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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton


Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Books By
Alan J Hartley




Some Fun Plants For The Allotment!

During some of the Allotment Committee meetings it was joked about how the whole site was built on the side of a hill that was South facing and how well Grape vines would grow on it. Well perhaps I take things that people say too seriously, or maybe I am just ever optimistic, but when I saw some Grape Vines on sale at a good price in a local Garden Centre, I bought some. Really they were little more than rooted, hard wood cuttings, but most of the pots on sale had 3 vines in with some only 2. At only £3.50 a pot though, they seemed too good to miss, so I bought a few pots, divided the plants up into individual pots and kept them a week or two before planting out on the boundary of my plot. Hopefully, in a few weeks they can have some short tree posts put in, for support and ready for the training wires to go along. I suppose I know that the grapes are going to be too sour for eating, but one or two plot holders are already talking about having “Cheese and Wine Parties”.

Another plant that caught my attention at a garden centre recently was a White Mulberry tree. Mulberry trees do not, it seems, have tall trunks, but branch out very low down making them grow more like a fruit bush. We are allowed to plant fruit bushes, but not tall trees on the allotments, so, I thought that I would buy it. What really swayed me was the fact that it had a handful of ripe black, berries already hanging from its tiny branches. The berries start to ripen red before turning black later and will appear on the smallest of trees. In fact the Black Mulberry is even smaller growing than the white, with trees, here in Great Britain, that are hundreds of years old and still only 20 – 30 feet high. Mulberries are not native but have been brought here since Roman times with King James the first importing hundreds in an attempt to start a silk industry in this country. Unfortunately he shipped over the Black trees instead of the White Mulberry that the silk worms like to eat. Some varieties are a bit tender and they are rarely sold in garden centres, but like Fig Trees and the true Quince, they now seem to be offered for sale a little more than they used to be. Also like the Fig, Mulberries are said to have various medicinal qualities that include being a laxative! At the moment my Mulberry is in a large pot on the yard at home with some of its branches pegged down into another pot so that they might root. I am hoping that by the time the Autumn comes, I will have several small trees to plant on my allotment at the best time of year for tree planting. If they do grow well and fruit on my plot next year they will certainly be a talking point. We have a big, beefy policeman on the Committee and I don’t know what his past-times normally include, but his immediate comment when I told him about my new acquisition was, “We will all be able to dance hand in hand round the Mulberry Bush!”