The Allotment Wife


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New Stuff and the World’s Smallest Tulip

A couple of new things on the allotment today – we found out one of our fellow plot-holders had two spare garden chairs they wanted to get rid of so now they are ours, hurrah! It will be lovely to have something to sit on when we’re down there – so huge thanks to the previous chair owner:

K has also attached new blades to our allotment secateurs so we are ready once more for a year’s serious pruning. However, I have been given strict instructions to WEAR GLOVES when doing so, as I’m rather inclined to prune myself and have to go to A&E to be stitched up, LOL!!

Not so many daffodils out this week, which is a bit sad, but then again the season is moving on …

We also appear to have grown the world’s smallest tulip! Honestly, we spend a LOT of time making sure we only plant tulips which are tall enough for cutting, but obviously this one didn’t get that memo!…

Really no point cutting that! Anyway, in better news, the rhubarb has still got the growing gene in full spate and is looking pretty good:

So here is our small harvest today:

And here is the vase at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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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A Borrowed Harvest

A wee bit disappointed with the allotment crops today – there was literally only one daffodil in bloom, though I did pick a couple of others which were not quite there yet.

Still, all was definitely not lost – as we have decided to give up composting the old raspberry canes and instead use them as a kind-of path on one of our most weedy areas – which we hope will keep the weeds down a bit …

I’m also pleased that the rhubarb is coming along slowly:

And K very nobly planted three more soft fruit bushes in our new area – they are the row on the left in the picture below:

However, the really amazing thing was that one of our lovely allotment neighbours had extra sprouts and parsnips he was trying to get rid of, so we were of course more than happy to help in this terrible crisis, LOL! I never say no to a sprout! Or indeed a parsnip. I did offer our one daffodil in exchange but he was sweet enough to decline – thank you, R!

So here is our borrowed harvest:

And here is the mini-vase at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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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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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Netting and Thinning Out

It was definitely time to thin out those sunflowers today before they start exploding! Here is the ‘before’ shot:

Sunflowers 1

And here is the ‘after’ shot – I think I’ve done a pretty good job with them too:

Sunflowers 2

K and I also put the netting up for the soft fruit – we’d ordered a new net and pins to hold it down, but the new net still wasn’t big enough! So we’ve had to add an old piece to one end of it and we’re hoping for the best. We’re also hoping the structure will stay upright as it’s been pretty windy today …

Soft fruit

While I was doing a fairly serious weed, K also added the netting to the peas so they can get going:

Peas

The Brussels sprouts are also doing okay, which is good news, though I added more slug pellets to them just in case:

Brussels sprouts

Plus we’ve given everything a bit of a water as – in spite of the rain yesterday and today – the soil is still terribly dry …

Here is the harvest of verbascums, carnations, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a good weekend and stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Carnation Posy

Much to my delight, the first of the carnations are in bloom at the allotment today – I’ll definitely be bringing some more up to plant alongside them – I do so love that spicy scent of cloves they have.

Carnations

We’ve also now dug up the daffodil bulbs for storing for next year – there seem to be loads of them too. Much more than before – I will have to bring up yet another big pot to put them in! We’ll probably plant some of the Brussels sprouts plants in the bed that is now spare, but will have to see how things go.

Daffodil bulbs

I also planted the rest of our gladioli bulbs so there is now a whole bed of them. The asparagus is also doing well and there was plenty for today’s lunch, hurrah:

Asparagus

Here is today’s harvest of verbascums, carnations, asparagus and rhubarb (the latter of which I added to today’s apple crumble – yum!):

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

The verbascums do straighten out once they’re in water but look like a weird alien at the moment, LOL!

Vase 2

Have a lovely Bank Holiday and stay safe.

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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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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Another Little Harvest

Spring is ambling along nicely at the allotment and there are more tulips to collect, though not as many as last week:

Tulips

Definitely no narcissi this week, but that’s not too surprising in April. The rhubarb is also coming along:

Rhubarb

And there is a little more asparagus to pick too (which has the shadow of our sweet pea climbing frame across it):

Asparagus

So, today’s harvest is tulips, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

We had the asparagus for Sunday lunch, and I added the rhubarb into the apple crumble I made for dessert – and very nice it is too! We do so love the smell of fresh rhubarb – the perfect hint of summer.

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

I really love the striped tulips in this selection, especially the ones with a raspberry ripple effect. Sadly though I don’t know what they are as they came in a mixed sack. But if I saw them again, I’d definitely get them!

Have a great Sunday, everyone – and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books