From the Allotment Cutting Patch in November

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With the first cold snap of the autumn predicted I headed up to the plot to gather in the last of any flowers still in bloom. I’ve been picking flowers since March so I was impressed to be able to manage a final bucket-full so late in the year.

The plot was looking a little forlorn to be honest after more rain throughout October. There has been a lot of manure-moving activity in the last few weeks as fellow plotholders have been preparing the allotments for their winter slumber. The wheelbarrow traffic, combined with what has felt like incessant rain, has churned up the site. In fact, just getting about on the muddy paths without slipping and performing some unexpected acrobatic display has been quite a task.

As the plot winds down, I find that it’s a time for reflection; taking stock of what the weather has thrown at me, what thrived and what plants didn’t perform. As the seed catalogues fall on the doormat almost daily now, I like to make some notes about this year’s successes and failures. I find it’s all too easy with a glossy seed catalogue in front of me to get carried away.

It’s been a strange year on the cut flower patch. A positively warm autumn and mild winter last year meant I was able to pick a few sporadic bunches of flowers right up until Christmas, then this year’s early, warm spring brought the biennials into flower much earlier and then the heavens opened. The wettest summer on record hasn’t been a complete disaster for the cutting patch though. In fact, I’ve probably learnt more this summer than in any previous year about what I need to do to get the most out of my small patch of land. So, even this summer’s dark clouds have had a silver lining.

I had thought in my last post that I wouldn’t be able to pick another posy from the plot but at the start of November I’ve managed to pick enough to make one more. There were the last few stems of Cosmos which, as usual, have been great performers and its feathery foliage providing some greenery. Scabious have probably been the biggest success of 2012. A new cutting plant for me, I’ve been very impressed by their flowering ability and long vase life.

A few beautiful scented carnations, which after a barren period have suddenly sprung into life adding a lovely perfume to the house and to finish the pink theme more stems of the gorgeous Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’. And to finish, one final stem of the Dahlia ‘Nuit d’Été, a stunningly dark red wine coloured cactus variety. 

Thanks for reading!