The Allotment Wife


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The Naughty Allotmenteer

Yes, I know. I just couldn’t resist this picture of two pumpkins and a marrow – but could you have resisted it??! Which only goes to show that underneath every serious allotmenteer, there is a very immature child desperate to get out …

Rude veg

And yes, I also know there’s a very tiny marrow there too, but I didn’t want it to feel overlooked! Anyone know any pumpkin recipes as we haven’t a clue?…

Anyway, in other news, we have finally planted our Brussels sprouts – not sure how they’re going to do, but we are hopeful. I remembered to put the slug doom in too.

Sprouts

The gladioli are still blooming:

Gladioli

Though not as much as the sunflowers, which continue to surprise us.

Sunflowers

Here is the very autumnal harvest, including our first ever cabbage:

Harvest

All those scrumptious autumn raspberries are going straight into the apple crumble I’m making today, yum.

And here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, and make the most of the sunshine, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Autumn Crops

Yes, I know – autumn is early this year but though we are saying goodbye to summer produce, the autumn goodies are coming along nicely. Here are our squashes (though we have utterly failed to get any courgettes, strangely…):

Squashes 1

Squashes 2

Our very first cabbages are doing well in spite of being nibbled all the time, and even look like cabbages, well gosh.

Cabbages

The yacon is happy:

Yacon

And I think the lettuces look really cute – so frilly!

Lettuces

We also have our first major crop of autumn raspberries, which this year include red ones as well as the yellow ones. The birds have ignored them so we are getting the whole crop which is great news.

Autumn raspberries

Meanwhile the sunflowers just keep on going:

Sunflowers

Here is this week’s harvest which includes one marrow and a crazy amount of French & runner beans:

Harvest

And here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Mystery sweetcorn and the allotment show

Just back from 10 days’ holiday this week so we had a lot of catching up to do at the allotment, which was basically weed city! Here are some pics of what’s going on.

The alstroemeria are coming back:

Alstroemeria

And the gladioli are rallying after the winds and rain the UK has had (not that we noticed as we were sailing up the Danube and ambling round Budapest in a mega heatwave, LOL!!).

Gladioli

Our cabbages are now starting to look like actual cabbages though something is getting in the netting and chewing them, wicked creatures!

Cabbages

The lettuces have also done well in our absence:

Lettuces

But what is this stray sweetcorn plant doing in the gladioli bed??!! We never planted it there! I blame the squirrels …

Stray sweetcorn

A couple of harvest shots this week:

Harvest.JPG

Harvest

As you can see in the picture above, both the red and yellow autumn raspberries are starting to fruit now, so this is our first (mini!) harvest.

Here are various vases:

Vases

Vases

The BIG news of the week however is our Allotment Show. We weren’t sure we were going to have much for it as we’d only returned to the UK a couple of days before, but here are pics of what we entered into the show:

 

Show entries

Above are our entries for the 5 beans class, the largest marrow (which ended up being the smallest, LOl!), 3 trimmed onions, 3 stems and the flower arrangement for A Day at the Allotment. I used a small watering can though it’s hard to see in the shots.

Here is a pic of all the flower arrangement entries (the one on the right deservedly won 1st prize and best in show!):

Flower arrangements

Here are the certificates we gained!

I have to admit, however, that there was only one entry in the 3 stems class and that was mine, LOL (for which I gained the 1st prize!) and there were only 3 entries in the flower arrangement class and I got 3rd for that! Still, awards of any kind are not to be sniffed at, LOL!!

And here is the amazing Helen who was best in show for her amazing flower arrangement!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Lilies and Mangetouts

Once again, the lilies are the outright queens of the allotment and look simply amazing this week.

Lilies

In addition, the gladioli appear to be heading for the bloom and the first one to come will definitely be red!

Gladioli

The sweet peas have finally decided to bloom as well, which is great news:

Sweet peas

And the wonderful K has managed to fool the pigeons/squirrels/mice (or whatever they are) by surrounding the coreopsis with a cat’s cradle pattern of string. Let’s hope it continues to work!

