Well, I finally got back to my allotment after four weeks of neglect. I've been putting it off because I knew I was going to be apalled but...argggghhhh...!!!! Where to start? My garlic is rotting in the earth, broad beans are huge and probably as tough as old boots, peas desperate for water, mooli radish about to throw seed everywhere (and I don't even like the stuff), and the worst crime of all, plump, sweet raspberries rotting on the canes (not to mention the globe artichokes about to flower, for God's sake).
My husband has been entrusted with looking after it, but he's no gardener, bless him. During my enforced absence he thought all was well. And to be fair, he leaves the house at 6.30am and doesn't get home until around 8pm, so tending vegetables is a bit of a luxury.
The problem with my allotment is compounded by the fact that I took over the other half of the plot when the previous tenant gave it up, and decided that I would plant some fruit trees and give the rest over to a wildflower meadow and pond. What was I thinking? I'm a garden designer, for God's sake. I know how hard it is to establish a wild flower meadow. The soil was too rich and the grass has gone beserk and currently it's looking like a complete mess. I'm ashamed to show my face there until we can get it cut down and under control. Problem is that I live in a very small village so everyone knows how abysmally I've failed in the wild flower stakes. I spent a fortune on the seed too (it included about 20 wild flower seeds and 11 different grasses).
I have another, fruit related question. Last year I bought two half standards of London and Langley Gage gooseberries. This year, in spring and early summer, they were covered in blossom then fruit. They were completely protected by mesh had and been sprayed against the usual pests and protected against slugs, but all the fruit was stripped off them. Any ideas?