The Allotment Wife


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The kindness of gardeners

I must say once again how kind gardeners are! After my courgette disaster of last week, the lovely Maureen at my church job has donated one of her courgette plants and a cloche into our tender care – thank you, Maureen! Here it is in its new position, and I am praying hard for its survival!

Whilst we were on the allotment this morning, the equally lovely Melissa kindly donated one of her spare rhubarb plants to us as well, so a huge thank you for that too!

We have removed most of the old daffodils and some of the tulips so we have space for other crops. I leave the daffodils at the allotment for planting out for next spring, and I take the tulips home for planting in the garden (and get new tulips for the allotment next year).

So we have planted out our cabbages and netted them to try to ensure survival:

And K also planted some fresh pea seeds so we can get a succession of crops:

Though of course all you can see at the moment is netting! Speaking of which we have netted our gooseberry bush in the soft fruit area now as it has fruit on it and the birds go crazy for them even when they’re not ripe so we are determined to gather as much of the harvest as possible for ourselves:

Our sweet peas are also doing well in their new position on the other side of the shed:

Our verbascums are also out at last – late due to the poor weather in May, but still welcome:

I also planted out a whole lot of sweet williams but for some reason didn’t take a picture of them, so I will try to remember to do that next week!

Here is our harvest of verbascums, asparagus & rhubarb:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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French Beans and Daffodils

Huge amounts of weeding to do on the allotment this week as we didn’t go last weekend as the weather was so appalling. Actually it wasn’t much better today but we had wellies and raincoats so were just about fine.

While we were away, the asparagus went mad:

And the rhubarb wasn’t that far behind either, which is brilliant news for today’s rhubarb crumble:

The lilies are also coming along nicely:

And the soft fruit bed is looking good too (must be the rain!):

While I was weeding and hoeing like a crazy woman, K got to grips with the long grass around the plot and also set up a climbing frame for the French beans which we planted today. Here you can see them with a rather sad looking courgette which we also added (front of pic):

I have also removed most of the daffodils from one of the beds they’ve been in and plan to tackle the other bed next week, weather permitting. I will store these in the shed and those that survive will be planted again in the autumn:

Here is the harvest – which consists of asparagus, rhubarb and two lone tulips!

Have a great Sunday, everyone, and stay dry!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb Lost and Found

It’s been an icy week at the allotment so the rhubarb is sadly suffering a little though we did manage to harvest a few sticks to add to our crumble today.

Whilst there, I also planted another few rows of gladioli to make the season last later in the summer. I still have one pot of old bulbs, plus a packet of new ones to go.

Our soft fruit area is still doing okay:

And here are the two beds of tulips – this year they’re not as abundant as I would have liked, but they are doing all right:


The lilies are definitely looking good though:

Here is the harvest of tulips, narcissi and 4 spindly rhubarb sticks:


On the walk home, I managed to lose two out of the four rhubarb sticks (the horror!) who made a bid for freedom so I had to run back down the road and find them both, LOL! Husband could then say how there was more rejoicing in Elstead over the two rhubarb sticks that were found than there was over the remaining two who had sensibly stayed in the trug! There ends today’s homily …!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb Season

Absolutely thrilled with the rhubarb today, which we have been able to harvest for the first time, yay! Ideal for apple and rhubarb crumble.

We are also very happy with how the soft fruit is growing – all looking healthy.

However, there aren’t as many tulips as last week and some of them are really small so not worth picking for the house – but we did our best.

I’m pleased to say the lilies are on their way as well, which is good news:

So today’s harvest is the rhurbarb (my yearly warning – do NOT under ANY circumstances eat rhubarb leaves as they are VERY poisonous!!), daffodils and tulips:

And here are the vases at home – some of these in the picture are still going strong from last week’s crop!

Enjoy the rest of Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Easter Tulips

First of all, a very happy Easter day to you all! A lovely sunny day today so naturally we were down at the allotment this morning. And I’m thrilled to say that the first of the decent-sized tulips are here!

Those small red ones are still pretty small, but one of them is just about worth cutting!

I also planted another few rows of gladioli for our succession planting, so that’s another bucket of last year’s bulbs sorted out. Still one more bucket of the old bulbs, plus the new ones we bought to go in.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb is really going for it, but still not quite ready to harvest:

And our haskap berry (edible type of honeysuckle) is in flower though I’m afraid the photo isn’t great:

Anyway, here is the harvest of tulips and narcissi which is just so spring-like! And perfect for Easter Day:

And here are the vases at home:

Happy Easter!

Anne Brooke Books


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New Stuff and the World’s Smallest Tulip

A couple of new things on the allotment today – we found out one of our fellow plot-holders had two spare garden chairs they wanted to get rid of so now they are ours, hurrah! It will be lovely to have something to sit on when we’re down there – so huge thanks to the previous chair owner:

K has also attached new blades to our allotment secateurs so we are ready once more for a year’s serious pruning. However, I have been given strict instructions to WEAR GLOVES when doing so, as I’m rather inclined to prune myself and have to go to A&E to be stitched up, LOL!!

Not so many daffodils out this week, which is a bit sad, but then again the season is moving on …

We also appear to have grown the world’s smallest tulip! Honestly, we spend a LOT of time making sure we only plant tulips which are tall enough for cutting, but obviously this one didn’t get that memo!…

Really no point cutting that! Anyway, in better news, the rhubarb has still got the growing gene in full spate and is looking pretty good:

So here is our small harvest today:

And here is the vase at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Starting to plant

An exciting time at the allotment today as we have planted the first of the crops for this year, yay! First off are the gladioli – we have four buckets full of the bulbs of last year’s stock plus a new packet for this year. So I’ve planted three rows and will do more every couple of weeks so we can get a succession of flowers, hopefully from June to October.

We also planted shallots and then put netting on them to prevent the birds taking them – with shallots, you have to plant them no more than an inch into the ground which means that the pointy bit tends to stick up and birds think they’re worms and uproot them.

K also planted peas and we netted them too but I didn’t take a picture of that.

Am also happy to say the rhubarb is definitely growing:

And we have more daffodils:

Not only that, but some of the tulips now have flowerheads on them and the lilies are growing too:

Here is the harvest:

And here is the vase at home. One of the daffodils has an amazing scent so that’s fabulous.

Have a great Sunday.

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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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 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