The Allotment Wife


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Mangetouts and our first rose

We’ve had a lovely break in the Lake District this week – amazing gardens and views! – and are back on the allotment today. Much to our surprise we have our first mangetouts crop:

And the joint mangetout/gladioli bed is looking pretty good:

We also have our first rose, which is astonishing!

The asparagus is doing pretty well too:

On the other hand, the French climbing beans do seem to be struggling a bit but they are producing some flowers which is positive:

The fruit cage is looking good and the early blueberry even has some fruit on it:

The rhubarb has also benefitted from our absence:

Much to my amazement there are no lily beetles on the lilies this week, but perhaps they are hiding?…

In the perennial bed, something has definitely chewed the gerberas but appears to be leaving the gazanias alone for the moment:

And the nasturtium seeds I scattered around the plot vaguely a couple of weeks ago are starting to grow!

Whilst there, we did a bit of hoeing and strimming down the weeds, plus we took the last two half-beds of daffodils out so will store those for next year.

This week’s harvest is mangetouts, asparagus, rhubarb, sweet williams and one rose:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Gazanias and gladioli

Gorgeous weather at the allotment this morning and not too hot for working either, which was great. I planted up a couple of rows of gazanias (Red Shades) in the perennial bed for summer colour – I have more of these which I will plant up at home in the front garden.

The lilies are doing well though I did spray them to deter the dreaded lily beetle!

And, thankfully, our second planting of sweet peas next to the shed is still surviving:

We are happy with the rhubarb but will let it grow for a while longer before we do any harvesting to give it time to gather strength:

The mangetouts are looking okay, and – as ever! – the gladioli are going for it. Nothing will ever destroy that flower, honestly! I planted up another couple of rows whilst there, so only another row to go before I’ve filled that bed:

In the week since we’ve last seen the allotment, the asparagus has grown so that’s a nice starter for tonight’s dinner:

The French climbing beans are still happy and we even have a flower on one of them which is great news:

And the beetroot and shallot bed is looking good:

So, only a small harvest of the asparagus this week, though we have dug out the rest of the tulip bulbs to take home for planting:

Whilst there, we also did a jolly good water round to give everything a drink – always a worthwhile task!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting up the season

We really focused ourselves at the allotment today and planted up the rest of the vegetables we’ve been looking after at home, so it was hugely busy but fun. First off, the beetroot is now all done:

And we have put in the cabbages, netted them, sprayed and put slug doom down so we hope they will survive!

K also built the structure for the French beans and we have put those in as well. There were some left over so we put those on the allotment shared table for people to take if they would like some – such a useful facility to have!

The Brussels sprouts which we planted earlier in the month continue to do okay:

The fruit cage is also really going for it, with lots of flowers so that’s good news:

The gerberas I planted last week are still there but a bit slug-chewed so I put some slug doom pellets down to protect those too:

Whilst there this week, I also planted three more rows of gladioli – though the bucket I’ve been storing them in appears to be doing its own planting without needing me at all! That’s the joy of gladioli – I swear to you I could just chuck them onto the bed without bothering with planting them at all and they’d STILL produce leaves and flowers, no problem. I could probably leave them in that bucket and they’d look fine!

Here is a view of the allotment which almost makes it look as if we know what we’re doing – as if, LOL!

Here is the harvest of asparagus and sweet williams, plus a bed of tulip bulbs I dug up which I will take home to plant in November:

Here are the sweet williams at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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First Beetroot and More Daffodils

Lovely day on the allotment today though the wind is still a bit chilly. The daffodils continue to look good with more to come:

The tiny tulips are also looking quite bright and are just about long enough to cut this time!

I’m happy to say that the mangetouts we planted up last week seem to have survived the mice and I’ve added some more slug doom to them while they are at this vulnerable stage:

I’m a bit worried about the sweet peas next to the shed though, which look very unhappy indeed. I’ve given them a water and am hoping for the best. At least the rhubarb is doing okay:

I have put some sunflower seeds in around the tulip bed as we’re not planning to use that for anything in particular, and the tulips will be over by the time the sunflowers arrive – if they do! We have also planted up our first row of beetroot. As ever, we are using a non-red variety so it doesn’t stain when you handle it. Tastes exactly the same though.

