The Allotment Wife


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Still blooming

An unexpected number of flowers in bloom for this time of year at the allotment today. Yes, I expected the Sweet Williams to be still going strong as they are:

But I did think the dahlias would have finished due to the cold night we had on Thursday, but they are still there!

Even more astonishing, a couple of the gladioli have come back into bud and we were just about to take them out as they should be over!

All very strange, but very welcome. Assuming that next spring will still turn up when we assume it will, we planted the last of the daffodil bulbs in a spare bed:

I’m pleased to say the Brussel sprouts are getting larger which is good news, so should definitely be ready for Christmas, if not earlier:

However, proving that we did have the cold snap on Thursday, the yakons are slightly damaged by frost, but that’s not a problem as the produce is only ripe when the leaves have all turned yellow anyway.

Here is today’s harvest, which includes carrots, beetroots, two lettuces, Sweet Williams, alstroemerias, dahlias and a couple of carnations:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Delightful dahlia and the nibbled courgette

So pleased that we have our first courgette on the allotment now – though it’s been slightly nibbled by something! Still good to have it though – as we had a late start with the courgettes due to various disasters.

In other good news, our newly planted lettuces are surviving though I picked up eight(!) dead slugs from the bed – thank goodness I put the slug pellets down and have also redone them today. Yes, I know – bad me, but I want those lettuces …

Also our French climbing beans are doing well:

I’m thrilled to say we have our first dahlia in bloom – I’m now only growing the pom-pom type ones on the plot as the other ones lose their petals too easily on the way home:

There are also more gladioli:

The lilies are stunning and smell amazing!

Plus the sweet peas are still going for it – these ones are just fabulous as the stems are incredibly long (we looked for long-stemmed plants deliberately as they look better in vases):

Today’s harvest is a beetroot, the courgette, a handful of blueberries, French beans, sweet peas, lilies, gladioli, sweet williams, coreopsis, the dahlia and one alstroemeria:

Here are the vases:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Sweet peas and soft fruit

A couple of visits to the allotment this week as it was so hot and we needed to get some watering done. Today, I thought there would be a huge amount of rain but in fact it’s not been like that at all and we’ve even had sun. Surrey must have missed the memo about the storms.

Anyway, the French climbing beans are doing well but of course there’s never as many as I’d like – I’m a real fan.

The second planting of peas we did a few weeks back are also finally starting to grow which is good news – we had been a bit worried about them:

Today, K planted another yakon to keep the first one company:

We’ve decided to buy some little gem lettuce to add into the raised bed above as there’s space – so will sort that out next week. That’s a hearting lettuce so we don’t have to worry about it bolting.

I have also sown some basil seeds and carrot seeds into the space next to the original lilies – they probably won’t do anything but there’s no harm in trying. You can’t see much in the picture but they are definitely there!

In the world of our new fruit cage, we have already found a couple of holes in the roof netting, so K has mended these with string today. We’re not too fussed about it as the roof netting is simply an old one we were using at home – it’s the wall netting that’s new.

We also have our first gladiolus in bloom, hurrah! Such a glorious colour – I’m a real fan of anything orange or red.

Here are our two harvests this week:

Above are lilies, sweet peas, the gladiolus, a Peruvian lily and a few roses.

Today’s harvest has soft fruit! We cropped gooseberries, blueberries (Smoky Blue variety), a few tayberries and one spare blackcurrant. We also have the French beans, the first of the scented lilies – which are amazing – more sweet peas, Peruvian lilies and roses. The house right now smells wonderful!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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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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Flower City

Maybe not exactly flower city at the allotment today, LOL, but I’m pretty pleased that the lilies are doing so well. Particularly the ones in the first picture as I was worried about them being disturbed when we mended the raised bed earlier in the year – but they are obviously tougher than I think!

The tulips are also doing well, with more to come:

Meanwhile, the rhubarb is doing its best in this dry spell (we are watering the beds like crazy people!):

And I’m happy to report that the peas haven’t yet been taken by mice – though there’s still time …

Here is the harvest of rhubarb & tulips:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a great week!

