The undergardener and I spent a busy day at the lottie yesterday making the most of a warm bright day and catching up on autumn plantings. We weren’t the only ones as there were lots of plotters beavering away on this bonus “summer’s” day. It was a day of two characters with the brightness and warmth of the sun giving the pretence of summer but the calls of the jays passing overhead on the way to our great old oak in search of acorns hinted at autumn. The warmth and gentleness of the day encouraged lottie holders to wander around the green spaces and sit with their coffee on the benches. Talk with other gardeners was all of the lack of rain and the dry state of the soil. We have had no appreciable rain since mid-July. Turning the soil over sends up dust.
We prepared the ground by digging over the soil and adding a good 2 inch deep layer of compost. The ground was desperate for some organic matter to hold the moisture that the rains of autumn will hopefully bring.
We sowed broad beans, Aquadulca Claudia of course, planted onion sets, Troy and Radar, French shallots Giselle and three types of garlic, Lautrec Wight, Solent Wight and elephant Garlic.
Last year we planted just two cloves of elephant garlic to provide enough for planting out a row this year. They proved to be a real success giving us enough for a row and a few to cook. We look forward to discovering their taste – if it is a good as their gentle scents then they will be worth the effort of growing. They are strange crops though as they are not garlic at all but more closely related to leeks. As the photo below shows the cloves are a lovely golden colour when harvested and they most definitely look like garlic!