The Allotment Wife


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After the Storm

We’ve been very lucky on the plot after Storm Eunice on Friday – our fruit cage remains upright and in place (though sadly many others on the allotments have suffered) and our compost bins and pots are relatively intact. The only real issue we have is the broken shed window, which is easy to fix:

Meanwhile the daffodils are all starting to come out which is good news:

And we have planted our first crops of the year (apart from the blueberry bush we added to the fruit cage earlier on) – which are shallots. Here they are before planting – though actually you don’t need to push them in much deeper than this as their ‘noses’ have to be showing above the soil:

And here they are with protection from the birds!

So we have a small harvest of daffodils:

And here they are in the vase at home:

Stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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First Daffodil of the season

And it’s here – the first daffodil of the season:

Just the one, but very welcome nonetheless! I hope some more will join it soon.

K brought down a blueberry from home which we didn’t need as a replacement to a blueberry that had sadly died in our fruit cage and it looks very good in its new position:

We also have some rhubarb making an appearance now which is lovely news:

Not much else to do on the plot, except a bit of composting and a token weeding session, so we weren’t out for long but it was nice to keep an eye on the place.

Here’s our lone daffodil at home:

Have a lovely pre-Valentine weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Last of the Sprouts

A quick winter visit to the allotment today to harvest the last of the sprouts and do a general tidy up. It really does feel like we are now just waiting for spring to get going again – though we do have the daffodil stems definitely on their way, which is good and hopeful news.

We’ve also sorted out the last of the composting we had to do, and I did a quick weed through the plot. Not much weeding needed as this week’s frost and the general cold weather is helping that task!

Anyway, here is our sprout harvest:

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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The New Allotment Year

Happy new year, everyone! I hope 2022 will be kind to us all. Much to our surprise we appeared to be the first ones at the allotment this morning – unless the amazing Mrs P had already visited and left by the time we got there at 10.30am! It’s certainly possible.

Here are the raised beds and the fruit cage on the first day of 2022:

I have to admit to being a bit despondent first thing – as I did get rather disheartened with the allotment at the latter end of last year, but I have been cheered by the fact that the daffodils are on their way. And – even better! – the tulips have started to sprout underneath their netting:

This is good news indeed as it means they have grown beyond being attractive to the squirrels so we have removed the netting:

Whilst there, we harvested some sprouts for our new year meals:

And we added the stalks and leaves from the sprouts to the compost:

K also took the opportunity to prune the blackcurrant bushes so that meant more composting – which is fabulous as of course the smell of the canes is amazing when you’re chopping them up:

He also made a start on mending one of the raised beds we didn’t get round to doing last year, but it’s a bit of an ongoing project at the moment. In the meantime, I have taken out the asters and the carnations from the perennial bed as I fancy something different this year – don’t know what that might be yet though.

Anyway, here is the harvest – of sprouts!

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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First sprouts and daffodil shoots

We have harvested the first of our sprouts today – just a mini-harvest, but very satisfying. There are loads more to come too, which is great.

We also have the first of our daffodil shoots and it’s lovely to see signs of spring in the middle of our bleak midwinter:

There’s not really much else to do at the moment of course, though we did spend quite a while composting the pile of stuff we had to compost – so at least that’s done. We also need to repair the two big raised beds as we didn’t tackle them earlier on. We’ll need to get more wood and posts in but it’s definitely a winter project.

Have a good weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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The End of the Season

There’s definitely a feeling on the allotment today that it’s the end of the season – we have removed the gladioli corms, and raked the bed they were in so it looks a bit neater. We’ll store the corms until next year when we can plant them again, and we’ll compost the stalks.

While there and in the mood, I gave all the raised beds a quick rake over and they look amazing, I have to say! I will try to do that more often, I think:

As you can see, it’s definitely the end of the season! Though, that said, the sprouts are doing well and we’re looking forward to harvesting those soon:

Last time, I forgot to take a picture of the completed tidy shed, so here it is today – it’s just SO amazing to be able to get in, stand up (without falling over the netting) and find things too. Such a difference.

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the yakons, carrots and beetroot:

Have a great 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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The first of the asparagus and the escapee lilies

Lovely to see the first of the asparagus appear today – small but perfectly formed, LOL! Here’s hoping there will be more to come.

The lilies are doing well:

Although some of them obviously don’t like being with their gang as here they are trying to escape the bed!

Go them!

I also planted more gladioli bulbs to fill up the gladioli bed, though I have about 25 or so more to plant from the new ones so will have to find a place for them somewhere …

We have also planted sweet peas in the old compost area:

We moved the compost area as we are making a large all year round fruit cage which we are hoping will be more reliable than the one we have been improvising with each year up to now – so needed to move the compost to the other side of the shed where the sweet peas used to be …

As you can see, we’ll need to move the old sweet pea trellis to the other side at some point.

So today’s harvest is super-small, as we’re giving the rhubarb time to catch up before we harvest more of it:

Here are the tulips at home. The gorgeous big yellow ones at the front are called Orange Princess – and they are just amazing. After a couple of days they turn more orange, open up, and have green lines in them as well. Will definitely be getting more of those.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday Monday!

Anne Brooke Books


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A Borrowed Harvest

A wee bit disappointed with the allotment crops today – there was literally only one daffodil in bloom, though I did pick a couple of others which were not quite there yet.

Still, all was definitely not lost – as we have decided to give up composting the old raspberry canes and instead use them as a kind-of path on one of our most weedy areas – which we hope will keep the weeds down a bit …

I’m also pleased that the rhubarb is coming along slowly:

And K very nobly planted three more soft fruit bushes in our new area – they are the row on the left in the picture below:

However, the really amazing thing was that one of our lovely allotment neighbours had extra sprouts and parsnips he was trying to get rid of, so we were of course more than happy to help in this terrible crisis, LOL! I never say no to a sprout! Or indeed a parsnip. I did offer our one daffodil in exchange but he was sweet enough to decline – thank you, R!

So here is our borrowed harvest:

And here is the mini-vase at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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First Daffodil of Spring!

A lovely morning at the allotment today – the weather was just right for being outside. K took out the rest of the old autumn raspberries from the soft fruit area so we now have space for the three blueberries that are on their way.

We also found the loganberry we planted a couple of years back (or was it last year? – can’t remember now!) and I tied it up so there is more space in the middle for the air to move round. We might well get another loganberry so it can have a friend as well.

I also did some more composting though there is plenty more to be done. And I did a bit of weeding round the plot though there wasn’t too much to do, hurrah.

Here is THAT daffodil, yay!

I am just so excited about it that I even screamed when it saw it, which gave poor K a bit of a shock!…

Here is the harvest:

And here is the vase at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke