The Allotment Wife


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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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New Shed Window

Have been feeling a bit despondent what with all the horrid news at the moment, but we did manage to get down to the allotment today so K could mend the window, which looks very good indeed:

I did some weeding while that was going on though, to be honest, there’s not a lot to do as we’ve had a couple of frosts recently. Here’s a view of the allotment for you:

A few more daffodils this week too, which is nice:

So a mini-harvest of blooms today:

And here they are at home:

Hugs and hope for the week ahead.

Anne Brooke Books


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After the Storm

We’ve been very lucky on the plot after Storm Eunice on Friday – our fruit cage remains upright and in place (though sadly many others on the allotments have suffered) and our compost bins and pots are relatively intact. The only real issue we have is the broken shed window, which is easy to fix:

Meanwhile the daffodils are all starting to come out which is good news:

And we have planted our first crops of the year (apart from the blueberry bush we added to the fruit cage earlier on) – which are shallots. Here they are before planting – though actually you don’t need to push them in much deeper than this as their ‘noses’ have to be showing above the soil:

And here they are with protection from the birds!

So we have a small harvest of daffodils:

And here they are in the vase at home:

Stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The End of the Season

There’s definitely a feeling on the allotment today that it’s the end of the season – we have removed the gladioli corms, and raked the bed they were in so it looks a bit neater. We’ll store the corms until next year when we can plant them again, and we’ll compost the stalks.

While there and in the mood, I gave all the raised beds a quick rake over and they look amazing, I have to say! I will try to do that more often, I think:

As you can see, it’s definitely the end of the season! Though, that said, the sprouts are doing well and we’re looking forward to harvesting those soon:

Last time, I forgot to take a picture of the completed tidy shed, so here it is today – it’s just SO amazing to be able to get in, stand up (without falling over the netting) and find things too. Such a difference.

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the yakons, carrots and beetroot:

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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The kindness of gardeners

I must say once again how kind gardeners are! After my courgette disaster of last week, the lovely Maureen at my church job has donated one of her courgette plants and a cloche into our tender care – thank you, Maureen! Here it is in its new position, and I am praying hard for its survival!

Whilst we were on the allotment this morning, the equally lovely Melissa kindly donated one of her spare rhubarb plants to us as well, so a huge thank you for that too!

We have removed most of the old daffodils and some of the tulips so we have space for other crops. I leave the daffodils at the allotment for planting out for next spring, and I take the tulips home for planting in the garden (and get new tulips for the allotment next year).

So we have planted out our cabbages and netted them to try to ensure survival:

And K also planted some fresh pea seeds so we can get a succession of crops:

Though of course all you can see at the moment is netting! Speaking of which we have netted our gooseberry bush in the soft fruit area now as it has fruit on it and the birds go crazy for them even when they’re not ripe so we are determined to gather as much of the harvest as possible for ourselves:

Our sweet peas are also doing well in their new position on the other side of the shed:

Our verbascums are also out at last – late due to the poor weather in May, but still welcome:

I also planted out a whole lot of sweet williams but for some reason didn’t take a picture of them, so I will try to remember to do that next week!

Here is our harvest of verbascums, asparagus & rhubarb:

Have a great 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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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