Here is the harvest of daffodils and tulips:

And here they are at home:

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting for Spring

There are many more daffodils on the allotment this week, which is lovely news:

The little narcissi next to the shed door are also out, which is very cute – I have to be careful when opening the door, but they seem to survive:

We also have our first tulip but, annoyingly, it’s one of the small ones (way too small for cutting!!) that I thought I’d got rid of last year. Oh well, the splash of colour is still very welcome:

This morning, we put up the stakes and netting for the mangetouts and have planted them out. We used most of them, but put the remainder on the allotment bench for other people if they can make use of them. And, yes, I put slug pellets down to protect them. Here’s hoping the mice don’t eat them all first though!

I also took the opportunity to plant up three rows of gladioli for the first of our successional planting. I’ll do the next few rows in a couple of weeks or so to elongate the season:

I’m pleased to say the rhubarb has come on well in the past week and is looking quite happy:

I even had time for a bit of a sit-down and admiring the roses, which was nice:

So here is the daffodil harvest:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a good week, everyone, and let’s hope that the world news gets better very soon.

Anne Brooke Books


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I Spy The Work …

… of the leaf cutter bee! Which is fabulous news as I was only moaning to K last night that we’ve not seen the leaf cutter bee at home for a couple of years at least, whereas we had a few of them for several years on the go before that.

Even the great Monty Don mentioned he had them in his garden last night and how thrilled he was about it – thus explaining my moan. Well, we still don’t have them at home (alas) but the great news is we have them on the allotment!

As you can see from the marvellous circular bites taken out of the rose leaves on the right of the picture above, they are busy making their homes somewhere nearby. They cause absolutely no damage to the plant and I think the patterns they make are very beautiful, so this is a wonderful addition to our plot!

However, not all visitors are good ones as it’s obvious that some evil creature is eating our poor cabbages:

Still, at least the cabbages – once we’ve removed the damaged parts – are edible, but I wasn’t anticipating on doing this much sharing with the wildlife …

However, the lettuces and yacons are surviving well:

In other news, I’m happy to say that the first of our asters are now in flower and the butterflies and bees are LOVING them:

In this perennial bed, we also have the dahlias arriving and a second showing of the roses, which is good news too:

Meanwhile, the sweet peas are still going strong:

And the sweet williams are looking happy too:

So, today, we have a harvest of one cabbage, one courgette, three beetroots, French climbing beans, sweet peas, sweet williams, asters, roses, gladioli, dahlias and a coreopsis:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Brussels Sprouts & Carnations

Hot work on the allotment this morning! We have finally cleared the rest of the second bed of tulips and planted up the Brussels sprouts in their place.

I’m pleased to say the courgette gift we planted last week is still with us, hurrah!

The rhubarb continues to do well and there’s enough of it for a crumble this afternoon.

As promised, here is the picture of our sweet williams which I planted up last week – they are still with us, which is great news:

Plus the verbascum is going for it – but honestly it is NOT a great cut flower as there are just so many caterpillars and ants that come with it so my plan is to dig it up later in the year and just put it in our garden somewhere. Good display though:

We are very pleased with how the dianthus are doing and the spicy smell is just wonderful:

Today’s harvest is rhubarb, asparagus, verbascums and dianthus:

And here are the vases at home:

Enjoy the rest of Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Thinking of Spring

K took out the last of the potatoes today which are definitely enough to keep us going during the week. He then dug over that bed and I planted some of the daffodils ready for spring:

As you can see, they had already started to root so I think they’ll be fine.

Other flowers are also doing well – here are the asters:

I picked the blue ones, but left the pink ones as they’re really far too short for cut flowers – so I think when they’ve finished flowering I’ll take them home to the garden.

Speaking of pink things, the dahlias are doing much better than they did last year when we planted these ones – maybe they just needed a year to settle in …

The gladioli are also still just about hanging on:

The sunflower (which you can see in the photo above at the back) is also amazing and I’m really pleased with this pic:

We also harvested some beetroot, mangetouts and French beans – the latter of which are still battling with pesky black fly (boo!), so I gave them another good spray. Here’s hoping that does the trick.

Here is the harvest: potatoes, beetroot, French beans, the sunflower, gladioli, dahlias and the asters, plus one carnation and one rudbeckia:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely 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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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