As the growing season draws to a close, it's time for an assessment of the returns for the year's blood, sweat and tears. Overall, it has been pleasing with at least some crops from most plantings, although the various pests like blackfly, pigeons and mice are probably happier.
Spinach, chard, potatoes and runner beans have done well, while brassicas (unless covered), peas, broad beans and carrots hardly seem worth the effort.
My radishes are bigger than my carrots, but you don't need to know that.
It's a sociable activity with much goodwill, and financially I came out ahead. Another dry spring will, however, probably kill me.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, I have derived much enjoyment in the weeds that have appeared on the allotment, particularly the dozen or so Round-leaved Fluellen plants. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to put the many seeds of this now-scarce plant?
Also there was this plant below. Unfortunately I only saw it after I had weeded it out of the soil, and thought at first that it was the Red-Data-Book-listed Burr Medick. But under closer scrutiny it turned out to be the, um, Red-Data-Book-listed Toothed Medick.
On the local circuit around the golf course there are many plants that seem to have appeared in the chalk grassland from man's direct or indirect intervention. Apple trees have grown where cores have been thrown, cotoneasters where birds have 'deposited' seeds eaten in gardens, and apparently three rose bushes that are dotted around the course.
I assumed that they had been planted, but looking at the Kent Atlas I see that rosa mollis was recorded in this area in the nineteenth century, and that a specimen was sent to the Natural History Museum. It would be fascinating to know if these are from the same plant.
The hips are quite distinctive, and other attributes look good for mollis, but we'll have to wait for the experts' judgement.
In other news, Adonis Blues (almost exclusively males) are emerging in good numbers at Lydden.
And finally, in response to an unfortunately-posed photo of me that appears to have gone viral this week, I submit a candid shot of the paparazzo considering whether to stamp on a flower because it might get in the way of his next shot.