The Allotment Wife


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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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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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Unexpected visitors!

We had some unexpected visitors at the allotment today, but the first group were very well behaved and seemed interested in what we were doing, so I hope they pop along again sometime …

Horse 1

Horse 2

Horse 3

Horse 4 Foal

Horse 5

Aren’t they gorgeous! The foal was just adorable, but so fast moving that I couldn’t really get a decent shot.

Anyway, to more allotment-focused matters, today we planted up some more rudbeckia:

Rudbeckia

And also we added in some more pea seeds in the pea area, plus some beetroot (as below):

Beetroot

The alstroemerias are doing well and there is even one coreopsis in bloom (the yellow flower):

Alstroemeria

And the sweet peas continue to come along, although there is sadly a bit of a blackfly problem with them, so I keep on spraying …

Sweet peas

And the lilies are in bloom (though not the new ones … yet):

Lilies

Speaking of unexpected visitors, we have a rabbit interloper – oh the horror! So we put a plank over the hole as a temporary measure, but will have to get that fixed soonest …

Rabbit Hole 2

Rabbit Hole 3

Here are two harvests, as I popped up during the week to give the place a watering as the weather was so dry:

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sweet Peas in bloom!

A quick trip to the allotment today as it’s my birthday weekend (21 June) and I have lots of other things to do!

We were pleased to see the sweet peas are finally in bloom, though they do have a lot of greenfly on them so I’ve sprayed them thoroughly.

Sweet peas

We did a weed round and K trimmed the plot edges. Here is the harvest of sweet peas, verbascum, alstroemeria and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a great weekend everyone, cheers!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Spring Spurt

First of all, a very happy Easter to you all, especially in these tricky times. But, goodness me, lots of activity on the allotment today. First of all, we have our first asparagus, hurrah!

Asparagus

And the rhubarb is now big enough to harvest, well gosh. It’s a bit late to add it into my Sunday crumble, but I’ve found a recipe for rhubarb puree/juice which you can add to gin, ice cream etc. Hmm, gin – brilliant for lockdown, I’m sure!

Rhubarb

The lilies are also growing well and so I’ve now sprayed them against the dreaded lily beetle:

Lilies

But look at these tulips!

Tulips

Today we took along some of our sweet peas and have put them against the shed (with mulch) and also at the end of the potato bed. We’ve watered them in and put down slug pellets as usual:

Sweetpeas 1

Sweetpeas 2

As for the gladioli – start planting in May, they say – they’ll be fine before then. Um, well, I don’t think our gladioli bulbs from last year had that memo as they’re already sprouting in their bucket in the shed!

Gladioli 1

So I’ve planted them out into 4 rows of those with the longest shoots and will try to keep to succession planting (so they bloom at different times) by adding a couple of rows each week or so until last year’s bulbs are used up. We’d usually try to get some new ones as well, but of course we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to do that this year.

Gladioli 2

Here is the harvest of daffodils, tulips, asparagus and rhubarb (hurrah!):

Harvest

And here are the flowers in all their glory at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a good week, everyone, and stay safe.

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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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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The Great Easter Tulip Extravaganza

There is a total take-over by the tulips on the allotment this morning – which is pretty dang near perfect for Holy Saturday, and I actually felt quite tearful when I saw them all – they were just so beautiful.

Tulips

Aren’t they amazing! The gladioli bed isn’t quite so dramatic, but the one shoot is definitely taller, LOL.

Gladioli

The lilies are getting bigger too:

Lilies

Whilst there, I did a serious weed round and K replaced the felt roof on the shed as it was in need of attention after storms earlier this year. Look how lovely it is now!

New roof shed

I have also put slug pellets down and bug-sprayed those lilies. Meanwhile, the rhubarb and soft fruit are loving this sunshine.

Plus we have our first asparagus shoot, which is looking rather rude, I must say …

Asparagus

Here is the lovely harvest trug which is 99% tulips and a couple of late daffodils:

And here are those amazing flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Easter, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books