The Allotment Wife


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The first of the asparagus and the escapee lilies

Lovely to see the first of the asparagus appear today – small but perfectly formed, LOL! Here’s hoping there will be more to come.

The lilies are doing well:

Although some of them obviously don’t like being with their gang as here they are trying to escape the bed!

Go them!

I also planted more gladioli bulbs to fill up the gladioli bed, though I have about 25 or so more to plant from the new ones so will have to find a place for them somewhere …

We have also planted sweet peas in the old compost area:

We moved the compost area as we are making a large all year round fruit cage which we are hoping will be more reliable than the one we have been improvising with each year up to now – so needed to move the compost to the other side of the shed where the sweet peas used to be …

As you can see, we’ll need to move the old sweet pea trellis to the other side at some point.

So today’s harvest is super-small, as we’re giving the rhubarb time to catch up before we harvest more of it:

Here are the tulips at home. The gorgeous big yellow ones at the front are called Orange Princess – and they are just amazing. After a couple of days they turn more orange, open up, and have green lines in them as well. Will definitely be getting more of those.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday Monday!

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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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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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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Frost City at the Allotment

Two bad frosts this week and the allotment is feeling the brunt of them. Here are the poor dahlias:

I wasn’t too worried about the ones here at the allotment but I was a bit cross with myself for not checking the overnight forecast before the first frost and therefore losing ALL my dahlias at home, sob! And I have loads of them. I will try to remember for next year – I hope! So no more flower harvests from the allotment, I think …

Anyway, the yakons (aka Peruvian Ground Apples) have also suffered and so we’ve cut them back and harvested a couple of them. It doesn’t affect the crop which is underground – and which is great if peeled and chopped finely to go with salad. You can cook it too but it’s not as good as when eaten cold. It’s a kind of mix between apple and cucumber (LOL!) and if you leave them unpeeled in the garage for a couple of weeks, they are far sweeter and nicer.

Whilst doing a major prune, we also took out the gladioli and have stored them in the shed ready for next year:

Here is the harvest – of yakons, beetroot and also sprouts, yay!

Have a good weekend, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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The windy wet allotment

Really soggy at the allotment today so definitely a Wellies visit. We were the only ones there too, so maybe people are confused with the extra hour? Anyway, the wind we’ve had during the week certainly played havoc with this poor gladiolus:

Though at least the sunflowers are just about hanging in there!

The asparagus is definitely on its way out now and it’s nearly time to cut it down, but we didn’t do it this week because we were too busy cutting back other plants, such as the mangetouts (which the wind tore down), and the perennial flowers.

Here is the harvest this week – which includes an unexpected sprinkling of autumn raspberries, well gosh, and we thought they were just not doing anything this season! We also harvested beetroots, French climbing beans, the sunflowers, a couple of rudbeckias, two gladioli and some chrysanthemums.

Here are the flowers at home:

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Chrysanthemums and sprouts

We have the first of the chrysanthemums in bloom today – but for some reason my photo didn’t come out (sob!) so I only have them as part of the harvest and in the vase (later snaps).

In better news, I did manage to get the last of the sunflowers which seem to have survived this week’s early frost:

And that lone gladiolus is pretty determined to have a go at blooming too!

Here are the sprouts on one of our plants as mentioned a moment ago:

I am just so proud of these!

And here is the harvest, which consists of French beans, mangetouts, chrysanthemums, one rudbeckia, dahlias and sunflowers:

Here are the flowers at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Gladioli Clearing and Daffodil Planting

We’ve cleared the half-bed which was full of gladioli – which isn’t the bed we actually have the gladioli in, LOL! But it had come up of its own accord – so obviously we hadn’t cleared it as well as we thought last year!

Anyway, we’ve had a go at it now, though we have left one gladiolus in which is still due to flower:

And here are the gladioli which we’ll keep for next year:

And here are the last of the daffodils we have just about to be planted. I was pleased that most of the ones I’d messed up the storage for (by accidentally putting them in a pot with no drainage holes, sigh!) were fine – which just goes to show that Nature can cope with most of the nonsense I throw at her, thank goodness!

In other flower news, one of the gladioli which is actually in the bed it SHOULD be in is in flower:

The asters and dahlias are doing marvellous things:

And, much to our surprise, the chrysanthemums are just coming into flower – and I thought they’d all died out last year!

Here is the harvest, which includes asters, one gladiolus, rudbeckia, dahlias, one sunflower and one sweet pea, plus French beans, mangetouts and beetroots:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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First small sprout harvest!

Goodness me, we have harvested a couple of small sprouts today, hurrah (see later pic)! So the autumn season is most definitely here. Even with just three sprouts, it’s more than we harvested last year when it all went horribly wrong, LOL! Anyway, we are hoping for more sprouts later on.

Only us two on the allotment this morning, when we went anyway – everyone else must be keeping dry, and I can’t say I blame them. Here is the perennial bed in the rain and the wind:

I cropped more of the pink asters than I really needed as they were flopping over the dahlias, and I want to keep the dahlias going as long as I possibly can. Talking of which, the sunflowers are still doing well:

And, on the vegetable front, the French climbing beans are definitely the gift that keeps on giving! Plus more flowers on the plants as well.

And the yakons are still very happy:

It’s so rainy and has been for a good few days that for the first time that I can remember our water butt is actually overflowing! We’d best think about putting another one in before the year is over …

Here is the harvest, which includes the sprouts, the French climbing beans, sunflowers, rudbeckias, dahlias, one gladiolus and the asters.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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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