The Allotment Wife


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Squashes Galore

This is definitely the week for the squashes in our life. Here are the two pumpkins we have, both of which are growing well:

Pumpkin 1

Pumpkin 2

And here is one of the marrows – this is the largest:

Marrow

On the minus side, however, our lettuce has bolted – can you tell, LOL!

Bolted lettuce

The beetroot is also growing high, so I’ve cut the tops off those while I was thinking about it.

Beetroot

The flowers are doing very well in this weather though. Here is the second flush of our gorgeous scented lilies – the smell is amazing!

Lilies

And here are the alstroemeria and the echinacea, both of which are definitely enjoying the climate.

Alstroemeria and echinaceas

This week’s harvest is a scattering of green and black French climbing beans (the first of our black ones harvested today), plus the lilies, alstroemerias, echinaceas, dahlias, gladioli, sweet williams, carnations and assorted sweet peas:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

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Fighting back on the sweetcorn front!

Yet more sweetcorn has gone missing this week, sob:

Sweetcorn Chewed

But we are determined to fight back(!) so I planted some new ones and K netted the area. We hope that will be enough to deter the evil sweetcorn nibbler, but who can tell …

Sweetcorn Replanted

In other news the asparagus forest is on its way – as we’re leaving it to do its thing now as the season is basically over.

Asparagus

The lettuces are doing amazingly well and I also planted a couple of others just to lengthen the season – if they don’t get eaten!

Lettuces

Fresh from netting the sweetcorn, K has also today built a netting pod for the currants to protect them from the greedy birds (who have already taken the gooseberry crop in total, double sob!). As you can see it’s a home-made effort and we’ve secured it down with stones from the plot, bits of wood and also hooked nails made from old hangers from home. The ultimate recycling creation!

Soft fruit

The lilies are doing very well:

Lilies

And the pelargoniums and cosmos are trying their best:

Pelargoniums and cosmos

The sweet williams are struggling a bit – which is a total contrast from last year – but the beetroot behind them are doing well. I have pinched the tops off the beetroot as I thought they were getting a bit straggly, and we want the energy to go into the crop rather than the leaf.

Sweet Williams and Beetroot

Today’s harvest is one lettuce, mangetouts, verbascums, carnations, pelargoniums, sweet williams, cosmos and lilies:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home.

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone. Oh, and happy birthday to me – I turned 55 (gosh!) on 21 June.

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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Bean Planting

A whole 2.5 hours on the allotment today, go us! Everything – including the weeds! – is really starting to go for it, so a lot of hoeing got done.

We also planted a bed full of French beans and runner beans, and tied them up with string to try to keep them (vaguely …) under control.

French beans and runner beans

We have added extra sweet peas at the end of that bed, and just between the lilies and the sunflowers:

Sweet peas

Speaking of lilies, don’t they look marvellous? Those buds are really coming along well.

Lilies 1

The asparagus has been very keen this week so we have enough for at least a couple of meals, which is grand.

Asparagus

We are also pleased with the lettuce …

Lettuces

… and the beetroot – which always look so terribly fragile when you first plant them but soon bulk up:

Beetroot

The potatoes are doing fine:

Potatoes

And just look at the mangetouts!

Mangetouts

Turning to flowers in bloom, the verbascum is simply marvellous:

Verbascum

And the carnations are just coming into flower too:

Carnations

However, the gladioli seem to have a mind of their own and have skipped a couple of rows in my succession planting plan, LOL:

Gladioli

No idea what’s going on there!

Anyway, here is the harvest of asparagus, verbascum, some sweet williams and a few carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sunflower Planting

Yes, it’s that time of year once more and we have planted some sunflowers. Here they are before and after we tied them to canes:

Sunflowers 1

Sunflowers 2

I also planted another 20 gladioli in 2 rows of ten. I really need some more for succession planting but I suspect I might be too late for this now! Anyway, here are some we planted earlier:

Gladioli

The lilies are also going for it so I gave them a good spray today so the dreaded lily-beetle can’t get in there:

Lilies 1

Lilies 2

We also have a few verbascums on their way but I won’t be picking them till at least next week:

Verbascum

Meanwhile, a few alliums have come up unexpectedly next to the lettuce – so a nice surprise there. I’m planning to take them up and plant at home later.

Lettuces and alliums

There are plenty of asparagus spears today so that’s Sunday lunch veg sorted.

Asparagus

The young beetroot plants are coming along too, and I have put slug pellets down to keep them safe.

Beetroot

The mangetouts have started to climb which is brilliant news:

Mangetouts

Not such great news with the sweet peas however – they’ve done nothing for a couple of weeks or so, sadly. So we have bought some more and hope to plant them elsewhere on the allotment to see if they do any better. It’s a shame really as for a couple of years the sweet peas did so well – I wonder if it’s because they don’t like the pine needle compost we’ve been using there … Something to ponder …

At least the potatoes look happy!

Potatoes

And here is the rhubarb which, again, isn’t doing brilliantly now but I still managed to get a few stalks for Sunday pudding.

Rhubarb

The spring onions and shallots are now putting on a growth spurt – but don’t ask me which is which in the photo as I’ve already forgotten what K told me! I think the shallots are the taller ones? But I could be wrong …

Spring onions and shallots

And the sweetcorn has survived one week already, hurrah!

Sweetcorn

I thought I’d also add in a view of the allotment so you can see how things are getting along as a whole:

Allotment View

Here is the tiny harvest of alliums, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sweetcorn revisited

We’re having another go at sweetcorn this year – it wasn’t very successful last year but we’re hopeful! Here’s hoping the squirrels don’t find it all first …

Sweetcorn

We’ve also planted two marrows and two pumpkins, and we’re hoping they might be big enough for the allotment show in August, so fingers crossed.

Marrows and pumpkins

There is more asparagus in the bed this week so that’s good news:

Asparagus

I did weed that bed after taking the shot – honest!… I also weeded the beetroots, though had to be a lot more careful there and did most of it by hand:

Beetroot

The lettuces and mangetouts are continuing to do well:

Lettuces

Mangetouts.JPG

Sadly, the sweet peas aren’t doing much, but it’s early days. As a total contrast, both sets of lilies are really getting tall now:


Oh, and the carnation mound is also looking good:

Carnations.JPG

And the gladioli are coming along:

Gladioli.JPG

The rhubarb is also okay and I managed to get a few stalks to add to the apple crumble I’m planning for tomorrow’s lunch:

Rhubarb

Here is our mini harvest for today, including the last two tulips, asparagus and one lone potato! I also remembered to harvest the rhubarb at the last minute, but it’s not in the shot today:

Harvest minus rhubarb

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Spring Planting

We popped into the garden centre before going to the allotment this morning, and bought sweet peas, golden beetroot, mangetouts, and cabbages for the allotment, and carrots for home (as we can protect them from carrot fly there). We’ve never grown cabbages before but thought we’d give it a go this year.

Planting

Once at the allotment we were delighted to find that some very kind person had left a huge pile of pine bark near the allotment fence so K grabbed the wheelbarrow and we have tidied up our paths, hurrah. Plus the pine smell is just amazing.

So, I have planted the sweet peas next to the shed as usual:

Sweetpeas

And I made half a bed for the beetroot plants – they’re just so small!

Beetroot

K created some sticks and netting for the mangetouts, and I have then put slug pellets on anything I think they might aim for …

In other news, there is one lone tulip in one of our disastrous Brussels sprouts beds (which we have now cleared):

Tulip 2

And the tulips in the actual tulip bed are coming along nicely too:

Tulips 1

The daffodils continue to hold their own:

And the lilies are coming along:

Lilies

Meanwhile, the currants and rhubarb are really getting going, which is fabulous – they are both definitely further along than they were last year, thank goodness.

So, no vegetables for harvesting this week – just the daffodils and tulips:

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Have a great Mothering Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books