The Allotment Wife


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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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Bye bye courgettes and hello carrots!

Did a huge tidy up at the allotment today as we have the Allotment Inspection on Wednesday (yikes!) so must be as neat as possible, LOL. The weeds are an utter nightmare at the moment so a lot of time was spent pulling them up or cutting them down. I think the weeds are certainly having a great year …

I’m sorry to say that the courgette we planted last week was died, sob! So that’s two years we have been without courgettes even though everyone says they’re super easy to grow. Not for us, they’re not!… Anyway, we planted carrots in the area where the courgette used to be as we have some left over from home so here’s hoping they’ll managed to survive the dreaded carrot fly …


You can also see the French climbing beans at the back which look a bit sad but we’ve watered them and are hoping for the best.

In the meantime, the shallots are doing very well, especially since they started from nothing, vanished entirely for a bit(!) but have since recovered, hurrah:


K also put up a climbing frame for the peas which have miraculously survived any mouse attacks – so far!…

This week, there are no flowers to speak of (sob!) but we have a harvest of rhubarb and asparagus which is something:

Have a great bank holiday weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sunflower City and How Not to Store Daffodils

A tad windy on the allotment today and I’ve got a bit of a sniffle so wrapped up as warm as possible. It seems as if the sunflowers haven’t yet got the memo that summer is over though as they’re still doing their thing! Some of them suffered wind damage during the week but are still blooming, which is amazing.

The dahlias are also very happy and pest free at the moment which is great news.

The asters are also either going strong (the blue ones) or just starting to bloom (the pink ones) and are just a really useful autumn flower, all in all.

I think I’m going to move the short pink asters back home when they’ve finished blooming though as they’re really no use as cut flowers – only the tall ones will do.

I’ve not done so well with one of the daffodil buckets though! Foolishly I’ve been storing them in a bucket with NO drainage holes (always a rookie mistake …) so they’re now hugely wet and muddy, groan. I’ve rolled them out of the bucket and hope they might dry off during the week so I can have a go planting them next week.

At least the yakons are doing marvellously – and once again queen of all they survey in terms of height!

Here is this week’s harvest: French beans, mangetouts, beetroots, sunflowers, rudbeckias, gladioli, asters and dahlias:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Sunflowers and Soft Fruit

The sunflowers are still looking amazing on the allotment and EVEN taller than they were last week!

We have harvested as many runner and French beans as we could, although sadly a lot are now infested with black fly so I left those ones well alone. I sprayed the whole lot in the hope that I might beat them back!

So a harvest today of sunflowers, gladioli, the first of the asters (yay!), one sweet pea and a few rudbeckia. Plus potatoes, the beans and the smallest autumn raspberry harvest EVER, LOL!

Here are the flowers at home:

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Consultant


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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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Sweet pea puzzle

We are bamboozled by how yellow and sad our allotment sweet peas are in both areas where we have planted them …

Sweet pea disaster

I’m really not sure what is going on – we protect them against slugs and we certainly mulched before we planted – but the colour of these is totally different from the lovely lush green ones we have at home. It’s a mystery, hey ho …

In better news, however, more gladioli shoots are coming up and I planted two more rows today as well.

Gladioli

The lilies are also strutting their stuff:

Lilies

I’m also happy to say that the autumn raspberry bed is looking very good indeed (see below pic), so here’s hoping we get a good crop. (In other news, the gooseberry cage is doing a great job at keeping the birds away, so we actually still have gooseberries this week!).

Autumn raspberries

And there’s enough asparagus on the plot to last us several meals:

Asparagus

Today’s harvest is a couple of spare tulips, the first of the verbascum (hurrah!), two alliums, and the asparagus:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase

Stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Making the Most of Failure

As you may remember, our sprouts this year (for the second year running) have been a total failure (sob!…), so much so that they just look like tired cabbages:

Sprouts

So we’ve finally admitted defeat and taken them out to see what we could salvage, if anything. In fact, once home, I have salvaged some decent looking greens and a selection of very tiny sprouts that look SO cute, LOL!! We could probably eat them raw – they are that small! Here they are on our kitchen draining board:

Sprout harvest

So it just goes to show that there’s always something you can make of disaster …

Anyway, in other news, the daffodils are going strong:

Daffodils

And there is a rather nice display of tulips on their way in a bed where we did NOT plant them – I blame the squirrels though it’s more likely to be my total inability to find all the bulbs when digging them up, to be honest!

Tulips

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books