July at the allotment or vegetable plot is the time of year when you can easily run out of time and energy, sure you’ve hopefully got lots to harvest, but there can be frustrations too, so a bit of motivation is always helpful.
The kitchen garden I visited at the weekend was very inspiring, not only a visual delight, but full of ideas to take away and use on my plot.
I was looking to see:
- what’s doing well and what’s struggling?
- how are the plants grown, what supports are used for climbing vegetables?
- the space that plants take up and what I could fit on my plot?
- how do they protect plants from pests?
This large walled garden at Chartwell, former home of Winston Churchill, is beautifully managed by The National Trust. The brick walls, partly built by Churchill, make it very sheltered from the surrounding Kent countryside.
Plants are protected by a variety of structures.
I use these mesh tunnels, they work well for small vegetables, they’re quite inexpensive and fold up when you’re not using them.
The kale is growing well without any protection from pests but there were a few holes in the cabbages. I’ll be growing this super-food for those winter months when there’s little else growing, but I’ll cover them with mesh to protect them from pigeons and cabbage white butterflies.
Mostly this visit reinforced that growing vegetables is a wonderful thing to do. There’s always space for a few, whatever the size of your garden, lettuce take up a tiny amount of space and are just as happy in a window-box.
All images: Jill Anderson
Find out about visiting Chartwell here.