The Allotment Wife


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First of the Gladioli

Great news today – the first few of the gladioli are out and I am SO pleased! I really do love this red and white one (which came up by itself in totally the wrong bed so I have no idea what it is …):

Gladioli

The lilies also look particularly good in the sunlight:

Lilies

We also have more sweet peas coming through now (hurrah!):

Sweet peas

And the alstroemeria are back in business too:

Alstroemeria

In other news, the second sowing of peas we did a couple of weeks ago are now coming up which is good news:

Peas

Here is the harvest of gladioli, lilies, alstroemeria, carnations, one rudbeckia, the peas, and two containers of blackcurrants (half of which have gone into today’s crumble):

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone – the weather’s fabulous!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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Unexpected visitors!

We had some unexpected visitors at the allotment today, but the first group were very well behaved and seemed interested in what we were doing, so I hope they pop along again sometime …

Horse 1

Horse 2

Horse 3

Horse 4 Foal

Horse 5

Aren’t they gorgeous! The foal was just adorable, but so fast moving that I couldn’t really get a decent shot.

Anyway, to more allotment-focused matters, today we planted up some more rudbeckia:

Rudbeckia

And also we added in some more pea seeds in the pea area, plus some beetroot (as below):

Beetroot

The alstroemerias are doing well and there is even one coreopsis in bloom (the yellow flower):

Alstroemeria

And the sweet peas continue to come along, although there is sadly a bit of a blackfly problem with them, so I keep on spraying …

Sweet peas

And the lilies are in bloom (though not the new ones … yet):

Lilies

Speaking of unexpected visitors, we have a rabbit interloper – oh the horror! So we put a plank over the hole as a temporary measure, but will have to get that fixed soonest …

Rabbit Hole 2

Rabbit Hole 3

Here are two harvests, as I popped up during the week to give the place a watering as the weather was so dry:

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Getting the Beans In

This week is the week to get the beans in on the allotment so we’ve put in runner beans (at the front of the picture) and French climbing beans (at the back of the picture):

Runner beans and French beans

K did a brilliant job getting the supports in. We had a few plants of both types left over so we gave the French beans to a fellow allotmenteer (thank you, Helen!) and left the others near the gate for anyone who wants them.

Another allotmenteer was kind enough to give us some of her spare purple sprouting broccoli plants (thank you, Nicola!), which we’ve never grown before. We’ve added these under the netting next to one of the sprout areas:

Purple sprouting broccoli

It was also time to dig up the tulip bulbs, which I’ve now done. It was pretty hard as the ground was so dry but I think I have most of them. I’ve put them in an old bird food bucket and will take them home for planting in the garden in November, as usual. We’ll buy new bulbs for the allotment next year:

Tulip bulbs

Whilst digging them up, I forgot to wear gloves (silly me!) and so managed to scrape the skin off my palm (ouch! ouch!) when using the trowel. Sigh! Oh, and I also tried to tidy up the communal shed but realised as I was just getting going that there is a new wasps’ nest in there (yikes!) so put everything down and backed away very slowly and carefully before they got really angry! K has now put a big post with the word WASPS on it leaning against the door, which he had to write with his finger and some dirt as we didn’t have any other way of doing it! That definitely deserves a medal or two, LOL. We have wasp killer products at home so will try to get back and sort it out at some point.

In better news, our first couple of sweet pea flowers are out, hurrah!! SO thrilled by this!

Sweet pea

Anyway, here is the harvest this week – which consists of rhubarb, carnations, verbascums, 2 sweet peas and one sprig of Peruvian lilies, which is great. No proper lilies yet though, sob.

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone! And don’t forget – today is World Gin Day – cheers!

Anne Brooke Books


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From the Plot to the Plate

We used some of our home-made allotment compost today, and cut up a few old raspberry branches to add back into the mix. Also trimmed the edges of the plot, and planted a couple more rows of gladioli.

Gladioli planting

The lilies continue to grow well, but no buds yet!

Lilies

There was enough rhubarb to add to my apple crumble:

Rhubarb

And, of course, asparagus for lunch – from the plot to the plate in just a few hours!

Asparagus

Here is the harvest of verbascum, rhubarb and asparagus:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase

Have a great Sunday, and stay safe, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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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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Gooseberry Cage

Goodness me, we have the first of our gooseberries forming already so, rather than lose them all this week as the birds get in there first, we have put the cage up – we hope it works!

Gooseberry bush

Gooseberry cage

The rhubarb is doing okay, and there was enough to make rhubarb crumble for Sunday lunch, yum!

Rhubarb

The gladioli are continuing to sprout:

Gladioli

And the lilies are getting larger. Plus we have one allium in bloom as well.

Lilies and one allium

Whilst at the plot, we planted some rows of sunflower seeds and also a few rows of peas. We’ve protected the peas with plastic to deter the mice.

No flowers this week, but we have a harvest of asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

Have a good Sunday and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Escaped Asparagus!

Goodness, but the asparagus is now in full flood and there was loads for Sunday lunch today:

Asparagus 1

Not only that, but it’s decided the bed isn’t big enough for its needs and is now sprouting on the pathway too!

Asparagus 2

The autumn raspberries now have a nice ground cover so it’s getting trickier to do the weeding between them. We’ll keep weeding them for as long as possible though as it saves so much time later in the season.

Autumn raspberries

The lilies are growing very well:

Lilies

And I’ve planted another couple of rows of gladioli bulbs:

Gladioli

Here is today’s harvest of the asparagus and just a few tulips:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase

Have a good Sunday, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Spring Spurt

First of all, a very happy Easter to you all, especially in these tricky times. But, goodness me, lots of activity on the allotment today. First of all, we have our first asparagus, hurrah!

Asparagus

And the rhubarb is now big enough to harvest, well gosh. It’s a bit late to add it into my Sunday crumble, but I’ve found a recipe for rhubarb puree/juice which you can add to gin, ice cream etc. Hmm, gin – brilliant for lockdown, I’m sure!

Rhubarb

The lilies are also growing well and so I’ve now sprayed them against the dreaded lily beetle:

Lilies

But look at these tulips!

Tulips

Today we took along some of our sweet peas and have put them against the shed (with mulch) and also at the end of the potato bed. We’ve watered them in and put down slug pellets as usual:

Sweetpeas 1

Sweetpeas 2

As for the gladioli – start planting in May, they say – they’ll be fine before then. Um, well, I don’t think our gladioli bulbs from last year had that memo as they’re already sprouting in their bucket in the shed!

Gladioli 1

So I’ve planted them out into 4 rows of those with the longest shoots and will try to keep to succession planting (so they bloom at different times) by adding a couple of rows each week or so until last year’s bulbs are used up. We’d usually try to get some new ones as well, but of course we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to do that this year.

Gladioli 2

Here is the harvest of daffodils, tulips, asparagus and rhubarb (hurrah!):

Harvest

And here are the flowers in all their glory at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a good week, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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New Allotment Year 2020

Happy new year to you all! Yes, it has really taken me THIS LONG to get back onto the allotment – partly due to bad weather, partly due to inertia and partly due to 2 weeks of a pretty determined virus.

But I’m back now in the land of the living (hurrah!) and there’s a whole new allotment year to look forward to so it was really lovely to get out there today.

Here’s a view of how it looks at the moment:

Allotment view

As you can see, there’s not much going on, but we do need to sort those broken raised beds out at some point, and we also sorted out the weeds while we were there today.

The leeks we planted last year are still hanging on so we must harvest those soon before they give up entirely!

Leeks

We also brought along a bag of mulch and spread that across the rhubarb bed, which is already starting to sprout:

Rhubarb

I do so love a good mulch moment. In other sprouting news, the daffodil bed is coming along very nicely indeed:

Daffodils 1

And – just to show that daffodils are a whole lot tougher than you might think – we realised today that the daffodil bulbs I’d rejected as being too mouldy or too tiny and abandoned near the water butt for taking home are actually sprouting! So much so that they’ve rooted where they’re lying so I can’t move them to put them elsewhere, LOL! We therefore have a mini daffodil patch near the water butt – which obviously we would have planned for if we’d thought about it … um, not!…

Just goes to show, nature does what she darn well likes and takes no notice of our opinions!

Daffodils 2

Oh, and I also planted five new lily bulbs (Red Eye) in the second lily area – as we were out at the annual Potato Day in Whitchurch yesterday, and I just couldn’t resist them – alongside 8 new potato varieties to try, and some shallots. If you’ve not been to a Potato Day before, then I can thoroughly recommend it – you get lots of new potato (and other veg) varieties to have a go at, you’re helping to keep heritage varieties alive, and you get a whole load of good advice as well. What’s not to like!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Squashes Galore

This is definitely the week for the squashes in our life. Here are the two pumpkins we have, both of which are growing well:

Pumpkin 1

Pumpkin 2

And here is one of the marrows – this is the largest:

Marrow

On the minus side, however, our lettuce has bolted – can you tell, LOL!

Bolted lettuce

The beetroot is also growing high, so I’ve cut the tops off those while I was thinking about it.

Beetroot

The flowers are doing very well in this weather though. Here is the second flush of our gorgeous scented lilies – the smell is amazing!

Lilies

And here are the alstroemeria and the echinacea, both of which are definitely enjoying the climate.

Alstroemeria and echinaceas

This week’s harvest is a scattering of green and black French climbing beans (the first of our black ones harvested today), plus the lilies, alstroemerias, echinaceas, dahlias, gladioli, sweet williams, carnations and assorted sweet peas:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books