The Allotment Wife


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The Great Easter Tulip Extravaganza

There is a total take-over by the tulips on the allotment this morning – which is pretty dang near perfect for Holy Saturday, and I actually felt quite tearful when I saw them all – they were just so beautiful.

Tulips

Aren’t they amazing! The gladioli bed isn’t quite so dramatic, but the one shoot is definitely taller, LOL.

Gladioli

The lilies are getting bigger too:

Lilies

Whilst there, I did a serious weed round and K replaced the felt roof on the shed as it was in need of attention after storms earlier this year. Look how lovely it is now!

New roof shed

I have also put slug pellets down and bug-sprayed those lilies. Meanwhile, the rhubarb and soft fruit are loving this sunshine.

Plus we have our first asparagus shoot, which is looking rather rude, I must say …

Asparagus

Here is the lovely harvest trug which is 99% tulips and a couple of late daffodils:

And here are those amazing flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Easter, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

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Rhubarb Season

At last – it’s rhubarb season on the allotment and we’ve eaten the first of the crop today, hurrah. That said, I suspect we’re the last to harvest our rhubarb in the village, probably due to the fact we’ve not mulched it for a couple of years, wicked us … Will try to remember to add mulch some time soon!

Meanwhile the mangetouts are hanging on in there, and we’ve put slug doom on them today to give them a fighting chance:

Mangetouts

Today we’ve planted lettuces and onions to add to the range of crops we’re growing. K netted the onions to give them some protection as there appears to be a secret onion chewer at loose throughout the plots – possibly rabbits, grr!

Meanwhile the autumn raspberry area is coming on well, and I’m trying to keep the weeds seriously at bay as it saves so much angst later on when I just can’t get in.

Soft Fruit

There are still a few daffodils about:

Daffodils

But it’s the tulips who are queen of all they survey right now. I do so love the striped ones – they’re amazing.

Tulips

And even the lilies are looking hopeful.

Lilies

I’ve also planted another couple of rows of gladioli that we bought yesterday, and I have another thirty left to plant over the weeks ahead. If I run out, I’ll get more as it’s nice to have some later blooms. Plus one of the earlier gladioli is already on its way!

Gladioli

Here is the harvest of rhubarb, tulips and daffodils:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Anne Brooke Books


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Spring Planting

We popped into the garden centre before going to the allotment this morning, and bought sweet peas, golden beetroot, mangetouts, and cabbages for the allotment, and carrots for home (as we can protect them from carrot fly there). We’ve never grown cabbages before but thought we’d give it a go this year.

Planting

Once at the allotment we were delighted to find that some very kind person had left a huge pile of pine bark near the allotment fence so K grabbed the wheelbarrow and we have tidied up our paths, hurrah. Plus the pine smell is just amazing.

So, I have planted the sweet peas next to the shed as usual:

Sweetpeas

And I made half a bed for the beetroot plants – they’re just so small!

Beetroot

K created some sticks and netting for the mangetouts, and I have then put slug pellets on anything I think they might aim for …

In other news, there is one lone tulip in one of our disastrous Brussels sprouts beds (which we have now cleared):

Tulip 2

And the tulips in the actual tulip bed are coming along nicely too:

Tulips 1

The daffodils continue to hold their own:

And the lilies are coming along:

Lilies

Meanwhile, the currants and rhubarb are really getting going, which is fabulous – they are both definitely further along than they were last year, thank goodness.

So, no vegetables for harvesting this week – just the daffodils and tulips:

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Have a great Mothering Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulips and Butterflies

The tulips are finally starting to be in bloom on the allotment, hurrah! And there are loads of yellow butterflies which is lovely to see too – although of course rather less lovely if growing veg, LOL.

The daffodils are still producing a crop, and now the smaller multi-bloom highly scented ones are out, so that’s just amazing.


