The Allotment Wife


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Roses galore

Beautiful morning at the allotment today and the roses look amazing:

They smell pretty good too and it’s great to have our first proper rose harvest today.

The lilies are also doing well, though still no sign of flowers!

Whilst there today, I filled up the remaining space in the gladioli bed so there’s no more to plant now. I also completed our perennial bed by adding a couple of rows of echinaceas, which should give us some late summer colour:

In general the allotment is looking good and the cabbages haven’t yet been eaten which is positive news!

Today we have a harvest of roses, one gazania, sweet williams, asparagus and mangetouts:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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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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The Easter Allotment

Lovely to be back at the allotment today as I’ve been off sick for two weeks – the first week with a bad cold and the second week with the Village Vomiting Virus – you don’t want to know and you do NOT want it!! Anyway, neither of these nasty things turned out to be Covid, and I’m must better now, which is good news.

The allotment of course is more than happy to carry on without much input and looks pretty good in this weekend’s glorious sunshine.

The lilies have come along in leaps and bounds in my absence:

And the rhubarb is looking good too, though still not large enough for cropping.

The shallots are quite happy:

And the roses look surprisingly healthy – much healthier than the ones we have at home!

The tulips are looking like little jewels:

And the soft fruit is very happy in its cage:

Whilst there, we hoed the beds and strimmed the edges of the plot, and also gave everything a good water as the soil is as dry as dust. We also planted up a couple of more rows of gladioli:

And one more row of beetroot:

We’ll take those daffodils out near the beetroot soon so we have room for more beetroot plants. It’s such a great crop.

Here is today’s harvest:

And here are the tulips at home in their vases. Tulips look so much better when they’re placed in a vase with similar colours, I have to say.

Have a lovely Easter, 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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A sneaky sit-down and a peculiar harvest

Lovely morning at the allotment today – almost springlike with the sun. Not much being planted up yet of course but the daffodil shoots are doing well:

The fruit cage looked amazing in the sunshine:

Inside the cage, the blackcurrant buds are well on their way:

Though I got ‘bitten’ by the gooseberry thorns as I was weeding round them, LOL.

Whilst K was mending one of our raised beds, I even (for the first time ever) had enough time for a very sneaky sit-down and a rest as I admired the rose bushes in our perennial bed:

I managed all of TWO minutes’ sit-down before K noticed and put me to work in the fruit cage strimming the grass at the edge, but it was nice while it lasted …

No harvest today, though we did find a handful of broken screws to take home as rubbish:

The harvesting year will definitely get better.

Have a lovely weekend – the last in January, thank goodness!

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting Daffodils and an Aster Explosion

Much to our relief, the allotment has on the whole survived the massive amount of rainfall we had yesterday, though the pink asters have been flattened and have – in their turn – flattened the roses and the dahlias. I suspect the roses and the dahlias will survive as they’re tough as old boots – but I cut armfuls of the asters down all in one go to avoid further damage.

I have also planted the first of the spring daffodils, which is great news. There are 1.5 buckets of them still to go in after today’s planting – but we’ll add them in where we can as we go through autumn.

The harvest included a huge amount of the pink asters, roses, sweet williams, dahlias, a few sweet peas, plus one cabbage, one lettuce, a handful of French beans, carrots and a couple of sprigs of basil.

Here are the vases at home, which look most impressive!

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Crazy Carrots and Aster Delights

The asters are going crazy, which is brilliant as it’s THEIR season of course. I do forget each year when I’m cutting them how strangely-sweet they smell when you get close – although thankfully the smell doesn’t last once they are in a room, or at least isn’t obvious!

I’ve had to tie up the pink asters with string as they were sagging onto the roses and dahlias which isn’t great, but all okay now. Another issue we had today was there was a dragonfly stuck in the fruit cage and it took a while to get it out. No idea how it got in! Eventually K trapped it in a large pot against the roof of the cage and then slid a kneeler over the top of the pot – to which I added a tea towel just in case – to keep it inside. We then let it loose outside the fruit cage and all was well.

I am also astonished at how many roses there are now. Sadly, it appears that the white ones don’t last well on the journey home so I suspect we will bring that plant back to the garden next year and perhaps replace it with something else.

The carrots are also doing really well and we have some with amazing shapes!

This one is a dancer I’m sure:

And this one looks like a hand – the carrot hand of doom, as K has named it!

As this coming week we have the Allotment Inspection, we’ve done a good tidy up and hoe round so are hoping for the best …

Anyway, a good harvest today: carrots, French beans, 4 courgettes, a sprinkling of soft fruit, roses, asters, dahlias and sweet peas.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

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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Autumn Crops

The allotment seems to have had a spurt of growth this week – just look at our carrot & basil bed – amazing!

The lettuces and yacon bed is also doing well:

Meanwhile, the gladioli are still doing their thing:

And the sweet peas are definitely the gift that keeps on giving:

We are also pretty pleased with our perennial bed – we have a second crop of roses, and more dahlias have arrived:

Today’s harvest is a huge amount of French climbing beans, two courgettes, gladioli, dahlias, roses and sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

Dahlias
Gladioli
Roses
Sweet peas

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The World’s Smallest Soft Fruit Harvest

Was expecting more sunshine today, but never mind – it’s still perfect allotment weather – ie not too hot to work! Am happy to say we have a couple more dahlias in bloom in the perennial bed:

And the gladioli are still going strong:

Meanwhile, the lovely Monty Don tells us on last night’s Gardeners’ World with great confidence that our sweet peas will now all be over and we should remove them. Um, I don’t think our sweet peas have got that memo so we are leaving them right where they are for now!

We are also very happy with the lettuce & yacon bed – as you can see, the lettuces are really hearting up now and just look amazing. I’m still on slug patrol …

You might remember that a while back we sowed some carrot & basil seeds just to get rid of them. Well, they are doing okay, much to our amazement. The carrots are obvious but we have to be careful not to weed the basil out – you can see some of them on the right of this pic (small shiny flat leaves). They smell wonderful even though they’re tiny. With a bit of luck, we might have another month of growth so will hopefully be able to pick them at some point soon:

Here is this week’s harvest – with the world’s smallest ever fruit crop, LOL! One blueberry & one loganberry. Hey ho. Still, we also have French beans, gladioli, roses(!!), sweet williams, sweet peas, dahlias and one coreopsis.

On the way home, however, I foraged more blackberries, so soft fruit honour is restored!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books