The Allotment Wife


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Autumn in the Air

Definitely an early autumn in the air this week – our silver birch is now in its early autumn colours and there’s a mist over the field in the mornings so the season is turning.

Still lots going on at the allotment though. The French beans continue to produce a good crop:

And the Brussels sprouts have their first small sprouts in place ready for winter!

The lettuces are also bravely fighting off slug attacks, thanks to our use of Nemaslug and also slug pellets, and they’re looking pretty good, I think:

The gladioli are looking beautiful too:

And there is a whole new week’s worth of sweet peas to pick:

Here is our harvest, which consists of the first of our carrot crop, shallots (which keep for months and are just brilliant, once dried out), two courgettes, a handful of soft fruit, French beans, gladioli, sweet peas, sweet williams, one coreopsis and a Peruvian lily:

Naturally I did some foraging on the way home and have another bowl of blackberries (see – definitely autumn!):

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Bye bye courgettes and hello carrots!

Did a huge tidy up at the allotment today as we have the Allotment Inspection on Wednesday (yikes!) so must be as neat as possible, LOL. The weeds are an utter nightmare at the moment so a lot of time was spent pulling them up or cutting them down. I think the weeds are certainly having a great year …

I’m sorry to say that the courgette we planted last week was died, sob! So that’s two years we have been without courgettes even though everyone says they’re super easy to grow. Not for us, they’re not!… Anyway, we planted carrots in the area where the courgette used to be as we have some left over from home so here’s hoping they’ll managed to survive the dreaded carrot fly …


You can also see the French climbing beans at the back which look a bit sad but we’ve watered them and are hoping for the best.

In the meantime, the shallots are doing very well, especially since they started from nothing, vanished entirely for a bit(!) but have since recovered, hurrah:


K also put up a climbing frame for the peas which have miraculously survived any mouse attacks – so far!…

This week, there are no flowers to speak of (sob!) but we have a harvest of rhubarb and asparagus which is something:

Have a great bank holiday 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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Painting the Shed and Lovely Lilies

Today’s task was painting the general allotment shed, and I’m quietly pleased with how it’s turned out:

From this:

Shed before painting

To this:

Shed after painting

So pleased, yay! Naturally, even though the weather forecast was fine all weekend, it started raining five minutes after we got home, but to be honest the paint was all but dry when we left the allotment, so am hoping all will be well …

And the lilies are simply amazing and SO strongly scented, double yay!

Lilies

Plus we have our first sunflower!

Sunflower

And the gladioli continue to look good too:

Gladioli

I’ve also happy to say we have our first small crop of French beans – which are my favourite of the bean/pea family. They’re so sweet-tasting and absolutely no strings which is just brilliant (I hate strings!):

French bean

Here is the harvest which this week consists of the sunflower, lilies, gladioli, rudbeckia, carnations, echinacea, sweet peas, plus runner beans, mangetouts, French beans and the rest of the shallots:

Harvest

Here are all the vases at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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The Lilies are Here!

I am just SO thrilled that the lilies we bought last year are finally out and how amazing they are! The scent is just incredible and makes me feel VERY happy.

Lilies 1

Lilies 2

The gladioli are also doing very well and the pink & white ones which are growing in a bed they shouldn’t be in at all(!) are just so tall.

Gladioli 1

Gladioli 2

The beetroot also look happy, which is great news:

Beetroot

Not only that but the Brussels sprouts are actually growing (hurrah!) which they didn’t manage to do last year. Here is the harvest of gladioli, lilies, rudbeckia, carnations, sweet peas, peas, shallots and LOTS of blackcurrants and gooseberries:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home (apologies for the quality of the first picture but it gives you the idea of how well the lilies and the gladioli go together):

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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Sleet and shallots

There I am, putting on my suncream for a good healthy once-a-day walk to the allotment with my husband, and a quarter of the way there, it is sleeting!!! Great news for the first day of British summertime, hey ho. Anyway the walk there and back was invigorating – to say the least!

Once on the allotment, we are surprised by tulips, hurrah:

Tulips

So lovely to see their beautiful colours. The rhubarb is also doing well:

Rhubarb

And we have planted our first crop of the allotment year – shallots!

Shallots

We made sure to put them in a side of the bed they’ve not been before, and also not to bury them too deeply as they do like having their tops showing (the picture shows them before planting however so they’re not that shallow, LOL!).

Whilst there I did a hoe round, though actually things weren’t too bad, and K mended another one of our raised beds, which was great.

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a good Sunday, and stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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New Allotment Year 2020

Happy new year to you all! Yes, it has really taken me THIS LONG to get back onto the allotment – partly due to bad weather, partly due to inertia and partly due to 2 weeks of a pretty determined virus.

But I’m back now in the land of the living (hurrah!) and there’s a whole new allotment year to look forward to so it was really lovely to get out there today.

Here’s a view of how it looks at the moment:

Allotment view

As you can see, there’s not much going on, but we do need to sort those broken raised beds out at some point, and we also sorted out the weeds while we were there today.

The leeks we planted last year are still hanging on so we must harvest those soon before they give up entirely!

Leeks

We also brought along a bag of mulch and spread that across the rhubarb bed, which is already starting to sprout:

Rhubarb

I do so love a good mulch moment. In other sprouting news, the daffodil bed is coming along very nicely indeed:

Daffodils 1

And – just to show that daffodils are a whole lot tougher than you might think – we realised today that the daffodil bulbs I’d rejected as being too mouldy or too tiny and abandoned near the water butt for taking home are actually sprouting! So much so that they’ve rooted where they’re lying so I can’t move them to put them elsewhere, LOL! We therefore have a mini daffodil patch near the water butt – which obviously we would have planned for if we’d thought about it … um, not!…

Just goes to show, nature does what she darn well likes and takes no notice of our opinions!

Daffodils 2

Oh, and I also planted five new lily bulbs (Red Eye) in the second lily area – as we were out at the annual Potato Day in Whitchurch yesterday, and I just couldn’t resist them – alongside 8 new potato varieties to try, and some shallots. If you’ve not been to a Potato Day before, then I can thoroughly recommend it – you get lots of new potato (and other veg) varieties to have a go at, you’re helping to keep heritage varieties alive, and you get a whole load of good advice as well. What’s not to like!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Shallots and Asters

There are loads of shallots on the allotment at the moment – which is the first year we’ve grown them. The strange thing is they just sit on the top of the soil, seemingly attached to nothing at all, and you pick up the ones you like the look of. All very strange.

The cabbages are also doing well – the joy of them is that they last such a long time once you harvest them – with us, one lasts all week!

Cabbages

The lettuces are getting past their best though – K harvested one and by the time he picked off the slimy outer leaves, it was tiny!

Lettuces

Meanwhile, the autumn asters continue to shine and keep our vases going. They are just amazing – I think these blue ones are Little Harlow Carr, but I’m not sure.

Asters

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of asters, some sunflowers, a few sweet peas and pelargoniums, one alstroemeria, that little lettuce, one beetroot, runner beans, those shallots (just below the trug handle) and a bowl of gorgeous autumn raspberries – which are truly the gift that keeps on giving and which I shall add to this weekend’s apple crumble, yum!

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone – stay out of the rain!

Anne Brooke Books