The Allotment Wife


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Gladioli Gold

This week, the gladioli just keep on flowering and do look stunning in vases so I’m definitely going to get more of the same next year. I’ve recently discovered the trick of snipping the last few flowers off at the top when I pick them (as they won’t come out anyway) and that definitely makes them last longer and helps the rest of the buds come into bloom too.

Talking of buds, now that the dahlias have recovered from the dreaded blackfly, I can pick a harvest of them twice a week and still have huge numbers of buds remaining, waiting to come into bloom:

Dahlia buds

Meanwhile the autumn raspberries are doing well, and we are beginning to get the beginning of a small harvest, even though it’s not ‘officially’ autumn yet – though actually there’s a change in the weather that is definitely autumnal to my mind, plus we had the first of the large autumn spiders (yuk!) in the house this week so that doesn’t look good for the rest of the spider season, oh dear me …

Autumn raspberries

And the runner beans continue to do their thing in great abundance – we have now filled the freezer with them to see us over the winter, and there’s no sign of them stopping yet! Maybe we’ll try to enter the longest runner bean competition in the Allotment Show next month and see how we do, LOL!

Runner beans

Anyway, here are the two harvests of this week, which include courgettes, runner beans, autumn raspberries, gladioli, gaura, penstemons, sweet peas (now reaching the end of their season, alas …), crocosmia, coreopsis, dahlias, marigolds, geums and echinacea.

Harvest veg & fruit

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the flowers at home in their vases:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Vase 5

Vase 6

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Runner Bean Riot

Oo-err, we can’t get to the allotment for one week and the runner beans have gone mad! This is the trug I normally get everything in but not today …

Runner beans

The courgettes aren’t that far behind either and definitely have marrow aspirations:

Courgettes

I think courgette/marrow soup is definitely on the menu for us! Mind you, the beetroot are going for it too:

Beetroot

That should last us the week for sure. Flowers are doing well, and the gladioli and echinacea have bounced back:

Gladioli

Echinacea

And here are the sunflowers, getting even taller!

Sunflower

Dahlias are doing well as well, and are still blackfly-free, hurrah!

Dahlias

We’ve also got some crocosmia growing, though I had thought I’d taken them all home last year – obviously not! I shall have to have another go to get them home when they’ve finished flowering this year:

Crocosmia

Here is the harvest, which consists of gladioli, sweet peas, sweet williams, geums, dahlias, echinacea, coreopsis and marigolds.

Flower harvest

And here is the total harvest – also including some autumn raspberries!

Harvest

Whilst there today, K watered and I hoed, but there honestly aren’t too many weeds anyway, hurrah! We also did some composting using stuff from home, and took down the pea frames. I managed to get a splinter in my finger in the middle of doing that (ow! ow!) but thankfully K is a GENIUS at getting splinters out of fingers and managed to rescue me, phew. Heaven alone knows how he does it but it’s wonderful.

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sunflower season

The first sunflower is in bloom, hurrah! And it looks particularly lovely in its vase – only one flower needed, LOL (see later)!

Sunflower

The echinacea and gladioli are also doing well:

Echinacea

Gladioli

Meanwhile, there is quite a glut of runner beans – the gift that just keeps on giving! – and we’ve frozen loads of them now for later in the year. Plus we have to keep harvesting the courgettes before they make it to the dizzy height of marrows, and the beetroot are getting super-sized. Must be the glorious weather!

We’ve also filled up one of our allotment composting bins – mainly from flowers I’ve deadheaded and/or pruned in the garden at home – and are now fixing our sights on the 2nd bin we have there. Monty Don will be so proud of us!

Here are this week’s two harvests, including runner beans, courgettes, beetroot, sweet peas, sweet williams, geums, coreopsis, echinacea, dahlias, gladioli and that sunflower:

Here they are in the vases at home:

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

 

Product Review: Gtech Cordless Lawnmower

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The Cynical Gardener

Gtec Cordless Battery operated Lawnmower

Gtec Cordless Lawnmower Gtec Cordless Lawnmower

The Design.

I was recently asked by the people behind the Gtec Cordless Battery operated Lawnmower to see if I would like to test drive one.

I jumped at the chance as I had been considering getting one of these last growing season, but ended up using gift vouchers at a DIY store in-order to replace my dead mower instead.

