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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

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Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

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Alan J Hartley



Tree & Plant Sale.

Towards the end of the Summer we are planning to have another Plant Sale Fundraiser to try and get a bit more money towards the new development of a Composting Toilet and Storage Shed for the Allotments. The Spring Fundraiser did very well in May, but we decided that with my interest in growing Trees we could have another based around those with some flowering Herbaceous Plants as well. It seems particularly apt this year with the “Plant A Tree For The Jubilee,” slogan everywhere. I know the actual Day of the Jubilee is over, but there are some celebrations going on more, or less all year round.
Every year I do a few Trees from Seeds and Cuttings at home for the Charity where I work, but as we have had almost 2 years of shutdown there, they do not want any more young trees this year. Consequently, I am able to donate them to the Allotments to make use of instead.
I have a lovely Red Leafed Hazel Tree in my garden that obliges with a small number of self rooted Cuttings each year so that started me off with my assortment of young trees. When I remove the cuttings they don’t have much roots on them and they basically look like mail order “bare root plants.” Done over Winter, but they are normally ready by Spring to start leafing up and then they get away. I managed to root some cuttings of the Twisted Willow and the ordinary straight stemmed Willow, also from my garden, that have been potted and added to the collection, as have some seedlings of Asian Pear, Elderberry and Paulownia that I had done earlier. Most years I also grow a few Eucalyptus Tree Seedlings for Work along with one or two other trees. I get them from a specialist seed supplier that can be found on the Internet like everything else can these days. People might say that they only want one tree of a particular species and they don’t want a seed packet full, but generally you don’t get many tree seeds in a packet and packets only costs a couple of pounds each as against maybe 30 or 40 pounds for a potted tree. You can get a lot of satisfaction from growing a tree yourself and can always give away the unwanted seeds, or even seedlings, to friends and family. Anyway, this year I had grown the tender, Eucalyptus “Lemon Bush,” from seed. As I say they are tender and need the winter protection of a cool greenhouse, but they do have a lovely smell of Lemons when you brush against them, or rub their leaves.

Last year, when I was tidying up the Fig Trees on my Plot I took some Cuttings in the hopes that they would be rooted and ready for last Spring’s sale. In a way they were as they were rooted, but Figs Leaf up very late at the start of each Season and by the Sales Day in May, there were no signs of leaves so we couldn’t sell them. They are growing well now though, so those are to be included in the Sale as are 2 large Aronia fruit bushes that I did from Cuttings, again taken when tidying up the large Bush on my Plot. When I rooted the Figs last Year I also did a few lovely Variegated Cornus, in my Cold Frame, that are growing quite nicely now.
My Front Garden had a Dwarf Bamboo which I planted a few years ago and this year I decided it had to go as it was starting to get just that little bit too big. So, rather than just bin it, I decided to break it up and pot it to add to the collection of Plants that I am amassing for the Sale. Since potting, it has suffered a little from being so roughly dug up, but I am hoping that it will have time to put on fresh growth to replace the older stems that are going brown. If the plants do come on in time they will be a great addition and if not, they can be added to the Plants for Sale in the Spring.

The Trees and Shrubs have all been potted in Recycled pots that have been donated to the cause and to make the bought Potting Compost go further and fill the large Pots, I mixed in a lot of our own Compost that we make on the Allotments. To be honest it looks more like Top Soil than Homemade Compost, but it is Free and just needs lightening up with some fibre a bit before use in pots otherwise the big Pots are too heavy to carry. You do get a few Weeds coming up in it though, but you will get that with any Pots full of Soil left outside and it doesn’t take long to weed them occasionally.
To go with the Trees and Shrubs I decided to do some Herbaceous Perennials from the plants in my Garden. I potted a few of the large growing, Achillea “Cloth Of Gold,” along with some Michel-mass Daisies, or Asters as they are sometimes called, that I divided off the main plants and I also dug up some of the lovely, multi coloured, Houttynia Chameleon, that was starting to spread. Yellow
Loosestrife was another pretty flowering plant that had been spreading and needed cutting back so I dug up some of that. It had been flowering when I potted it so I cut it down, not only to help it settle into the pots, but it may encourage it to flower again later on. Doing this earlier on in the Season, when the Chelsea flower show is on, is called doing “The Chelsea Chop.” I potted up some self set Ferns that I found growing round the House in the shade, but I think that they will need to grow on for next Spring’s Sale as they are still only tiny. I also have a few self set, Perennial Wallflowers. I don’t know the colours of course, but they should still look good. To go with the rest of the plants I found a few Lavenders that I had done from seed last year and that had never been taken to work.
After the May Plant Sale, I saved a few of the vegetable plants called Globe Artichokes and Sea Kale. Both batches were looking more than a little sad, but I felt that with a little encouragement, they would recover and develop a bit in size. As I say, I grow both as Vegetables, but most people grow them as Herbaceous Border Plants. The Sea Kale, or Crambe Maritima, has large Cabbage like leaves and a “Frothy,” white flower head early on in the season. Globe Artichokes have what they call “Architectural,” leaves and giant “Thistle,” like flowers that attract the Bees and later on the Birds who come for their seeds.

I have some young fruit bushes done from cuttings that are growing nicely, but feel that those would be best kept for the Spring Sale which will be more for vegetables and Fruit. In my Cold Frame are some more Fig Cuttings taken over last Winter that are only just starting to root and may be good for next Spring along with a rather nice little batch of Kiwi Vine Cuttings that seem to be rooting. These again will not be ready until Spring at the earliest, although on the other hand, they are quite late in leafing up like the Figs, so they may not be saleable for the planned May date.
At the time of writing this there is 8 Weeks before the Planned Sale Date and I am still potting things up, but it is the peak of the growing Season, so I am hoping that everything will have enough time to settle into its Pots and will look good when the time comes.


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