages and leeks, for the winter months.