Anne Brooke Books


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Fruit section overhaul

Today at the allotment we mended another raised bed – so there’s just one more with real problems which we hope to tackle later on. We have also made the decision to remove the autumn raspberries as they’ve not given a good crop in the last couple of years, so we’ve done half of that today and will carry on with it next week:

We would have brought the discarded canes home for the garden waste bin but Waverley have stopped collecting garden waste temporarily due to staff shortages in this tricky year. Whilst we were removing them, we were surprised to see how deep some of the canes in the middle had actually rooted as autumn raspberries normally have quite shallow roots so they must have been there for years! Definitely time for something new, but if anyone out there has any ideas, please let us know – thank you!

In flower news, the daffodils are doing well and a couple of them now have actual buds on, yay!

Not much to harvest this week, though I did find a couple of spare sprouts which must have escaped me last week, LOL! So just those and some leeks today:

Have a good Sunday everyone.

Anne Brooke


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Clearing the Beds

More raised bed maintenance on the allotment today and I think we’re getting there – thank goodness for husbands and electric drills is what I say!

I’ve also cleared the sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli beds ready for spring crops. Here are the sprouts:

And here is the bed with no sprouts:

A good job done, yay!

The tulips are also coming along nicely:

Here is a view of the raised beds area:

The light was amazing this morning though it was pretty nippy!

So, today’s harvest is the last of the sprouts and the purple sprouting broccoli – which in fact only has two small sprouts you can JUST ABOUT see on top, and is mostly leaves, LOL:

Anne Brooke Books


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New Shoots

We’ve spent the last few weeks on the winter allotment mending our raised beds, most of which have needed attention – as they were there when we first took over the plot in 2014. Really they’ve lasted well, but it’s time to refresh! So we’ve got the bulk of them sorted out, and certainly the worst of them – but we just need to mend some minor issues now. Hard work, but it feels great to get it done at a time when nothing else is happening.

Mind you, nature has been working hard – the daffodils shoots are definitely on their way:

And we even have the first few tulips starting to appear! – so we’ve removed the netting which has been keeping the squirrels at bay – as they don’t bother with them so much at this growth stage.

We were also surprised to see some rhubarb on its way, goodness me:

And, as usual, I collected the sprouts for lunch and next week – there are still some left so will look forward to eating these for a couple of weeks or so to come:

Have a great Sunday and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Winter Allotment

I’ve not been here for a while as there’s not been much doing in winter – though we have managed to mend one of the raised beds which desperately needed it last week – only another 6 or so to go, LOL!

Plus we’ve been harvesting the sprouts which have done amazingly well this year – I’m SO happy about this as I just LOVE sprouts!

The only trouble is they are a bit of a fiddle to prepare for cooking, what with all that taking off of the outer leaves and then making a cross in the top to ensure they’re cooked all the way through – still, SO worth it!

So here are a couple of pictures of the winter allotment – not much seems to be happening, I know, but the daffodil shoots are already coming up and the rudbeckia are still flowering every now and again. I think I’ll take those up later and replant them at home as they’re not great in vases, though very pretty in the garden.

The picture above shows the autumn raspberry area – which we’re planning to dig up and plant with a better cropping fruit this spring.

Happy Sunday to all!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Compost City and Daffodil Shoots

We arranged to take some compost over to the allotments today, plus some pieces of wood (for mending our raised beds which definitely need attention). I do LOVE compost time – the look of it just makes me so happy. Mind you, it does make me laugh when the compost bag instructions tell us to dig it in. Dig it in??!! My, how we laugh! No way!! And absolutely no need for any of this digging nonsense as that, my dears, is what the worms do – so just shovel it on and leave Nature to do the rest. Job done.

Here are our dahlias, now safe and warm for the winter under their special duvet – no need to dig up the dahlias as this is the South, LOL!

And here is our lovely asparagus bed, also freshly composted:

I’m also thrilled to say that our daffodil shoots are now coming up – which is fabulous news and give us fresh hope for spring (which we definitely need after this year!…)

The chrysanthemums are also still in bud, astonishingly, so we may actually get some very late flowers next week – weather depending …

Finally, we’ve managed to plant the tulips in, which we’re thrilled about. Once planted, we’ve put netting on the bed, held down by rods – to try to make sure the squirrels don’t take them all.

So a small harvest today of sprouts (yum!) and beetroot – but enough for a couple of meals, yay.

Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant