The Allotment Wife


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Narcissi Delight

Lots of the little narcissi tete-a-tete on the allotment today – very cute indeed, if tiny.

narcissi-tete-a-tete

There are other taller daffodils coming along too, but they’re not ready yet!

daffodils-1

daffodils-2

Maybe next week, eh, LOL!

The tulip bed is looking grand and I’m really excited about that one. Can’t wait to see them in bloom.

tulips-1

We were also surprised to see some of the alliums I planted on the off chance are on their way too, which is great. I do love alliums.

alliums

No great changes in the autumn raspberry & summer soft fruit area, but I’m sure the rhubarb is coming along:

rhubarb

Can’t wait for the first rhubarb crumble of the season, but I don’t think it’s going to be soon.

Our harvest today has been the leeks (which haven’t done very well but smell amazing) and those narcissi (which look really lost in that tea towel …):

harvest

However, at home, I found a tiny glass and now think the narcissi look pretty good in it – I’ve put this vase on the dining room table to brighten up mealtimes.

vase-1

vase-2

Have a fabulous weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

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Ring out the old, ring in the new!

The last allotment post for 2016 and indeed the last day of 2016 – what a rollercoaster year it’s been, LOL.

On the allotment front, we’re pleased to see that the January daffodils are well on their way:

daffodils-1

And the later (Feb) daffodils are also starting to sprout, hurrah!

daffodils-2

daffodils-3

We’ve also taken the opportunity to replace our old and rubbish  (green & purple) secateurs with shiny new red ones that actually cut – which should make things a heck of a lot easier …

secateurs-new-and-old

Whilst there, K dug out the potato bed (see harvest pic!) and I weeded the beds and fruit area, as well as the areas of pathway. This was made a far easier job by the lack of frost this morning, phew …

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the winter lettuce, potatoes and sprouts, together with a couple of gladioli bulbs we missed and which we’re bringing home for storage.

harvest

Have a fabulous new year, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb City and Magical Asparagus

Goodness me but the asparagus has grown like a gazelle on speed this week. We’ve harvested a couple of the larger stalks and eaten them for starters tonight. One of them was utterly perfect, but the other was rather woody – so it looks as if we’ll have to harvest them more often to gain the benefit. We’ll have to stop harvesting by the end of May/beginning of June to allow them to set seed for next year though.

Asparagus

The spinach is also doing very well so I’ve picked some for eating during this week as well. But our crowning(!) glory is the rhubarb – we pulled out some of the stems today as you apparently have to pull them rather than cutting them, and I’m planning rhubarb crumble and custard tomorrow – bliss! Here are photos of the rhubarb and of our harvest today, together with one lone tulip:

Rhubarb Spinach, rhubarb, tulip and asparagus

Speaking of tulips, they’ve been pretty good so I’ve picked more for the house. They last about a week, which is fine really.

Tulips 1 Tulips 2

And the freesias are beginning to come up next to the lilies, which is very exciting.

Freesia and lilies

I’ve sprayed the lilies to avoid the dreaded lily beetle – arrgghh!! – a subject I’m used to as we have loads of lilies at home. K also did a hoe round and we trimmed the paths around the plot, so it looks a lot neater. We’re preparing ourselves for the Allotment Inspection on 7 May as we certainly don’t want to let the side down on Election Day! Ooh, and I’ve also planted some sunflower seeds – Russian Giants – in the runner bean bed and in one of the other spare beds, so I hope they come up.

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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The onset of Spring

Earlier in the week, I harvested quite a few daffodils from the allotment, plus three or four more this weekend. Here they are from allotment to vase!

Daffodils at allotment 1 Daffodils at allotment 2

Daffodils at home

Such happy flowers, I always think. Meanwhile, the tulips and astilbe are on their way, with the tulips now having buds, which is great:

Astilbe Tulips

Anyway, today, while I hoed round, K added chicken pellet manure to the bed where we plan to plant the beans, as they’re hungry critters, we’re told. We also have plans to trail some sweet peas up the side of the shed, but we need taller poles than were in the garden centre this morning, so will need to get them later.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb, spinach and winter lettuce are doing well:

Rhubarb Spinach Winter lettuce

And in the fruit area, the autumn raspberries and blackcurrant are coming along. Yesterday, my stepfather told me that he never cuts back his autumn raspberries but just gets rid of the dead wood and leaves them. So next year we might experiment with half cut back and half not, and see how things go.

Autumn raspberries Blackcurrant

Happy Easter to you all!

Anne Brooke Books


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Raised beds and soft fruit

We’ve spent a happy couple of hours on the allotment in crisp sunshine today. I did the weeding and also gave the soft fruit area as thorough a clear out as possible – which is a lot easier now the autumn raspberries have shed their leaves.

Soft fruit 1

And K very nobly started building two new raised beds so we can extend our crop choices. And very good they look too, I think.

Raised Beds 1 Raised Beds 2 Raised Beds 3 Raised Beds 4 Raised Beds 5

Of course they’re not finished yet. We need to hammer them in properly – we did our best today with no hammer and no spirit level, so go us! And we also need to add more soil, and think about what we’d like to grow in them. We also need to put lining down and create a shingle/gravel path between them and the shed – so it’s in keeping with the raised beds path which was already there when we took it over.

So a lot to think about for sure! Oh and we harvested the last of the beetroot, a few carrots and a huge bunch of the winter lettuce.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Tales from the Typeface: a Secretary’s Life and How to Survive It


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The Whole Allotment and Nothing but The Allotment!

Great news today! The other half of the allotment is ours as of this weekend, so we are hugely excited! This means that, as well as having the raised beds, we now also have a shed, space for another raised bed (and perhaps also a greenhouse depending on what the Allotment Committee might think), and a glorious display of fruit bushes.

In the fruit area, there are at the moment a lot of raspberries, some currants and also rhubarb, so that’s wonderful. Plus there’s space to add more fruit once we decide what we like. Today we were there for a couple of hours or so – in the unexpected sunshine too! I did the hoeing and also cleared out about a quarter of the fruit bush area, while K put new windows in the shed as both of them were broken. We’ll need to add more insulation to the shed too, and get a couple of chairs and maybe a small table where we can sit and survey the land, so the winter is going to be hard work but lots of fun, I can see.

No more foxgloves today, but I did plant the rest of the tulips which I remembered to bring from the car this time (hurrah!) so we’ll hopefully have a lot of spring cutting flowers to look forward to next year.

Here are the pictures of our new expanded allotment:

Fruit bushes 1 Fruit bushes 2 Raised beds 1 Shed 1 Shed 2

Anne Brooke Books
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK


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Another harvest

Gave the allotment a good weed today – nice to be back there after a brief health relapse mid-week. Think I’m about 85% there now on the wellness front, hurrah. We didn’t bother watering the allotment though as it’s supposed to be torrential rain tomorrow so there’s no point.

Everything appears to be doing well. We harvested some more of the everlasting spinach, the French beans and our first beetroot. Double hurrahs and put out the bunting! It’s not the biggest beetroot in the world but it’s obviously perfect. Plus K planted some more potatoes in the potato bed, so that’s all filled up now.

We also met another fellow allotmenteer who gave us some very helpful hints on dahlias. I love dahlias and they did very well in our garden last year, but not so well this season. Apparently the answer is lots of feeding and compost. Thank you, Michael, for those tips!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy