Every so often I come across a surprise at the allotment and this year, in early spring, I discovered the small single stem of a wild rose that had seeded on my plot.
After protecting the stem with a section of a plastic water bottle, I then left it to see if it would survive and grow and it has now suddenly produced several trailing new branches and is looking very healthy. This goes too for the other roses which seem to thrive in the cooler, damp weather that we have had for most of August.
Earlier in the summer the aubergine plants were looking hopeful but, being tropical and sub-tropical plants native to India, they need the higher temperatures to produce fruits. The white, oval-shaped fruits of some 18th century varieties resembled goose eggs, which is why they are also known as eggplants in other parts of the world.
As a member of the nightshade family the aubergine is closely related to the potato and tomato. Blight is now affecting the tomato and potato plants on most areas of the site but I have already harvested a fairly good crop of both and the potatoes can remain in the ground if the leaves and stems are destroyed.
One of my favourite vegetables to eat is beetroot baked in the oven and these have grown larger than ever this year. I was surprised to dig up a white beetroot, as I have only ever seen the red varieties before, although there are white beetroot which some people prefer. The beetroot leaves are also good to eat and can be cooked in the same way as spinach.