The Allotment Wife


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Mangetouts and our first rose

We’ve had a lovely break in the Lake District this week – amazing gardens and views! – and are back on the allotment today. Much to our surprise we have our first mangetouts crop:

And the joint mangetout/gladioli bed is looking pretty good:

We also have our first rose, which is astonishing!

The asparagus is doing pretty well too:

On the other hand, the French climbing beans do seem to be struggling a bit but they are producing some flowers which is positive:

The fruit cage is looking good and the early blueberry even has some fruit on it:

The rhubarb has also benefitted from our absence:

Much to my amazement there are no lily beetles on the lilies this week, but perhaps they are hiding?…

In the perennial bed, something has definitely chewed the gerberas but appears to be leaving the gazanias alone for the moment:

And the nasturtium seeds I scattered around the plot vaguely a couple of weeks ago are starting to grow!

Whilst there, we did a bit of hoeing and strimming down the weeds, plus we took the last two half-beds of daffodils out so will store those for next year.

This week’s harvest is mangetouts, asparagus, rhubarb, sweet williams and one rose:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Gazanias and gladioli

Gorgeous weather at the allotment this morning and not too hot for working either, which was great. I planted up a couple of rows of gazanias (Red Shades) in the perennial bed for summer colour – I have more of these which I will plant up at home in the front garden.

The lilies are doing well though I did spray them to deter the dreaded lily beetle!

And, thankfully, our second planting of sweet peas next to the shed is still surviving:

We are happy with the rhubarb but will let it grow for a while longer before we do any harvesting to give it time to gather strength:

The mangetouts are looking okay, and – as ever! – the gladioli are going for it. Nothing will ever destroy that flower, honestly! I planted up another couple of rows whilst there, so only another row to go before I’ve filled that bed:

In the week since we’ve last seen the allotment, the asparagus has grown so that’s a nice starter for tonight’s dinner:

The French climbing beans are still happy and we even have a flower on one of them which is great news:

And the beetroot and shallot bed is looking good:

So, only a small harvest of the asparagus this week, though we have dug out the rest of the tulip bulbs to take home for planting:

Whilst there, we also did a jolly good water round to give everything a drink – always a worthwhile task!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting up the season

We really focused ourselves at the allotment today and planted up the rest of the vegetables we’ve been looking after at home, so it was hugely busy but fun. First off, the beetroot is now all done:

And we have put in the cabbages, netted them, sprayed and put slug doom down so we hope they will survive!

K also built the structure for the French beans and we have put those in as well. There were some left over so we put those on the allotment shared table for people to take if they would like some – such a useful facility to have!

The Brussels sprouts which we planted earlier in the month continue to do okay:

The fruit cage is also really going for it, with lots of flowers so that’s good news:

The gerberas I planted last week are still there but a bit slug-chewed so I put some slug doom pellets down to protect those too:

Whilst there this week, I also planted three more rows of gladioli – though the bucket I’ve been storing them in appears to be doing its own planting without needing me at all! That’s the joy of gladioli – I swear to you I could just chuck them onto the bed without bothering with planting them at all and they’d STILL produce leaves and flowers, no problem. I could probably leave them in that bucket and they’d look fine!

Here is a view of the allotment which almost makes it look as if we know what we’re doing – as if, LOL!

Here is the harvest of asparagus and sweet williams, plus a bed of tulip bulbs I dug up which I will take home to plant in November:

Here are the sweet williams at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The First of the Asparagus

Great news! The asparagus has begun. It’s always lovely to see it as it’s one of my favourite veggies.

Hopefully there will be more soon. We also took the chance today to water in some Nemaslug mix to keep the little beasts at bay. Plus there is a whole lot of compost we have ordered which we need to collect and spread round but we haven’t had the chance this morning – so plan to do this later in the week if we can.

The French beans and gladioli bed is doing well:

And the rhubarb also seems happy:

K took out some old lilies (which I have potted up at home now) to prepare a bed for Brussels sprouts:

The fruit cage is looking good so we’re anticipating a better crop than last year:

In terms of flowers, the tulips are still in bloom:

And the lilies are on their way:

I did find one lily beetle so killed that but will need to restock the lily beetle doom spray this week for sure!

