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Tales From My Wildlife Allotment

... in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

My Wildlife Allotment June 2020

After a mild and sunny March and April we had several frosty nights in mid May with the temperature going down to -4C which caused some damage. Due to the mild winter and warm spring many plants were a lot more advanced than usual with fresh growth and flower buds developing. I lost most of my Eremurus flowers ...

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My Wildlife Allotment May 2020

What happened to the famous April showers? Many plants are much more advanced this year with most trees in full leaf already and some plants flowering several weeks earlier than usual. I just hope that we don’t get a late frost this year ...

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My Wildlife Allotment April 2020
The allotment is looking greener every day with shoots emerging everywhere and early flowers popping up in many places. Some of the fruit trees, such as the peach trees, apricot, nectarine, almond and greengage, are flowering now as well. The rain has finally stopped and the days are mostly sunny an..
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My Wildlife Allotment  March 2020

February was wet and windy here with one storm after another. I was a bit concerned that the new greenhouse might be damaged in the high winds but luckily it seems to be very solid and has weathered all storms so far. The first perennial seeds have germinated in the greenhouse but growth is very slow at the moment with night time temperatures close to 0C. 

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My Wildlife Allotment February 2020

It has not been very cold since the middle of December but we did have a few very frosty days recently which transformed the allotment into a winter wonderland. I really like frosty sunny mornings but most days have been quite dull and wet so every sunny day has to be appreciated. 

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My Wildlife Allotment January 2020

My loquat tree is thriving in the relatively mild temperatures and looks very handsome with its large leathery leaves. Grasses are still looking good and especially Panicum virgatum, with its coppery-brown leaves and airy cloud-like seed heads ...

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My Wildlife Allotment December 2019

The grasses look beautiful especially when covered in frost but best of all are the seed heads of Phlomis russeliana, standing tall and strong.

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My Wildlife Allotment November 2019

Watching the butterflies making use of nectar produced by late flowers is a joy; I have seen several painted ladies, some looking very fresh, a few admirals and one or two peacocks.

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My Wildlife Allotment October 2019

After weeks and weeks of no rain, grass turning brown, soil looking like dust, and endless lugging of watering cans, the rains have now returned. And they have returned with a vengeance. There is hardly a day without rain now ...

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My Wildlife Allotment September 2019

Other good butterfly flowers for late summer are Echinacea, Eryngium and Dianthus. Especially Brimstone butterflies seem to like Dianthus carthusianorum which has a very long flowering season, with peak flowering in June and continuing on a low level right into autumn. ...

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My Wildlife Allotment August 2019

A few days ago I spotted a hornet hoverfly which is quite an impressive insect. The hoverfly mimics hornets (but is completely harmless) and likes to visit nectar-rich flowers for nectar. The larvae live in hornet nests. I once watched a female hornet hoverfly walk into a large hornet nest with the hornets completely ignoring her ...

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My Wildlife Allotment July 2019

The recent rain and warmer temperatures have really boosted growth on the allotment. There are so many flowers opening everywhere, nearly on a daily basis, just being away for a few days and coming back brings new surprises around every corner. ...

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My Wildlife Allotment June 2019

With the increasingly dry weather we seem to be getting here now it becomes apparent which plants cope well with dry soil and which plants are suffering. Most Rudbeckia species for example don`t seem to be well adapted to drought. The only Rudbeckia which actually looks alright on my allotment at the moment is Rudbeckia triloba. ...

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My Wildlife Allotment May 2019

The warm weather we had over Easter has brought out the flowers, but we need rain desperately now. The soil is like concrete in many places already and cracks are appearing. I only water newly planted perennials, shrubs and trees and also the vegetables, everything else has to fight for itself. Despite the dry conditions all the plants are still growing well ...

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My Wildlife Allotment April 2019
Spring has arrived on the allotment. After coming back from a week's holiday to Gran Canaria in the second half of March I was surprised to find the allotment so much greener and with flowers opening everywhere. Many of the perennials are coming back to life now and often the first thing I do when v..
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My Wildlife Allotment March 2019

The earliest crocuses to come out are normally yellow Crocus crysanthus and pale purple C. tommasinianus, followed by later-flowering dark purple Crocus vernus. Crocuses are very useful food plants for early pollinators such as bumblebee queens, solitary bees and hoverflies ...

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My Wildlife Allotment February 2019
Despite the cold weather many of the early spring bulbs are flowering now. The winter aconites look pretty but have not spread out much. I think they would rather prefer to grow in a woodland setting, but until the trees I have planted have grown taller the winter aconites have to put up with growin..
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My Wildlife Allotment January 2019

I love frosty mornings on the allotment. Everything looks magically transformed with ice crystals covering every leaf, stem and seed head, all sparkling in the first rays of sunshine ...

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My Wildlife Allotment December 2018

I got my first allotment, a full plot, in 2010 but quickly ran out of space as I am an avid plant collector. A few years later I acquired a half plot, followed by a third allotment, another full plot, in April this year. I now have a growing space of 625 m2. ...

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