The Allotment Wife


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Daffodil Season

The daffodils are definitely out on the allotment today – such a delight to see:

Another delight was the red kite flying over the allotment this morning – such amazing birds! Anyway, K replanted some of our soft fruit into our new cleared area and we are still thinking about putting in a fruit cage (which has been agreed by the Allotment Committee – thank you!) to make everything easier. It’s looking really good right now:

We are gradually clearing away the old raspberry canes which you can see to the left of the picture. And, as you can also see, we have obeyed the instructions of the great Monty Don in terms of watering the replanted stock in well. Though I do ALWAYS water in, no matter how wet the soil is as I like to give a plant as good a chance as possible.

Here is the harvest:

And here are those gorgeous daffodils at home:

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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First runner beans and late leeks

We have the first of the runner bean harvest today, so that’s great news.

Runner beans

And we have also planted some late leeks to fill up a bed – it’s so strange that you have to plant them in holes that you then don’t fill in with earth. Just water them and you’re done. No idea why but it works for leeks!

Leeks

The late planting of mangetouts is now tall enough for us to put up a structure for them to grow on.

Mangetouts

Meanwhile the beetroot is growing well …

Beetroot

… as is the yakon next to it:

Yakon

We’re also really pleased with the Brussels sprouts as they seem to be growing away happily too, which is certainly different from the failures of the last two years!

Brussels sprouts

The sunflowers actually have buds forming which is very exciting!

Sunflowers

And, astonishingly, the birds have left us enough blackcurrants for another crumble – which is unheard of. The birds must be super-lazy this year. Here is the harvest, consisting of the blackcurrants, mangetouts, runner beans, gladioli, carnations, echinacea, rudbeckia, alstroemeria and sweet peas:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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The Lilies are Here!

I am just SO thrilled that the lilies we bought last year are finally out and how amazing they are! The scent is just incredible and makes me feel VERY happy.

Lilies 1

Lilies 2

The gladioli are also doing very well and the pink & white ones which are growing in a bed they shouldn’t be in at all(!) are just so tall.

Gladioli 1

Gladioli 2

The beetroot also look happy, which is great news:

Beetroot

Not only that but the Brussels sprouts are actually growing (hurrah!) which they didn’t manage to do last year. Here is the harvest of gladioli, lilies, rudbeckia, carnations, sweet peas, peas, shallots and LOTS of blackcurrants and gooseberries:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home (apologies for the quality of the first picture but it gives you the idea of how well the lilies and the gladioli go together):

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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First of the Gladioli

Great news today – the first few of the gladioli are out and I am SO pleased! I really do love this red and white one (which came up by itself in totally the wrong bed so I have no idea what it is …):

Gladioli

The lilies also look particularly good in the sunlight:

Lilies

We also have more sweet peas coming through now (hurrah!):

Sweet peas

And the alstroemeria are back in business too:

Alstroemeria

In other news, the second sowing of peas we did a couple of weeks ago are now coming up which is good news:

Peas

Here is the harvest of gladioli, lilies, alstroemeria, carnations, one rudbeckia, the peas, and two containers of blackcurrants (half of which have gone into today’s crumble):

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone – the weather’s fabulous!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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Soft Fruit City

The soft fruit is now really starting to come into its own and we need to get picking. This year for the very first time we have gooseberries, and the blackcurrants are just loaded down!

Soft fruit inc gooseberries

Blackcurrants 1

Blackcurrants 2

The fun thing is having to take one side of the netting up and crawl underneath to get at them …

Plus we also have our first – very small! – pea harvest:

Peas

Whilst there, we planted out the yakon, which is the last of our veggies to go in – and we still have space so will have to think what else to plant.

Yakon

The gladioli are coming along nicely:

Gladioli

And the rudbeckia I planted last week have a flower!

Rudbeckia

So today’s harvest is small but perfectly formed. We have carnations, sweet peas, one rudbeckia, the soft fruit in the bowl, and a handful of peas:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant (yes – a new thing!)


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Verbascum Explosion

Goodness me but the verbascum is the best it’s ever been, with more flowers to come.

Verbascum

The carnations are also in bloom, and I’ve planted a few more in the middle of the patch, where it’s getting bare.

Carnations

Our sunflower seeds are growing very well, and I really must thin them out in the very near future or it’s going to be chaos in there!

Sunflowers

I also have a few rudbeckia plug plants over from planting them at home yesterday, so I’ve added them to the perennial bed:

Rudbeckia

Meanwhile the asparagus is becoming a forest, LOL! I’ve harvested these for today but I think that’ll be the end of the season now.

Asparagus

We have also planted the Brussels sprouts which ended up filling one and a half beds. The photo below is taken before we put the netting on but rest assured we did rescue the trowel before putting the netting in place!

Brussels sprouts

The peas are growing well, and K has now put in some stakes they can grow up.

Peas

We are amazed at the amount of currants on the current bushes – they’re already so thick with fruit that the branches are weighed down! We’d best buy more netting to sort them out before the birds get there first …

Currant bushes

I have to say that the soil was also the driest I’ve ever known it so we did as much watering as possible while there. Here is the harvest of asparagus, verbascum and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulip Planting

We finally got round to planting the tulips at the allotment – though actually we’re not late at all, as they can’t be planted out till November at the earliest due to the possibility of tulip rot if you try to plant out any earlier.

Anyway, here they are about to be planted:

Tulip bulbs 1

And here they are with the netting weighed down with sticks on them in order to put off the pesky thieving squirrels. Here’s hoping it works!

Tulip bulbs 2

In order to free up the new tulip bed, I did take out the gladioli which we will store until next year:

Gladioli bulbs

At the same time, K pruned the currant bushes to give them a chance to get some air and light in them:

Currant bushes

So, a  mini-harvest this week of the remains of the beetroot and the last good cabbage. We’ve really enjoyed the cabbages this year and will definitely do them again!

Harvest

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Asters and Tatties

It’s the turn of the asters to shine today on the autumn allotment – we really know summer is over now as they’re such an autumn flower! K has dug up the last of the potatoes (tatties), so we have an empty bed to do something with:

No more potatoes

It’s been a hot week so the allotment is very dry and we’ve given it a good water today – the rubbish bin water butt is proving very useful indeed. Here are the beans looking very dry and definitely past their best:

Beans

And even the currant bushes and autumn raspberries are struggling in the heat:

Currants

Autumn raspberries

Here is today’s harvest which consists of beans, potatoes, one beetroot, the asters, a few sad-looking gladioli, one or two sunflowers, the autumn raspberries and a scattering of sweet peas, pelargoniums and carnations.

Harvest

We have also taken the tulip bulbs (in the round, green basket) so I can plant these at home in November (when the threat of tulip rot will have passed). We will get fresh ones for the allotment as usual.

Here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Marrows and sunflowers

The start of the soft fruit season is upon us in terms of our allotment as the red currants and blackcurrants are now ready. I do love picking blackcurrants as the smell of the plant is just fantastic and it’s so satisfying. However, there aren’t as many as last year as we have got all of the offering in one session (see harvest picture later on) and have left the netting off so the birds can have the rest. Last year, we had three currant harvest sessions before doing that. Is this an issue with the year we’ve had or aren’t the bushes happy? We’ll have to see how next year goes.

Anyway,  we have a couple of lovely marrows, one of which we’ve picked. We’re desperately looking for marrow recipes, but today we fried some of it, then added salt and cheese – and very nice it was too!

Marrow

I also think we’ve got the last of the mangetouts or almost – and the ones there today are a bit old and scraggy. Mind you, we’re still eating the crop of last week so can’t complain.

Mangetouts

Flowers are also doing well – the gladioli are out, hurrah!!! I am LOVING that gorgeous red colour.

Gladioli

We also have alstroemerias and echinacea in the perennial flower bed, which are both lovely.

Alstroemeria

Echinacea

And the coreopsis are still holding their own against being nibbled to death – though the stems are much shorter than usual.

Coreopsis

The main lily area is still producing some blooms, and the sweet peas next to them are just starting too – here they are all white, and the stems are beautifully long (which is so much easier for flower arranging!):

Lilies

Sweet peas

Plus we have our very first sunflower, hurrah! It’s not as big as many others in the allotment right now, but I’m definitely still happy.

Sunflower

Here is the harvest of blackcurrants, red currants, a lettuce, mangetouts, a marrow, gladioli, coreopsis, carnations, pelargoniums, dahlias, sweet peas, sweet williams, verbascums and lilies:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books