The Allotment Wife

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The Missing Allotmenteer

Still no allotment for me, this time due to the fact I have a rather nasty cold, sigh. Never mind, I think I’m on the mend now. In the meantime, K popped to the allotment to give it a general tidy up and see what harvest was available. He managed a few autumn raspberries, plus two very small courgettes, but the harvest season is definitely on the way out now, sob! As a result, he took out the courgette and (unproductive) marrow plants for this year – though we hope to get another courgette plant for next season – though not the marrow as it didn’t do anything.

Whilst there, K chatted to a fellow allotmenteer who was wanting to borrow a spade for a quick job – sadly ours broke a couple of weeks ago and we’ve not replaced it yet, so we couldn’t be of any help. However, the lovely allotmenteer said he might have a spare spade or two at home and he would bring one along next time to save us buying another one – what a lovely man! We are very grateful indeed.

Finally, the flowers are coming to their natural end too, but K did manage to pick chrysanthemums, dahlias, cosmos and coreopsis, and here they are in their vases:

Vase 1 Vase 2

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

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Saving Celosia Seeds

Hi Lovelies,

IMG_20150904_212419 I saved the seeds from this plant. I really liked the bicolor pinks, so it will be interesting to see if I can get more plants with this color – fingers crossed.

This post is a little late, but don’t worry – I didn’t forget! I’m still knee-deep in cleaning up this season’s mess, and now that it’s colder, I’m a lot less motivated to even walk outside. It’s usually at this point in the game that I start wondering why I don’t live in California or some place that I can grow enormous groves of citrus trees. We hit a huge milestone over on Instagram last night, in case you don’t follow along – we reached 10,000 followers. This fact is amazing in so many ways. I can only say, “thank you” but if you multiply that times like 1000, you may be a little more accurate…

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New Paperback: A Year in the Allotment (A Beginner’s Guide to Losing the Plot)

Allotment BookCoverImage

A Year in the Allotment (A Beginner’s Guide to Losing the Plot) is now available as a paperback at Amazon.

What about having an allotment? So my husband asked me one day when I was innocently opening the wine and planning our weekend. The shock of the question made me blink and of course I laughed away the very idea: too much effort; not enough time; and besides we don’t know anything about allotments. All well and good then, and I thought that was that, but strangely enough the idea kept niggling away and resurfacing on various occasions. Then a mere couple of months later, my objections were somehow swept aside by his enthusiasm and we found ourselves the proud and very nervous owners of an allotment. With not a clue what to do with it. This is the story of our first year as allotment beginners and how we survived it. And even came to love it.

It is also available as a Kindle, if that’s your preference.

Year in the Allotment - Twitter

Happy Allotmenteering!

Anne Brooke Books

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Guide to Planting Daffodils

Hi Lovelies,

Snapchat-20141002013220 I space daffodil bulbs further apart than tulips because daffodils will come back year after year. These bulbs are probably still planted a little too close, lol.

Well, the fall rain here seems to have officially started (with more in the forecast) courtesy of the hurricane down south. Luckily enough, I was able to quickly throw this year’s daffodil bulbs into the ground. Here in zone 6b, I ideally like to plant my daffodil bulbs around mid October – so I’ll admit to being a little late this year.

0416151422a Squeal! Just a few of the double daffodils. It’s important to pick these at the right stage in the spring because the rain splashes mud all over them, which is a total bummer.

IMG_20150426_171929Multi-flowering petite daffodils were included in my mixed cheap bags! They’re so stinkin’ cute                        …

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Allotment by Proxy

At the moment, I have problems with my left arm so I’m not supposed to do any gardening – at least not heavy gardening, so I haven’t visited the allotment this week at all. However, K has spent some time there today and moved some of the old raspberries and currants so they’re closer together. He has also planted the Autumn Raspberry canes (Polka) he bought yesterday. These are red rather than gold, so we may have more trouble with the birds next year – although we notice other people have unnnetted red autumn raspberries and the birds aren’t causing too many problems.

Anyway, he has harvested one of the Brussels sprouts as the leaves were being chewed to oblivion, so though they’re not large, I’m aiming to have these for Sunday lunch tomorrow. Here they are with some of the Autumn raspberries (Autumn Gold).

Autumn raspberries and Brussel sprouts

He also harvested some dahlias, chrysanthemums and cosmos so I have put these in vases for the house. The chrysanthemums from last week are still going strong too, so that’s grand.


Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

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Saving Zinnia Seeds

Hi Lovelies,

1023151758a Ugh, it’s hard to believe that this bed used to be gorgeous. Hopefully, I’ll find the time soon to clean it out and take up the plastic.

With fall in full swing, it’s a good time to learn how to save seeds of some of my favorite flowers. Luckily for me, collecting seeds from many plants is super easy – one of these being, zinnias.

1023151755 This flower head has turned brown and looks like the perfect candidate to look for some seeds.

When saving seeds of anything, it’s important that the varieties that you’re saving aren’t hybrids. You’ll want to save seed from open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. I see zinnias as the rockstars of my garden. For months and months they put on an amazing show and keep on blooming, without fail. However, if you want to save seeds, you’ll have to stop cutting the flowers at some…

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Sunshine and Bitter Days

Hi Lovelies,

There’s beauty in everything – in bare stems and in moldy leaves – it’s just, sometimes you’ve just got to look a littler closer to find it. When it’s over, the cycle begins again and we rejoice at the promise of the future and something new. I knew that it was coming – but I still wasn’t ready. The frost: it’s the end, but also the beginning – of the future, and an infinite number of things which could be. Here are some captures of the mess. If you stop to look beyond the surface, you can always find something beautiful. Much love, folks.


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Planting Lots of Tulips, because why not?

Hi Lovelies,

IMG_20151019_152549 Well hello, you big beautiful cheap bargain tulip bulbs.

Day 20 has come a little bit early to the blog, for the main reason that I probably won’t have internet access later tonight when I usually do my 2am writing – I know, I know. Anyway, one of the major tasks that I was able to accomplish today was planting out the single tulips. I like to think about tulips as if they were people, they’re all lovely in their own way. Some people might not like certain types of tulips, but that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t totally in love with them. I feel like I’m getting off topic.

Let’s just be real for a second, those hand planters are great if you’re only planting like 10 bulbs. And yeah, you can walk around digging holes – but how many can really fit in there? Like…

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A broken spade and daffodils galore

Have had a painful arm this week (frozen/impacted shoulder), so today was the first chance I’ve had to get to the allotment – thank goodness for anti-inflammatory pills! We wanted to plant our new collection of 100 assorted daffodil bulbs, plus the ones left over from last year, for cut flowers in the spring. K started to dig out the potato bed and then this happened!

Broken spade

Oh dear me. And it was a relatively new spade too! However, at least he still had the fork to use, but honestly those potatoes must be tougher than we thought …

Anyway, we’ve planted all the daffodil bulbs and put netting or branches across them to protect them from the squirrels. Here are therefore some very exciting pictures of bare earth where the daffodils are hiding …

Daffodils 1 Daffodils 2

Not much to look at now, but come next spring they will be a glorious ocean of yellow – we hope. Anyway, I have found a way to do a decent hoe whilst only using one arm, mostly, so have tidied up the allotment as best possible. In the meantime, K rediscovered our Autumn Raspberry – All Gold – which we bought earlier this year and promptly forgot about, so he staked it up so it looks a bit less messy.

Autumn Raspberry All Gold

We believe the main crop of Autumn Raspberries are Autumn Gold, which is why the leaves are slightly different.

The flowers continue to bloom too, which is great. Here are dahlias, cosmos, chrysanthemums and a late sunflower:

Chrysanthemums Cosmos Dahlias Sunflower

And here they are as part of our harvest, which also includes potatoes, one courgette, and Autumn Gold raspberries:


Once at home, the flowers look amazing:


Have a great weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books

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Beginner’s Guide to a Gorgeous Spring Garden

Hi Lovelies,

tup I’m daydreaming about watching these tulips bloom already. ‘Mount Tacoma’ is definitely one of my absolute favorites. ‘Charming Beauty’ is a new addition that I can’t wait to review! I hope the colors are as dreamy as the pictures!

Well, we made it! Day 15 of Blog-tober! If I had known that 31 days of straight blog posts would be this difficult, I’m not sure I would have taken on the task – but, I’m enjoying it nonetheless. With tons of orders of spring seeds and bulbs landing on my front porch every day, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the easiest ways to add some spring color to your life.

Spring is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Being able to finally thaw out and spend time outside is such a precious gift. However, when this was all new…

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