While there, we did a good water round across the plot after we’d sorted the Nemaslug out as quite honestly the soil is like dust.

Here is our small harvest of asparagus and tulips:

And here are the tulips at home:

Happy St George’s Day, everyone!

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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The World’s Smallest Soft Fruit Harvest

Was expecting more sunshine today, but never mind – it’s still perfect allotment weather – ie not too hot to work! Am happy to say we have a couple more dahlias in bloom in the perennial bed:

And the gladioli are still going strong:

Meanwhile, the lovely Monty Don tells us on last night’s Gardeners’ World with great confidence that our sweet peas will now all be over and we should remove them. Um, I don’t think our sweet peas have got that memo so we are leaving them right where they are for now!

We are also very happy with the lettuce & yacon bed – as you can see, the lettuces are really hearting up now and just look amazing. I’m still on slug patrol …

You might remember that a while back we sowed some carrot & basil seeds just to get rid of them. Well, they are doing okay, much to our amazement. The carrots are obvious but we have to be careful not to weed the basil out – you can see some of them on the right of this pic (small shiny flat leaves). They smell wonderful even though they’re tiny. With a bit of luck, we might have another month of growth so will hopefully be able to pick them at some point soon:

Here is this week’s harvest – with the world’s smallest ever fruit crop, LOL! One blueberry & one loganberry. Hey ho. Still, we also have French beans, gladioli, roses(!!), sweet williams, sweet peas, dahlias and one coreopsis.

On the way home, however, I foraged more blackberries, so soft fruit honour is restored!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Autumn in the Air

Definitely an early autumn in the air this week – our silver birch is now in its early autumn colours and there’s a mist over the field in the mornings so the season is turning.

Still lots going on at the allotment though. The French beans continue to produce a good crop:

And the Brussels sprouts have their first small sprouts in place ready for winter!

The lettuces are also bravely fighting off slug attacks, thanks to our use of Nemaslug and also slug pellets, and they’re looking pretty good, I think:

The gladioli are looking beautiful too:

And there is a whole new week’s worth of sweet peas to pick:

Here is our harvest, which consists of the first of our carrot crop, shallots (which keep for months and are just brilliant, once dried out), two courgettes, a handful of soft fruit, French beans, gladioli, sweet peas, sweet williams, one coreopsis and a Peruvian lily:

Naturally I did some foraging on the way home and have another bowl of blackberries (see – definitely autumn!):

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Productive Plot

Loads of gladioli now in bloom at the allotment today – and more to come too, which is fabulous.

We also have one remaining scented lily – I do love the colour of these ones:

And the sweet peas have gone insane! I think they are taking over the whole shed now.

Meanwhile, the French climbing beans are really laden with beans so that’s brilliant.

We are also happy with the cabbage bed which is quietly doing its thing:

Plus we have two more courgettes on Maureen’s plant:

Here is today’s harvest, which is French beans, three mangetouts from the second mangetout sewing this year, one courgette, some beetroot, one cabbage, a handful of blueberries, the gladioli, the lily, sweet peas and sweet williams, plus a couple of coreopsis.

On the way home, I also foraged some blackberries from the bushes along the road – you see, it’s definitely autumn!

These were added to the plum crumble I made today.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Delightful dahlia and the nibbled courgette

So pleased that we have our first courgette on the allotment now – though it’s been slightly nibbled by something! Still good to have it though – as we had a late start with the courgettes due to various disasters.

In other good news, our newly planted lettuces are surviving though I picked up eight(!) dead slugs from the bed – thank goodness I put the slug pellets down and have also redone them today. Yes, I know – bad me, but I want those lettuces …

Also our French climbing beans are doing well:

I’m thrilled to say we have our first dahlia in bloom – I’m now only growing the pom-pom type ones on the plot as the other ones lose their petals too easily on the way home:

There are also more gladioli:

The lilies are stunning and smell amazing!

Plus the sweet peas are still going for it – these ones are just fabulous as the stems are incredibly long (we looked for long-stemmed plants deliberately as they look better in vases):

Today’s harvest is a beetroot, the courgette, a handful of blueberries, French beans, sweet peas, lilies, gladioli, sweet williams, coreopsis, the dahlia and one alstroemeria:

Here are the vases:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books