As the summer marches on the allotment is now at its most bountiful and much of my time can be spent doing the satisfying job of harvesting rather than the chores which are necessary for many months of the year.
Everywhere is looking leafy and green but it is only on closer inspection that I can really see how well the crops are doing and what awaits me since my last visit to the plot.
Nestled amongst the nasturtium plants on the compost heap is my largest pumpkin which has turned from a bright green colour to a deepening orange, so I shall leave it where it is for now and give it another comfrey feed. Somehow the beetroot have grown larger than in recent years even though they were sown from the same seed, and a row of cabbages have managed to reach a good size despite being crowded out by sprouts and broccoli which are now taking up most of the raised bed.
It is the tomatoes that are my most prized crop this year and, although the fruits are ripening slowly, they are in perfect, shiny condition. The sweet peas are showing no sign of dwindling yet and my special efforts to remove any side shoots in order to produce flowers with longer stems has paid off.
As I walked past my neighbour’s plot I heard a particularly boisterous buzzing sound and was surprised to find a large number of greenbottle flies, as well as bees, collecting nectar from a mass of pale purple flowers on an overgrown patch of mint. Further along, on another plot, rows of sunflowers have also provided a great attraction for bees and I have been told that they sleep in the flower heads at night.