My Wildflower Patch
When I took on allotment plot number four, I inherited two sheds. I already had a shed so I offered the larger shed to my sister, who had taken on the plot next to me and the smaller shed to one of my other allotment friends.
I was left which a patch of really poor quality, rock hard soil, that needed an awful lot of organic matter digging into it before any fruit or vegetables could possibly be grown there.
While I was deciding what to grow there, I saw a program by Sarah Raven called ‘Bees, butterflies and Blooms’. She explained how 98% of Britain’s wildflower meadows and grass lands have been lost and how the world’s bees and other pollinating insects are in crisis and without these pollinators our future food security is under threat. Her mission was to encourage farmers and village communities to help recreate a network of habitats for struggling bees, butterflies and pollinating insects.
I was blown away by the beauty of the wildflowers that she showed on her program and I wasn’t the only one to feel this way either. In fact, the designers of the 10 football fields-worth of wildflowers, at this years olympics, were influenced by Sarah Ravens TV program. Also, wildflowers sales have apparently tripled this year.
All I did to prepare for the seeds, was forked the ground, weeded and then raked, where my sheds once stood. I didn’t add any organic matter. Then at the end of May, my daughter and I sowed a few different packets of wildflower seeds, using dry sand to distribute them evenly.
I have found that Wild flowers are not only beautiful, but they are really easy to maintain, as they don’t require watering or deadheading. They attract all kinds of beneficial insects and I have found it incredibly relaxing watching all the insects come and go, in fact I think, it’s absolutely amazing. Everytime I look, I see bees, hoverflies, ladybirds etc. there is so much insect activity going on all the time.
I am so proud of my wildflower patch. I have Corncockle, corn chamomile, cornflowers, corn marigolds, corn poppies, white campion, phacelia, borage and essex broad red clover, to name a few. I will definitely be sowing more seed next year.
Today I made a patty pan soup. When I have a glut of patty pans, I make this soup and it tastes lovely.
Also, when my patty pans have finally stopped producing and my butternut squashes are ready, I use them instead of the patty pans (that’s if I ever get any this year due to the weather).
The soup is lovely, especially when served with some nice homemade bread and just like all my recipes, it’s really easy to make.
Patty Pan Soup recipe.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove chopped finely
900g yellow patty pans chopped
900ml vegetable stock
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion for a few minutes until soft
Add the garlic and continue frying for another minute
Add the patty pans and vegetable stock and stir well
Simmer for 25 minutes, until the patty pans are soft
Blend the soup with a hand blender
Add salt and pepper to your taste.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.