The Allotment Wife


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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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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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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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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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Daffodil Harvest

Managed to fit in an allotment visit first thing this morning before Storm Dennis hits us later on. Goodness, but the field we need to cross to get to the allotments was the wettest I’ve ever known it – like a marsh! We do appear to have some shed damage in preparation for the storm already …

Shed

K has slotted it back in but I’m not sure how long that will last!

Anyway, the daffodils are doing well – even the ones I abandoned near the compost bins are in flower:

Daffodils 1

Daffodils 2

And the single daffodil in amongst the leeks is happy too:

Leeks and daffodil

Meanwhile the tulip shoots are growing, which is brilliant news:

Tulips

And the rhubarb is looking good too:

Rhubarb

So today we have our first real harvest of some of the leeks and the daffodils. The leeks smell amazing – so much stronger than the ones in the shop!

Harvest

Here are the daffodils at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Stay safe this weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Allotment Break-in

I’m very sorry to have to tell you that our allotments suffered a break-in this week, with the perimeter fence broken in a couple of places, the main gate damaged, and thefts carried out at several sheds. Such an awful thing to happen. Our own shed was broken into, but nothing taken as we don’t have anything worth stealing.

Damaged shed

K mended the shed today – amazingly our now curved padlock still works as it’s actually much tougher than the shed itself!

In happier news, we still have an alstroemeria in bloom:

Alstroemeria

However, most of the rest of the flowers are now over, so I spent some time cutting back and composting while K was mending the shed. I did feel a lot better after the tidy up as it feels I’ve done something positive to prepare for next season after the communal break-in.

On similar lines, K has dug out the potato bed, rescuing the last of the potatoes – and it’s now ready for us to plant daffodils next time we’re there, hurrah!

Ready for daffodils

I’m also happy to say that our chrysanthemums are on the way though not quite there yet:

Chrysanthemums

Meanwhile we know it’s a very rainy autumn due to the sheer amount of mushrooms everywhere!

Mushrooms

Our cabbages are doing well:

Cabbages

And we’ve rediscovered the leeks which have been lurking under the runner beans for ages, quietly waiting to see the sun again …

Leeks

Sadly though, our Brussels sprouts are experiencing their second year of failure (sob!) – maybe next time we should plant them out in May rather than waiting for them to get bigger at home … Oh well.

Brussels sprouts

Here is the week’s harvest, which includes alstroemeria, a few pelargoniums, a handful of autumn raspberries (though I ditched them at home due to the amount of insects in them, yuk!) one cabbage, the potatoes, beetroot and a couple of stray runner beans:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Nibbly Creatures

Lots of nibbly creatures both on and off the allotment this week … here is the sweetcorn section where the middle is all but missing. Pigeons? Mice? Who knows. But we are not amused!

Sweetcorn

We also struggled with lettuce planting last week as the pigeons (or mice!) had had a good go at them before we even arrived at the allotment – you can just about see them here, still hanging on – just – at the bottom left of the really lovely lettuces (hurrah!):

Lettuces

Anyway, the beetroot section is doing well, and we even have one or two mangetouts lurking amongst the leaves, well gosh:

Beetroot

Mangetout

The autumn raspberries are growing well:

Autumn raspberries

And the flower crops are doing well too. We have the first of the lilies out:

Lilies

The carnations are still being totally amazing and I picked 128 of them – which is only about half of what I picked last week!

Carnations

The verbascum is still blooming:

Verbascum

And the sweet peas we thought were a goner near the shed have a sudden lease of life:

Sweet peas

Today, I planted the rest of the gladioli bulbs so that’s filled up a bed nicely. I also planted some coreopsis (which I picked flowers from before taking it to the allotment). They are a type called Golden Sphere:

Coreopsis Golden Sphere

Plus I thought I’d plant some annual flowers for the first time so here are four new pelargoniums – which again I picked before planting. I’m astonished about how beautiful the flowers are in a vase (see later) so will definitely do this again:

Pelargoniums

Here is the harvest of three mangetouts(!), verbascum, lilies and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home. The pelargonium flowers are on the right between the carnations and the verbascum – I think they’re gorgeous. And the coreopsis are on the left.

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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A Host of Golden Daffodils

Well, nearly a host anyway. Definitely a bunch this week, with more to come. And the weather for February is totally amazing.

 

Daffodils 3

The tulips might possibly be a bit bigger than last week but it’s hard to say:

Tulips

Even the lupin is coming along – I actually want to dig that one up and put it in the garden at home, as they’re not very good as cut flowers, so we must do that soon.

Lupins

The rhubarb is still there too, which is good news.

Rhubarb

Oh, and we have a bit of a shed roof problem since all that wind and rain a while back! Must do some mending soon then …

Roof problem

Here is the harvest of lovely daffodils:

Harvest

And here they are at home – perfect!

Vase

Have a lovely Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books