The Allotment Wife


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A sneaky sit-down and a peculiar harvest

Lovely morning at the allotment today – almost springlike with the sun. Not much being planted up yet of course but the daffodil shoots are doing well:

The fruit cage looked amazing in the sunshine:

Inside the cage, the blackcurrant buds are well on their way:

Though I got ‘bitten’ by the gooseberry thorns as I was weeding round them, LOL.

Whilst K was mending one of our raised beds, I even (for the first time ever) had enough time for a very sneaky sit-down and a rest as I admired the rose bushes in our perennial bed:

I managed all of TWO minutes’ sit-down before K noticed and put me to work in the fruit cage strimming the grass at the edge, but it was nice while it lasted …

No harvest today, though we did find a handful of broken screws to take home as rubbish:

The harvesting year will definitely get better.

Have a lovely weekend – the last in January, thank goodness!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Last of the Sprouts

A quick winter visit to the allotment today to harvest the last of the sprouts and do a general tidy up. It really does feel like we are now just waiting for spring to get going again – though we do have the daffodil stems definitely on their way, which is good and hopeful news.

We’ve also sorted out the last of the composting we had to do, and I did a quick weed through the plot. Not much weeding needed as this week’s frost and the general cold weather is helping that task!

Anyway, here is our sprout harvest:

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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The New Allotment Year

Happy new year, everyone! I hope 2022 will be kind to us all. Much to our surprise we appeared to be the first ones at the allotment this morning – unless the amazing Mrs P had already visited and left by the time we got there at 10.30am! It’s certainly possible.

Here are the raised beds and the fruit cage on the first day of 2022:

I have to admit to being a bit despondent first thing – as I did get rather disheartened with the allotment at the latter end of last year, but I have been cheered by the fact that the daffodils are on their way. And – even better! – the tulips have started to sprout underneath their netting:

This is good news indeed as it means they have grown beyond being attractive to the squirrels so we have removed the netting:

Whilst there, we harvested some sprouts for our new year meals:

And we added the stalks and leaves from the sprouts to the compost:

K also took the opportunity to prune the blackcurrant bushes so that meant more composting – which is fabulous as of course the smell of the canes is amazing when you’re chopping them up:

He also made a start on mending one of the raised beds we didn’t get round to doing last year, but it’s a bit of an ongoing project at the moment. In the meantime, I have taken out the asters and the carnations from the perennial bed as I fancy something different this year – don’t know what that might be yet though.

Anyway, here is the harvest – of sprouts!

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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First sprouts and daffodil shoots

We have harvested the first of our sprouts today – just a mini-harvest, but very satisfying. There are loads more to come too, which is great.

We also have the first of our daffodil shoots and it’s lovely to see signs of spring in the middle of our bleak midwinter:

There’s not really much else to do at the moment of course, though we did spend quite a while composting the pile of stuff we had to compost – so at least that’s done. We also need to repair the two big raised beds as we didn’t tackle them earlier on. We’ll need to get more wood and posts in but it’s definitely a winter project.

Have a good weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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The End of the Season

There’s definitely a feeling on the allotment today that it’s the end of the season – we have removed the gladioli corms, and raked the bed they were in so it looks a bit neater. We’ll store the corms until next year when we can plant them again, and we’ll compost the stalks.

While there and in the mood, I gave all the raised beds a quick rake over and they look amazing, I have to say! I will try to do that more often, I think:

As you can see, it’s definitely the end of the season! Though, that said, the sprouts are doing well and we’re looking forward to harvesting those soon:

Last time, I forgot to take a picture of the completed tidy shed, so here it is today – it’s just SO amazing to be able to get in, stand up (without falling over the netting) and find things too. Such a difference.

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the yakons, carrots and beetroot:

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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Goodbye to the Dahlias and Clearing the Shed

This week’s double frosts have certainly done their worst for the dahlias:

And the yakons too have come to an end – though the good news with them is the frost simply indicates that they’re ready for cropping so we have collected a good harvest from them:

Strangely though, our gladioli bed doesn’t appear to have got the memo about the frost so we still have a flower stem!