Coreopsis

There’s good news on the sweetcorn front too – there’s been no more nibbling since K added the wire cage around them, hurrah:

Sweetcorn

Meanwhile, we have one autumn raspberry just starting to mature – I hope there might be some more to follow it at some point …

Autumn raspberry

And we have a marrow in the making, hurrah!

Marrow

The mangetouts are still going completely crazy:

Mangetouts

Here they are at home, after I’d washed and trimmed them – we’ve only just finished last weekend’s bowl! However, we’ve found they’re very nice indeed in a stir-fry with spring onions, mint, mushrooms and even some crystallised ginger – or any combination of these that takes your fancy!

Trimmed mangetouts

Here is today’s harvest – which is mangetouts, a lettuce, lilies, coreopsis, cosmos, carnations, verbascum, sweet williams and sweet peas:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home. First, the lilies:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Now, all the vases together:

Vases 3

Vases 4

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Allotment Snake Whisperer!

Never say allotment life is dull! I managed to rescue a female grass snake who was totally tangled up in some fruit netting on the allotments today. Luckily, I LOVE snakes and this was one absolutely beautiful. It took me about 5 mins or so to cut her free and then, after K had taken a quick snap, I let her go in the hedge. She slithered away quite happily. Just call me the Allotment Snake Whisperer, LOL!

Grass snake rescue

In more normal allotment news, everything is growing fairly well, probably due to the whole week of rain that we’ve just had. However, some wicked creature has eaten all my lovely coreopsis, sob! I suspect a rabbit or a pheasant, but either way I’m not impressed …

Coreopsis

However, the carnations have survived the onslaught, as have the cosmos and the verbascum.

Carnations

Cosmos

Verbascum

There are more lilies in bloom this week, and the sunflowers have grown taller, hurrah!

Lilies

Sunflowers

The autumn raspberry area has now grown so thick that I can’t get in to weed any more. I just have to rely on spotting any tall weeds and pulling them out if I can reach them.

Autumn raspberries

The lettuces are doing well and the mangetouts have exploded!

Lettuces

Mangetouts

This week, we planted cabbages – which we’ve never grown before so this will be a voyage of discovery for us. We netted them which should keep off the butterflies and pigeons, we hope …

Cabbages

We’ve also planted out two courgettes – a green one and a round yellow one (which is already in flower!):

Courgettes

We brought leeks to plant but there is no room! So we have planted them under the climbing beans for the time being – though I suspect it will be too shady later on for them, so we may have to rethink it.

Leeks

Here is the harvest of mangetouts, verbascum, lilies and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, and watch out for snakes, LOL!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

 

 


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Nibbly Creatures

Lots of nibbly creatures both on and off the allotment this week … here is the sweetcorn section where the middle is all but missing. Pigeons? Mice? Who knows. But we are not amused!

Sweetcorn

We also struggled with lettuce planting last week as the pigeons (or mice!) had had a good go at them before we even arrived at the allotment – you can just about see them here, still hanging on – just – at the bottom left of the really lovely lettuces (hurrah!):

Lettuces

Anyway, the beetroot section is doing well, and we even have one or two mangetouts lurking amongst the leaves, well gosh:

Beetroot

Mangetout

The autumn raspberries are growing well:

Autumn raspberries

And the flower crops are doing well too. We have the first of the lilies out:

Lilies

The carnations are still being totally amazing and I picked 128 of them – which is only about half of what I picked last week!

Carnations

The verbascum is still blooming:

Verbascum

And the sweet peas we thought were a goner near the shed have a sudden lease of life:

Sweet peas

Today, I planted the rest of the gladioli bulbs so that’s filled up a bed nicely. I also planted some coreopsis (which I picked flowers from before taking it to the allotment). They are a type called Golden Sphere:

Coreopsis Golden Sphere

Plus I thought I’d plant some annual flowers for the first time so here are four new pelargoniums – which again I picked before planting. I’m astonished about how beautiful the flowers are in a vase (see later) so will definitely do this again:

Pelargoniums

Here is the harvest of three mangetouts(!), verbascum, lilies and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home. The pelargonium flowers are on the right between the carnations and the verbascum – I think they’re gorgeous. And the coreopsis are on the left.