Daffodils 1

And, to cap it all, the lilies have started to sprout, hurrah:

Lilies

The rhubarb looks much larger today:

Rhubarb

And the currant bushes are leafing up which is very positive too:

Currants

Whilst there, K planted shallots, and I planted pompom dahlias (in the hope they’ll do better than the other ones have) and the first of the gladioli bulbs. To my shame, I didn’t store the gladioli bulbs correctly over the winter (oh the horror!) and they have rotted as they weren’t dry enough. As a result, there were only enough for two rows and we’re going to have to get new ones. I shall try to remember to be kinder to them next year …

Here is the harvest of lilies, daffodils, beetroot and some sprout leaves from plants that didn’t work out:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Anne Brooke Books


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The Autumn Allotment

Well, that’s definitely the end of any hope of lilies, I’m afraid. This morning’s sharp frost finally got them in full and I’ve now cut them down:

Lilies

The sweet williams continue to thrive, however, so should produce a good crop next year. K cut off the tips again as we don’t want them to flower now.

Sweet Williams

In exciting news, the first of our daffodil shoots are coming through so we’re looking forward to more of them making their presence known over the next few weeks and beyond. Not sure what that spare bulb is doing though! Maybe it’s making a bid for freedom, LOL!

Daffodil

There is still plenty of beetroot to harvest so we’ve taken some for lunch today.

Beetroot

In the sunlight, the remains of the autumn raspberry patch look amazing, even though the crop has been terrible this year:

And here are a couple of shots of the allotment in full. Not much around now as you can see, and the Brussel sprouts are proving very disappointing – with no growth and no sprouts at all, so that’s a real disappointment. Perhaps we didn’t put them in early enough or grow them on first properly? Not sure, but I fear I’m going to have to buy sprouts for Christmas again, sob! I LOVE sprouts …

Here is the very minimal harvest of a few straggly chrysanthemums and the ever-reliable beetroot:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Soggy Allotment

A very soggy allotment today so the Wellies are definitely on! Still at least we don’t need to water anything … Today’s important job was getting the tulips in, so K took out the gladioli (which we’ll store for next year), and then we planted up that bed with tulips old and new:

We then put netting across and weighed it down with sticks to keep those pesky squirrels off! Odd how the squirrels love the tulip bulbs so much but pay no attention to the daffodil bulbs. Obviously they’re just very picky.

Tulips 3

Meanwhile, the asparagus forest is growing and we really must cut it down soon.

Asparagus forest

The chrysanthemums are struggling and the lilies are really fighting a losing battle now. I’ll give the lilies one more week (tops!) before cutting them down, I think.

And in the soft fruit zone, one of our currant bushes actually has buds, well gosh! Signs of hope for next year then.

Currant buds

All in all, the harvest is very meagre indeed, though K did grab a beetroot as we left the allotment after I’d taken this photo!

Harvest

Here is the very sad vase at home – I threw out the red chrysanthemum as it was crawling with black fly (yuck!) but the yellow flowers seemed unaffected, though rather brown at the edges … Maybe the black fly is as picky as the squirrels, LOL?!

Vase

All best to everyone for Remembrance Weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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Elstead Allotments: Remembering the Fallen

Elstead lost 38 men from the village in World War 1, and Pauline from the Allotment Association has kindly arranged this wonderful and very moving display of 38 poppies on one of our allotment trees for us to remember them. Thank you, Pauline et al.

Remembrance

38 poppies

One hundred years on, here is what our allotment is like today: the beetroots are doing well and not bothered by any of the frost the week has thrown at them.

Beetroot

However, the Brussels sprouts seem to be stuck in a time warp or something as they’re not getting any bigger and there are certainly no signs of … um … sprouts … Still, there’s time yet, I hope.

Brussels sprouts

There are still some chrysanthemums in bloom:

Chrysanthemums

And even the poor lilies are trying to do something very late in the season!

Lilies

I have decided to take all the dahlias out and replant them back at home as they’re really not very good as cut flowers as they don’t last long – so we’d rather enjoy them in the garden. We’ll have to think of something to replace them with at at some point.

Dahlias

K also harvested the first of the yakons – ie the Peruvian ground apples. We store these for a few weeks in the garage as they get a lot sweeter over time. You can eat them raw or cooked.

Yakon

Here is the harvest of beetroots and chrysanthemums:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
(From For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon)