The Allotment Wife


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Still blooming

An unexpected number of flowers in bloom for this time of year at the allotment today. Yes, I expected the Sweet Williams to be still going strong as they are:

But I did think the dahlias would have finished due to the cold night we had on Thursday, but they are still there!

Even more astonishing, a couple of the gladioli have come back into bud and we were just about to take them out as they should be over!

All very strange, but very welcome. Assuming that next spring will still turn up when we assume it will, we planted the last of the daffodil bulbs in a spare bed:

I’m pleased to say the Brussel sprouts are getting larger which is good news, so should definitely be ready for Christmas, if not earlier:

However, proving that we did have the cold snap on Thursday, the yakons are slightly damaged by frost, but that’s not a problem as the produce is only ripe when the leaves have all turned yellow anyway.

Here is today’s harvest, which includes carrots, beetroots, two lettuces, Sweet Williams, alstroemerias, dahlias and a couple of carnations:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Day of the Dahlias

It’s the time for the dahlias to shine on the allotment now the asters are over and they do indeed look lovely.

These glorious flowers are definitely lifting my spirits today, that’s for sure.

The yakons are also doing well:

And the carrots continue to look amazing too:

We were also really impressed with how beautiful the blueberry leaves are this autumn – this is one of the plants in our new fruit cage:

So, not that much to do today apart from weeding and harvesting, though I did cut down all the lily stems and take down the remains of the pink aster. We also removed the rest of the cabbages, and plan to put tulips in that spare bed in November.

Today’s harvest is carrots, cabbages, one lettuce, the dahlias and a handful of sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting Daffodils and an Aster Explosion

Much to our relief, the allotment has on the whole survived the massive amount of rainfall we had yesterday, though the pink asters have been flattened and have – in their turn – flattened the roses and the dahlias. I suspect the roses and the dahlias will survive as they’re tough as old boots – but I cut armfuls of the asters down all in one go to avoid further damage.

I have also planted the first of the spring daffodils, which is great news. There are 1.5 buckets of them still to go in after today’s planting – but we’ll add them in where we can as we go through autumn.

The harvest included a huge amount of the pink asters, roses, sweet williams, dahlias, a few sweet peas, plus one cabbage, one lettuce, a handful of French beans, carrots and a couple of sprigs of basil.

Here are the vases at home, which look most impressive!

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Crazy Carrots and Aster Delights

The asters are going crazy, which is brilliant as it’s THEIR season of course. I do forget each year when I’m cutting them how strangely-sweet they smell when you get close – although thankfully the smell doesn’t last once they are in a room, or at least isn’t obvious!

I’ve had to tie up the pink asters with string as they were sagging onto the roses and dahlias which isn’t great, but all okay now. Another issue we had today was there was a dragonfly stuck in the fruit cage and it took a while to get it out. No idea how it got in! Eventually K trapped it in a large pot against the roof of the cage and then slid a kneeler over the top of the pot – to which I added a tea towel just in case – to keep it inside. We then let it loose outside the fruit cage and all was well.

I am also astonished at how many roses there are now. Sadly, it appears that the white ones don’t last well on the journey home so I suspect we will bring that plant back to the garden next year and perhaps replace it with something else.

The carrots are also doing really well and we have some with amazing shapes!

This one is a dancer I’m sure:

And this one looks like a hand – the carrot hand of doom, as K has named it!

As this coming week we have the Allotment Inspection, we’ve done a good tidy up and hoe round so are hoping for the best …

Anyway, a good harvest today: carrots, French beans, 4 courgettes, a sprinkling of soft fruit, roses, asters, dahlias and sweet peas.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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I Spy The Work …

… of the leaf cutter bee! Which is fabulous news as I was only moaning to K last night that we’ve not seen the leaf cutter bee at home for a couple of years at least, whereas we had a few of them for several years on the go before that.

Even the great Monty Don mentioned he had them in his garden last night and how thrilled he was about it – thus explaining my moan. Well, we still don’t have them at home (alas) but the great news is we have them on the allotment!

As you can see from the marvellous circular bites taken out of the rose leaves on the right of the picture above, they are busy making their homes somewhere nearby. They cause absolutely no damage to the plant and I think the patterns they make are very beautiful, so this is a wonderful addition to our plot!

However, not all visitors are good ones as it’s obvious that some evil creature is eating our poor cabbages:

Still, at least the cabbages – once we’ve removed the damaged parts – are edible, but I wasn’t anticipating on doing this much sharing with the wildlife …

However, the lettuces and yacons are surviving well:

In other news, I’m happy to say that the first of our asters are now in flower and the butterflies and bees are LOVING them:

In this perennial bed, we also have the dahlias arriving and a second showing of the roses, which is good news too:

Meanwhile, the sweet peas are still going strong:

And the sweet williams are looking happy too:

So, today, we have a harvest of one cabbage, one courgette, three beetroots, French climbing beans, sweet peas, sweet williams, asters, roses, gladioli, dahlias and a coreopsis:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Autumn Crops

The allotment seems to have had a spurt of growth this week – just look at our carrot & basil bed – amazing!

The lettuces and yacon bed is also doing well:

Meanwhile, the gladioli are still doing their thing:

And the sweet peas are definitely the gift that keeps on giving:

We are also pretty pleased with our perennial bed – we have a second crop of roses, and more dahlias have arrived:

Today’s harvest is a huge amount of French climbing beans, two courgettes, gladioli, dahlias, roses and sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

Dahlias
Gladioli
Roses
Sweet peas

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The World’s Smallest Soft Fruit Harvest

Was expecting more sunshine today, but never mind – it’s still perfect allotment weather – ie not too hot to work! Am happy to say we have a couple more dahlias in bloom in the perennial bed:

And the gladioli are still going strong:

Meanwhile, the lovely Monty Don tells us on last night’s Gardeners’ World with great confidence that our sweet peas will now all be over and we should remove them. Um, I don’t think our sweet peas have got that memo so we are leaving them right where they are for now!

We are also very happy with the lettuce & yacon bed – as you can see, the lettuces are really hearting up now and just look amazing. I’m still on slug patrol …

You might remember that a while back we sowed some carrot & basil seeds just to get rid of them. Well, they are doing okay, much to our amazement. The carrots are obvious but we have to be careful not to weed the basil out – you can see some of them on the right of this pic (small shiny flat leaves). They smell wonderful even though they’re tiny. With a bit of luck, we might have another month of growth so will hopefully be able to pick them at some point soon:

Here is this week’s harvest – with the world’s smallest ever fruit crop, LOL! One blueberry & one loganberry. Hey ho. Still, we also have French beans, gladioli, roses(!!), sweet williams, sweet peas, dahlias and one coreopsis.

On the way home, however, I foraged more blackberries, so soft fruit honour is restored!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Delightful dahlia and the nibbled courgette

So pleased that we have our first courgette on the allotment now – though it’s been slightly nibbled by something! Still good to have it though – as we had a late start with the courgettes due to various disasters.

In other good news, our newly planted lettuces are surviving though I picked up eight(!) dead slugs from the bed – thank goodness I put the slug pellets down and have also redone them today. Yes, I know – bad me, but I want those lettuces …

Also our French climbing beans are doing well:

I’m thrilled to say we have our first dahlia in bloom – I’m now only growing the pom-pom type ones on the plot as the other ones lose their petals too easily on the way home:

There are also more gladioli:

The lilies are stunning and smell amazing!

Plus the sweet peas are still going for it – these ones are just fabulous as the stems are incredibly long (we looked for long-stemmed plants deliberately as they look better in vases):

Today’s harvest is a beetroot, the courgette, a handful of blueberries, French beans, sweet peas, lilies, gladioli, sweet williams, coreopsis, the dahlia and one alstroemeria:

Here are the vases:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Dahlia and Beetroot planting

Thought we’d add in a few more dahlias to our perennial bed now it’s warm enough so I planted those out today while K was mulching the soft fruit area:

Before you ask, yes, I did remember to take them out of the plastic bags before putting them in, LOL! And speaking of the soft fruit area, here it is looking very green and lush:

We have also put in the beetroot – it’s a golden variety which doesn’t stain, hurrah:

Not many tulips left now but still a nice scattering of colour:

So a small harvest today of tulips, asparagus and a few rhubarb stalks (the latter of which I have added to today’s apple crumble):

Here is the vase at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Compost City and Daffodil Shoots

We arranged to take some compost over to the allotments today, plus some pieces of wood (for mending our raised beds which definitely need attention). I do LOVE compost time – the look of it just makes me so happy. Mind you, it does make me laugh when the compost bag instructions tell us to dig it in. Dig it in??!! My, how we laugh! No way!! And absolutely no need for any of this digging nonsense as that, my dears, is what the worms do – so just shovel it on and leave Nature to do the rest. Job done.

Here are our dahlias, now safe and warm for the winter under their special duvet – no need to dig up the dahlias as this is the South, LOL!

And here is our lovely asparagus bed, also freshly composted:

I’m also thrilled to say that our daffodil shoots are now coming up – which is fabulous news and give us fresh hope for spring (which we definitely need after this year!…)

The chrysanthemums are also still in bud, astonishingly, so we may actually get some very late flowers next week – weather depending …

Finally, we’ve managed to plant the tulips in, which we’re thrilled about. Once planted, we’ve put netting on the bed, held down by rods – to try to make sure the squirrels don’t take them all.

So a small harvest today of sprouts (yum!) and beetroot – but enough for a couple of meals, yay.

Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant