The Allotment Wife


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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


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I Spy The Work …

… of the leaf cutter bee! Which is fabulous news as I was only moaning to K last night that we’ve not seen the leaf cutter bee at home for a couple of years at least, whereas we had a few of them for several years on the go before that.

Even the great Monty Don mentioned he had them in his garden last night and how thrilled he was about it – thus explaining my moan. Well, we still don’t have them at home (alas) but the great news is we have them on the allotment!

As you can see from the marvellous circular bites taken out of the rose leaves on the right of the picture above, they are busy making their homes somewhere nearby. They cause absolutely no damage to the plant and I think the patterns they make are very beautiful, so this is a wonderful addition to our plot!

However, not all visitors are good ones as it’s obvious that some evil creature is eating our poor cabbages:

Still, at least the cabbages – once we’ve removed the damaged parts – are edible, but I wasn’t anticipating on doing this much sharing with the wildlife …

However, the lettuces and yacons are surviving well:

In other news, I’m happy to say that the first of our asters are now in flower and the butterflies and bees are LOVING them:

In this perennial bed, we also have the dahlias arriving and a second showing of the roses, which is good news too:

Meanwhile, the sweet peas are still going strong:

And the sweet williams are looking happy too:

So, today, we have a harvest of one cabbage, one courgette, three beetroots, French climbing beans, sweet peas, sweet williams, asters, roses, gladioli, dahlias and a coreopsis:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Gladioli Clearing and Daffodil Planting

We’ve cleared the half-bed which was full of gladioli – which isn’t the bed we actually have the gladioli in, LOL! But it had come up of its own accord – so obviously we hadn’t cleared it as well as we thought last year!

Anyway, we’ve had a go at it now, though we have left one gladiolus in which is still due to flower:

And here are the gladioli which we’ll keep for next year:

And here are the last of the daffodils we have just about to be planted. I was pleased that most of the ones I’d messed up the storage for (by accidentally putting them in a pot with no drainage holes, sigh!) were fine – which just goes to show that Nature can cope with most of the nonsense I throw at her, thank goodness!

In other flower news, one of the gladioli which is actually in the bed it SHOULD be in is in flower:

The asters and dahlias are doing marvellous things:

And, much to our surprise, the chrysanthemums are just coming into flower – and I thought they’d all died out last year!

Here is the harvest, which includes asters, one gladiolus, rudbeckia, dahlias, one sunflower and one sweet pea, plus French beans, mangetouts and beetroots:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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First small sprout harvest!

Goodness me, we have harvested a couple of small sprouts today, hurrah (see later pic)! So the autumn season is most definitely here. Even with just three sprouts, it’s more than we harvested last year when it all went horribly wrong, LOL! Anyway, we are hoping for more sprouts later on.

Only us two on the allotment this morning, when we went anyway – everyone else must be keeping dry, and I can’t say I blame them. Here is the perennial bed in the rain and the wind:

I cropped more of the pink asters than I really needed as they were flopping over the dahlias, and I want to keep the dahlias going as long as I possibly can. Talking of which, the sunflowers are still doing well:

And, on the vegetable front, the French climbing beans are definitely the gift that keeps on giving! Plus more flowers on the plants as well.

And the yakons are still very happy:

It’s so rainy and has been for a good few days that for the first time that I can remember our water butt is actually overflowing! We’d best think about putting another one in before the year is over …

Here is the harvest, which includes the sprouts, the French climbing beans, sunflowers, rudbeckias, dahlias, one gladiolus and the asters.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Thinking of Spring

K took out the last of the potatoes today which are definitely enough to keep us going during the week. He then dug over that bed and I planted some of the daffodils ready for spring:

As you can see, they had already started to root so I think they’ll be fine.

Other flowers are also doing well – here are the asters:

I picked the blue ones, but left the pink ones as they’re really far too short for cut flowers – so I think when they’ve finished flowering I’ll take them home to the garden.

Speaking of pink things, the dahlias are doing much better than they did last year when we planted these ones – maybe they just needed a year to settle in …

The gladioli are also still just about hanging on:

The sunflower (which you can see in the photo above at the back) is also amazing and I’m really pleased with this pic:

We also harvested some beetroot, mangetouts and French beans – the latter of which are still battling with pesky black fly (boo!), so I gave them another good spray. Here’s hoping that does the trick.

Here is the harvest: potatoes, beetroot, French beans, the sunflower, gladioli, dahlias and the asters, plus one carnation and one rudbeckia:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Shallots and Asters

There are loads of shallots on the allotment at the moment – which is the first year we’ve grown them. The strange thing is they just sit on the top of the soil, seemingly attached to nothing at all, and you pick up the ones you like the look of. All very strange.

The cabbages are also doing well – the joy of them is that they last such a long time once you harvest them – with us, one lasts all week!

Cabbages

The lettuces are getting past their best though – K harvested one and by the time he picked off the slimy outer leaves, it was tiny!

Lettuces

Meanwhile, the autumn asters continue to shine and keep our vases going. They are just amazing – I think these blue ones are Little Harlow Carr, but I’m not sure.

Asters

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of asters, some sunflowers, a few sweet peas and pelargoniums, one alstroemeria, that little lettuce, one beetroot, runner beans, those shallots (just below the trug handle) and a bowl of gorgeous autumn raspberries – which are truly the gift that keeps on giving and which I shall add to this weekend’s apple crumble, yum!

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone – stay out of the rain!

Anne Brooke Books


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Asters and Tatties

It’s the turn of the asters to shine today on the autumn allotment – we really know summer is over now as they’re such an autumn flower! K has dug up the last of the potatoes (tatties), so we have an empty bed to do something with:

No more potatoes

It’s been a hot week so the allotment is very dry and we’ve given it a good water today – the rubbish bin water butt is proving very useful indeed. Here are the beans looking very dry and definitely past their best:

Beans

And even the currant bushes and autumn raspberries are struggling in the heat:

Currants

Autumn raspberries

Here is today’s harvest which consists of beans, potatoes, one beetroot, the asters, a few sad-looking gladioli, one or two sunflowers, the autumn raspberries and a scattering of sweet peas, pelargoniums and carnations.

Harvest

We have also taken the tulip bulbs (in the round, green basket) so I can plant these at home in November (when the threat of tulip rot will have passed). We will get fresh ones for the allotment as usual.

Here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Allotment Working Party & BBQ

Perfect weather for the allotment working party & BBQ today – though maybe a little too hot when it came to moving the hedge cuttings to a bonfire area, LOL! Still, after a good two hours’ slog, the joy comes with a lovely BBQ and beer, hurrah!

BBQ

Seriously though, we had a fabulous time and many thanks to the allotment committee for organising us all. Meanwhile, back on our own allotment, we have the first of the asters:

Asters

And the sunflowers look amazing – particularly when a gorgeous yellow butterfly landed on one of them:

Sunflower and yellow butterfly

The one pink dahlia in bloom this week also looks quite cute:

Dahlia

The lettuces are doing well and – so far! – aren’t getting eaten by the slugs which is great news. I’m not even putting slug doom pellets on them any more and still they survive …

Lettuces

However, the news with the sweetcorn isn’t so good, I’m afraid – even though we’ve netted them and they should be ready to harvest, some evil creature has still eaten the lot. Oh well …

Sweetcorn

Today’s harvest is potatoes, beetroot, a lettuce, a cabbage, French beans and runner beans, gladioli, sunflowers, the asters, a few sweet peas, carnations and pelargoniums, plus the autumn raspberries:

Harvest

Here are the flowers at home. I think the asters really make a difference to a vase, and I’ve put the sunflowers in with those from last week, which are still going strong!

Vases

Have a good Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books