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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In Praise of Green

The allotment is really getting a lot greener at the moment, which is lovely to see. Even the flowers that are over have amazing leaves – just look at the tulips:

Tulips

I also think the carnation is just beautiful without flowers – why do mine never form a lovely mound like this at home?? It’s a mystery …

Carnations

Plus just look at the lilies – a simply gorgeous green:

Lilies

Meanwhile the gladioli are coming along, and I planted another row today. I have two more rows (ie 20 bulbs) still to plant but I may well get more:

Gladioli

And look! The first pom-pom dahlia is pushing its way through the earth:

Dahlia

The autumn raspberries and currants are enjoying the weather (though it is a bit nippy today!) …

Sadly, some of the currants have rust fungus on them so K gave them a good spray today. It’s not a serious disease for currants and won’t kill the plant – we just thought we should give them the best fruiting chance we can.

The mangetouts and shallots are coming along nicely:

Mangetouts

Shallots

And there’s enough rhubarb for another crumble, hurrah!

Rhubarb

Here is the harvest of asparagus and rhubarb, alongside two tulips and some sweet williams:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase

Happy Bank Holiday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb Season

At last – it’s rhubarb season on the allotment and we’ve eaten the first of the crop today, hurrah. That said, I suspect we’re the last to harvest our rhubarb in the village, probably due to the fact we’ve not mulched it for a couple of years, wicked us … Will try to remember to add mulch some time soon!

Meanwhile the mangetouts are hanging on in there, and we’ve put slug doom on them today to give them a fighting chance:

Mangetouts

Today we’ve planted lettuces and onions to add to the range of crops we’re growing. K netted the onions to give them some protection as there appears to be a secret onion chewer at loose throughout the plots – possibly rabbits, grr!

Meanwhile the autumn raspberry area is coming on well, and I’m trying to keep the weeds seriously at bay as it saves so much angst later on when I just can’t get in.

Soft Fruit

There are still a few daffodils about:

Daffodils

But it’s the tulips who are queen of all they survey right now. I do so love the striped ones – they’re amazing.

Tulips

And even the lilies are looking hopeful.

Lilies

I’ve also planted another couple of rows of gladioli that we bought yesterday, and I have another thirty left to plant over the weeks ahead. If I run out, I’ll get more as it’s nice to have some later blooms. Plus one of the earlier gladioli is already on its way!

Gladioli

Here is the harvest of rhubarb, tulips and daffodils:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Anne Brooke Books


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Scented daffodils and tulip bulbs

The daffodils are really hitting their peak on the windy allotment today – and the first of the small scented ones are out, so that’s just amazing.

And the tulips are getting bigger, with some of them even showing buds, which is very exciting!

The rhubarb is growing:

Rhubarb

Meanwhile, the soft fruit is showing the first signs of leaf, both in the autumn raspberry area and in the currant zone.

Not only that, but I’ve finally remembered to dig up the lupins for home and here they are with the daffodil harvest:

Harvest

For now, we’ve planted the lupins in the cold frame in the back garden until we can work out where to put them but here is the daffodil vase – which is filling the kitchen with scent (bliss!):

 

Anne Brooke Books


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The Windy Allotment

Very windy down at the allotment today – I thought the daffodils might get blown away when I was taking them back to the car, but they survived the journey, hurrah. Here they are in their beds:

The tulips are also doing well and have definitely grown:

Tulips

But – guess what! – I’ve STILL not brought that poor lupin home – I will do it soon, really I will!

Lupin

The rhubarb leaves are getting bigger:

Rhubarb

And there are more leaves coming in the autumn raspberries, which is good news:

Autumn raspberries

Here is the harvest of daffodils only:

Harvest

And here they are in the vase – the colour is just so amazing.

Have a peaceful Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books