A very large box arrived by courier from Gtech, I made sure I had plenty of time to put the thing together, then opened the box……

It actually took about 10 minutes in total, 5 minutes to have the machine fully assembled, and another 5 minutes to read through the instruction manual.

Straight out of the box. Straight out of the box.

The enclosed battery requires approximately 5 hours to charge up from flat, this will give you about 40 mins mowing time, depending on how low you…

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This gallery contains 11 photos


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Mildew Misery

O me miserum, as they would say in Rome many years ago – our mangetouts and peas have succumbed to the dreaded mildew and we’ve taken them out:

Mildewed mangetouts

Oh dear me. Not only that but my three lovely cosmos plants have died and there’s just no saving them – no idea why, sob! – so I’ve dug them up too …

Dead cosmos

However, it’s not all weeping and gnashing of teeth on the allotment front – the sunflowers are doing okay and getting taller by the second:

Sunflowers

The sweet peas and dahlias are also going strong, and the dahlias are now all but free from the dreaded blackfly, hurrah:

Sweet peasDahlias

Turning to the veggie mountain, the courgettes are growing apace and if you turn your back on them for more than a second, they become marrows, so we have to keep picking them. I do find courgettes funny as they’re ever so slightly prickly on the stems, leaves and even on the veg itself – not so much to be painful, but you’re aware of them when you’re scrabbling about for produce.

And I’m sure the lettuces are a tiny bit bigger this week though that might be just my wishful thinking, LOL!

Here are the two harvests of this week, which include beetroot, courgettes, mangetouts, peas, runner beans, blackcurrants (though not as many as last week as the birds have grabbed their share now), gladioli, dahlias, sweet peas, sweet williams, geums, echinacea and gaura.

And here are the vases at home – I particularly love the structure of the gladioli – such a gorgeous plant!

 

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Vases, vases everywhere!

The allotment is really going for it this week, which is fabulous. In the veggie & fruit corner are runner beans and the soft fruit area:

Runner beans

Soft fruit

This week we’ve also planted new crops for later in the season, including leeks and lettuces:

Leeks

I suspect I’ve put far too many of the red salad bowl lettuces in their space, but I’ll see how they do over the next few weeks – I can always move them if problems arise.

I thought you might like to see a general view of the allotment currently, so here it is:

Allotment 1

Meanwhile, the flowers are going wild, hurrah! We have dahlias, echinaceas, gauras and gladioli in assorted colours:

Not to mention sweet peas and the sunflowers coming on:

Two harvests this week, including: gladioli, cosmos, dahlias, sweet williams, penstemon, runner beans, mangetouts, courgettes, beetroot and blackcurrants.

Back at home, the vases are literally filling up the house and there is almost no room to move!

I am definitely going to have to buy more vases some time soon. Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Gladioli are here!

Great news at the allotment – some of the gladioli are finally in bloom and are a gorgeous colour! They’re mixed, but I hope there are some more of these amongst the crop:

Gladioli

Just so beautiful – whoever thinks gladioli are unfashionable and tacky is an idiot to my mind! The dahlias seem a bit cheerier today, and I think I might be on the way to beating off the blackfly hurrah – here they are with the gauras:

 

The cosmos are also doing well, and the sunflowers are definitely getting taller but no blooms yet …

Cosmos

Sunflowers

I’m also getting to the last of the lilies now (sob!) but the sweet peas have got a second wind, I think – and the smell is wonderful:

Lilies

Sweet peas

There’s also a lovely little flower that’s just bloomed that we were given by a kind person on the allotment, but for the life of me I can’t remember exactly what it is. Still very beautiful though!

Flowers

In terms of the veg, the beetroot are going great guns and the crop is growing very large indeed!

Beetroot

However, in the potato bed, it’s a game of two halves – the tasty potatoes now all have the blight, and the tasteless Sarpo potatoes don’t, hey ho. We might be able to rescue some potatoes which taste of something, but it looks like on the whole we’re doomed with Sarpo again, LOL!

Potatoes

Elsewhere, the runner beans are running away, and the soft fruit’s enthusiasm knows no bounds:

Runner beans

Soft fruit

Here’s this week’s harvest, which includes golden beetroot, runner beans, peas, mangetouts, sweet peas, cosmos, echinacea (not brilliant but it’s there …), some of the dahlias, coreopsis, gaura, lilies and a geum. Oh, and there’s a pot of blackcurrants too!

Harvest

And here are the flowers in the vases at home:

 

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books

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