We have spent most of the summer being utterly unable to enter our shed (oh the shame of it!) due to the amount of stuff – mainly discarded netting – in there. So today we’ve made a good start on it as you can see – and we can actually get inside now!

As it’s November, it’s now okay to plant tulips (as if you plant them earlier you’re in danger of losing them all to tulip rot) so that’s what I have done today:

Once under the ground, we covered them with netting and sticks to stop the squirrels digging them all up again – which usually works:

Today, we have a decent harvest of sweet williams, that one gladioli, yakons, lettuces, beetroot and carrots:

Here is the vase at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Still blooming

An unexpected number of flowers in bloom for this time of year at the allotment today. Yes, I expected the Sweet Williams to be still going strong as they are:

But I did think the dahlias would have finished due to the cold night we had on Thursday, but they are still there!

Even more astonishing, a couple of the gladioli have come back into bud and we were just about to take them out as they should be over!

All very strange, but very welcome. Assuming that next spring will still turn up when we assume it will, we planted the last of the daffodil bulbs in a spare bed:

I’m pleased to say the Brussel sprouts are getting larger which is good news, so should definitely be ready for Christmas, if not earlier:

However, proving that we did have the cold snap on Thursday, the yakons are slightly damaged by frost, but that’s not a problem as the produce is only ripe when the leaves have all turned yellow anyway.

Here is today’s harvest, which includes carrots, beetroots, two lettuces, Sweet Williams, alstroemerias, dahlias and a couple of carnations:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Day of the Dahlias

It’s the time for the dahlias to shine on the allotment now the asters are over and they do indeed look lovely.

These glorious flowers are definitely lifting my spirits today, that’s for sure.

The yakons are also doing well:

And the carrots continue to look amazing too:

We were also really impressed with how beautiful the blueberry leaves are this autumn – this is one of the plants in our new fruit cage:

So, not that much to do today apart from weeding and harvesting, though I did cut down all the lily stems and take down the remains of the pink aster. We also removed the rest of the cabbages, and plan to put tulips in that spare bed in November.

Today’s harvest is carrots, cabbages, one lettuce, the dahlias and a handful of sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting Daffodils and an Aster Explosion

Much to our relief, the allotment has on the whole survived the massive amount of rainfall we had yesterday, though the pink asters have been flattened and have – in their turn – flattened the roses and the dahlias. I suspect the roses and the dahlias will survive as they’re tough as old boots – but I cut armfuls of the asters down all in one go to avoid further damage.

I have also planted the first of the spring daffodils, which is great news. There are 1.5 buckets of them still to go in after today’s planting – but we’ll add them in where we can as we go through autumn.

The harvest included a huge amount of the pink asters, roses, sweet williams, dahlias, a few sweet peas, plus one cabbage, one lettuce, a handful of French beans, carrots and a couple of sprigs of basil.

Here are the vases at home, which look most impressive!

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Crazy Carrots and Aster Delights

The asters are going crazy, which is brilliant as it’s THEIR season of course. I do forget each year when I’m cutting them how strangely-sweet they smell when you get close – although thankfully the smell doesn’t last once they are in a room, or at least isn’t obvious!

I’ve had to tie up the pink asters with string as they were sagging onto the roses and dahlias which isn’t great, but all okay now. Another issue we had today was there was a dragonfly stuck in the fruit cage and it took a while to get it out. No idea how it got in! Eventually K trapped it in a large pot against the roof of the cage and then slid a kneeler over the top of the pot – to which I added a tea towel just in case – to keep it inside. We then let it loose outside the fruit cage and all was well.

I am also astonished at how many roses there are now. Sadly, it appears that the white ones don’t last well on the journey home so I suspect we will bring that plant back to the garden next year and perhaps replace it with something else.

The carrots are also doing really well and we have some with amazing shapes!

This one is a dancer I’m sure:

And this one looks like a hand – the carrot hand of doom, as K has named it!

As this coming week we have the Allotment Inspection, we’ve done a good tidy up and hoe round so are hoping for the best …

Anyway, a good harvest today: carrots, French beans, 4 courgettes, a sprinkling of soft fruit, roses, asters, dahlias and sweet peas.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books