Herbs and flowers

Consider growing flowers on your allotment to encourage pollinating insects and add a splash of colour

flowers on allotmentAlthough at one time this was often discouraged, many plot-holders make their allotment a haven from home. If home is a small flat or a shared house, a plot with beds of flowers, well-kept paths, a seating area and even a pond becomes a welcome retreat. Few would begrudge this, and in fact you’ll find that even the most traditional plot-holder will have some flowers around their shed door and a patch of herbs in a sunny spot (but where they won’t get in the way of their ‘proper gardening’).

Any horticultural goods can be produced on allotments, and it is not uncommon to see a little nursery bed of flowers to be transplanted into the garden: sweet williams, hollyhocks and wallflowers, for example. Some gardeners cannot bear to throw plants away, so excess from their garden ends up on their allotment. The practice is unwise. Golden rod is a prime example - it can soon become a weed. It’s better to regard these as fertiliser for the allotment and add them to your compost bin.

Allotment herbs are inconveniently far from the kitchen, but it’s worth growing some for drying or making dishes such as pesto or tabbouleh (which rely on massive amounts of basil or parsley respectively). Invasive mint and horseradish should be kept in check on the allotment by growing them in buried containers.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.