A Wander Around our Allotments in November

The penultimate lottie wander post for 2012 and at last the weather is providing a few bright cold days. This is what we look forward to in this autumnal month, rather than the wet dark days we have been presented with in the first few days. The light is warm and gives a crisp edge to any photos taken as the blue haze of summer has disappeared.

We went up the lottie yesterday to deliver some spare seeds for the Seed Swap basket and to collect some greens left by fellow plot holders for our chickens. They are spoilt by our friends from the site! It was mid-afternoon and we had not intended to stop to work, but we changed our minds. We got out the communal mowers and rakes and gave the final two meadows their annual “hair cuts”. Jude, The Undergardener did most of the work as it is a bit difficult with my spine and leg pains, so I wandered off taking advantage of the special quality of the day’s light and shot off a couple of dozen pics with my Galaxy.

As we worked on the meadows the resident Field Voles scuttled off as they felt the mower’s vibrations and disappeared down their holes. We left a few clumps of wildflowers standing for everyone to enjoy before winter cuts them down. Field Scabious, Mallow and Sunflowers.

The meadows that are already trimmed look flat and brown, but the pathways mown through them look crisp and green.

The foliage in our Sensory Garden is given extra vitality in the November sunshine.

The next shot is a view of the site boundary through the seed heads of a white-flowered Actaea across the Spring Garden. In the Spring Garden a tiny Acer shows that you don’t have to be big to impress.

In the meadows the last of the grasses and sunflowers stand tall and proud.

Up in the mature Sycamore and Oak the resident bats will be shuffling around and preening in readiness to leave their roosts in the boxes and go on the feed for moths and night-flying insects. Bats are our night-time pest control patrols. In the daylight hours we are being entertained by birds of prey often being mobbed by our flocks of Jackdaws and Rooks . Peregrines, Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel and Sparrow Hawk.

Around the plots the gardeners are preparing their plots for the winter, beds are cleared and manure piled up or spread over the surface.

A few crops remain for winter sustenance.The red stems and purple leaves of Ruby Chard add a burst of colour. Brassicas are covered to give protection from ravenous and greedy Wood Pigeons who love to eat the sweet centres of Brussels Sprouts and the tenderest, newest leaves of cabbages.

A few remaining flowers add extra brightness to the plots.Tthat most popular of companion plants, the Calendula brightens up compost areas and odd roses still perform in the Summer Garden. We can expect these David Austin roses to continue to treat us to flowers until the new year.

The star of the site for the next few months will be the Winter Garden and it is already showing promises and hints of what delights it has in store for us in times ahead. As leaves fall from trees and shrubs the colours and textures of the stems and trunks will come into their own.

We have endured a wet summer and autumn with each month breaking previous rainfall records. Crops have been poor and we have been flooded four times. Dave, the Scarecrow looks a bit worse for wear too!

About greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.
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10 Responses to A Wander Around our Allotments in November

  1. Judy says:

    Your gardening community makes the most of every season! I’m looking forward to seeing the chickens some time.

    • I will take a few pics to drop into a future post. They are such posers they tend to look straight into the lens from a few inches away so I get a lot of out of focus close ups of beaks.

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  2. The floods can cause so much disruption. We lost most of our outside crops and resigned ourselves to growing in the polytunnels, which have produced a good amount.

  3. Val says:

    It’s great to see the different styles. Dave looks like he’s doing a robot dance!

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Such a vibrant gardening concept and community. I’m always impressed with the work and dedication.

    Voles have become a huge problem fro me. I’ve tried to ignore them but wondered how you deal with them. I suspect the voles are what really damaged so many of the plants in my meditation circle this summer.

    • Hi there Voles are prolific on our site as we are on the edge of farmland and our site was a field until 4 yrs ago. You can catch them with humane traps and drive them a few miles from your garden and release them. On the allotments we have created habitats that attract their predators, such as long grass areas and meadows over which birds of prey hunt. In our case we get Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk and owls – Barn, Little and Tawny. Voles are one of the favoured food items. Malc

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  5. PJ Girl says:

    I love taking a stroll around the allotments… they’re much tidier than my garden at the moment but I’m on holiday in a couple of weeks so will hopefully get on top of things. It’s been a dreadful year weather wise so lets hope 2013 is kinder 🙂

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