The Allotment Wife


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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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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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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


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Nearly Winter!

A definite hint of autumn in the air today – lot of torrential rain followed by bursts of welcome sunshine. Strangely we were the only ones on the allotment today – and we certainly needed wellies.

I’m pleased to say the carrots, courgette & French beans are doing well.

The courgette even has its first very small fruit which is great news (thank you to Maureen who kindly donated the plant to us!).

Last weekend, when I was (a) hugely busy and (b) depressed, K did the allotment on his own and planted up some hearting lettuce which has bravely fought off the slugs (so large!) to make it to this week:

They’ve got a while to go though! I’m also happy with the scented lilies:

And the alstroemeria and gladioli are also coming along:

Today, we have a harvest of lilies, astroemeria, Sweet Williams, sweetpeas, blueberries, a few loganberries, beetroots, French beans, carrots and one cabbage (so nearly winter then!):

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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New Rose Garden and the Developing Fruit Cage

Back in the allotment today after a two-week hiatus due to mental health issues. K has been nobly keeping things going and also working on our massive fruit cage, which is coming along amazingly well. He calls it ‘woodhenge’!

As you can see, we have decided to skirt round our rhubarb bed and the door area can be seen next to the rhubarb in the photo immediately above. A work in progress and a major undertaking from my amazing husband, but it will make life so much easier when it’s done.

We have also decided to take the verbascum out – well, it was just becoming a nightmare and to my mind is a terrible flower for cutting – it sheds petals every second or so and it’s a hive of moth caterpillars! Yuck. So I dug those out for the compost heap today and instead – inspired by our trip to Hampton Court Flower Show last week – have planted three scented roses for cutting. We have Desdemona, Lycidas and The Poet’s Wife. We also bought a fourth rose – William & Catherine – but we will plant that at home.

As you can see, the lilies are doing wonderfully:

And the sweetpeas are finally starting to grow:

Another thing that struck us today is that the weeds are just crazily out-of-control. Honestly, this year is the WORST year for weeds both on the allotment and at home that I have ever known. Must be to do with the amount of rain we’ve been having, but it’s just crazy.

Mind you, the rain does mean vegetables are doing well too. The cabbages are beginning to ‘heart up’ which is great news:

And the beetroots are doing okay too:

My favourite of all of them though is the climbing French beans which have already reached the top of their supports:

We have discovered a small wasp nest in the shed which is a real pain – K went back after we’d come home to deal with it, as we certainly don’t want those sort of shed tenants!

Here is another allotment view for you:

You can see that the gladioli at the front are doing well too. Today’s harvest is the lilies, some mangetouts and a decent amount of blackcurrants plus one redcurrant, all alongside my boot, LOL:

Here are the gorgeous lilies at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Dahlia and Beetroot planting

Thought we’d add in a few more dahlias to our perennial bed now it’s warm enough so I planted those out today while K was mulching the soft fruit area:

Before you ask, yes, I did remember to take them out of the plastic bags before putting them in, LOL! And speaking of the soft fruit area, here it is looking very green and lush:

We have also put in the beetroot – it’s a golden variety which doesn’t stain, hurrah:

Not many tulips left now but still a nice scattering of colour:

So a small harvest today of tulips, asparagus and a few rhubarb stalks (the latter of which I have added to today’s apple crumble):

Here is the vase at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Chrysanthemum City

Just me at the allotment today as K needed to stay at home and sort his car out (which we think is now mended, hurrah!). I was hugely surprised that the chrysanthemums are still in bloom – as to be honest I’d forgotten about them!

I do love that burnt orange colour – just amazing. The daffodil shoots are also doing well:

Today’s harvest is beetroot, sprouts and the chrysanthemums:

Here is the vase at home:

Happy Advent Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Compost City and Daffodil Shoots

We arranged to take some compost over to the allotments today, plus some pieces of wood (for mending our raised beds which definitely need attention). I do LOVE compost time – the look of it just makes me so happy. Mind you, it does make me laugh when the compost bag instructions tell us to dig it in. Dig it in??!! My, how we laugh! No way!! And absolutely no need for any of this digging nonsense as that, my dears, is what the worms do – so just shovel it on and leave Nature to do the rest. Job done.

Here are our dahlias, now safe and warm for the winter under their special duvet – no need to dig up the dahlias as this is the South, LOL!

And here is our lovely asparagus bed, also freshly composted:

I’m also thrilled to say that our daffodil shoots are now coming up – which is fabulous news and give us fresh hope for spring (which we definitely need after this year!…)

The chrysanthemums are also still in bud, astonishingly, so we may actually get some very late flowers next week – weather depending …

Finally, we’ve managed to plant the tulips in, which we’re thrilled about. Once planted, we’ve put netting on the bed, held down by rods – to try to make sure the squirrels don’t take them all.

So a small harvest today of sprouts (yum!) and beetroot – but enough for a couple of meals, yay.

Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Frost City at the Allotment

Two bad frosts this week and the allotment is feeling the brunt of them. Here are the poor dahlias:

I wasn’t too worried about the ones here at the allotment but I was a bit cross with myself for not checking the overnight forecast before the first frost and therefore losing ALL my dahlias at home, sob! And I have loads of them. I will try to remember for next year – I hope! So no more flower harvests from the allotment, I think …

Anyway, the yakons (aka Peruvian Ground Apples) have also suffered and so we’ve cut them back and harvested a couple of them. It doesn’t affect the crop which is underground – and which is great if peeled and chopped finely to go with salad. You can cook it too but it’s not as good as when eaten cold. It’s a kind of mix between apple and cucumber (LOL!) and if you leave them unpeeled in the garage for a couple of weeks, they are far sweeter and nicer.

Whilst doing a major prune, we also took out the gladioli and have stored them in the shed ready for next year:

Here is the harvest – of yakons, beetroot and also sprouts, yay!

Have a good weekend, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant