The Allotment Wife


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The Allotment Working Party & BBQ

Perfect weather for the allotment working party & BBQ today – though maybe a little too hot when it came to moving the hedge cuttings to a bonfire area, LOL! Still, after a good two hours’ slog, the joy comes with a lovely BBQ and beer, hurrah!

BBQ

Seriously though, we had a fabulous time and many thanks to the allotment committee for organising us all. Meanwhile, back on our own allotment, we have the first of the asters:

Asters

And the sunflowers look amazing – particularly when a gorgeous yellow butterfly landed on one of them:

Sunflower and yellow butterfly

The one pink dahlia in bloom this week also looks quite cute:

Dahlia

The lettuces are doing well and – so far! – aren’t getting eaten by the slugs which is great news. I’m not even putting slug doom pellets on them any more and still they survive …

Lettuces

However, the news with the sweetcorn isn’t so good, I’m afraid – even though we’ve netted them and they should be ready to harvest, some evil creature has still eaten the lot. Oh well …

Sweetcorn

Today’s harvest is potatoes, beetroot, a lettuce, a cabbage, French beans and runner beans, gladioli, sunflowers, the asters, a few sweet peas, carnations and pelargoniums, plus the autumn raspberries:

Harvest

Here are the flowers at home. I think the asters really make a difference to a vase, and I’ve put the sunflowers in with those from last week, which are still going strong!

Vases

Have a good Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

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The Naughty Allotmenteer

Yes, I know. I just couldn’t resist this picture of two pumpkins and a marrow – but could you have resisted it??! Which only goes to show that underneath every serious allotmenteer, there is a very immature child desperate to get out …

Rude veg

And yes, I also know there’s a very tiny marrow there too, but I didn’t want it to feel overlooked! Anyone know any pumpkin recipes as we haven’t a clue?…

Anyway, in other news, we have finally planted our Brussels sprouts – not sure how they’re going to do, but we are hopeful. I remembered to put the slug doom in too.

Sprouts

The gladioli are still blooming:

Gladioli

Though not as much as the sunflowers, which continue to surprise us.

Sunflowers

Here is the very autumnal harvest, including our first ever cabbage:

Harvest

All those scrumptious autumn raspberries are going straight into the apple crumble I’m making today, yum.

And here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, and make the most of the sunshine, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sunflower Planting

Yes, it’s that time of year once more and we have planted some sunflowers. Here they are before and after we tied them to canes:

Sunflowers 1

Sunflowers 2

I also planted another 20 gladioli in 2 rows of ten. I really need some more for succession planting but I suspect I might be too late for this now! Anyway, here are some we planted earlier:

Gladioli

The lilies are also going for it so I gave them a good spray today so the dreaded lily-beetle can’t get in there:

Lilies 1

Lilies 2

We also have a few verbascums on their way but I won’t be picking them till at least next week:

Verbascum

Meanwhile, a few alliums have come up unexpectedly next to the lettuce – so a nice surprise there. I’m planning to take them up and plant at home later.

Lettuces and alliums

There are plenty of asparagus spears today so that’s Sunday lunch veg sorted.

Asparagus

The young beetroot plants are coming along too, and I have put slug pellets down to keep them safe.

Beetroot

The mangetouts have started to climb which is brilliant news:

Mangetouts

Not such great news with the sweet peas however – they’ve done nothing for a couple of weeks or so, sadly. So we have bought some more and hope to plant them elsewhere on the allotment to see if they do any better. It’s a shame really as for a couple of years the sweet peas did so well – I wonder if it’s because they don’t like the pine needle compost we’ve been using there … Something to ponder …

At least the potatoes look happy!

Potatoes

And here is the rhubarb which, again, isn’t doing brilliantly now but I still managed to get a few stalks for Sunday pudding.

Rhubarb

The spring onions and shallots are now putting on a growth spurt – but don’t ask me which is which in the photo as I’ve already forgotten what K told me! I think the shallots are the taller ones? But I could be wrong …

Spring onions and shallots

And the sweetcorn has survived one week already, hurrah!

Sweetcorn

I thought I’d also add in a view of the allotment so you can see how things are getting along as a whole:

Allotment View

Here is the tiny harvest of alliums, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Great Easter Tulip Extravaganza

There is a total take-over by the tulips on the allotment this morning – which is pretty dang near perfect for Holy Saturday, and I actually felt quite tearful when I saw them all – they were just so beautiful.

Tulips

Aren’t they amazing! The gladioli bed isn’t quite so dramatic, but the one shoot is definitely taller, LOL.

Gladioli

The lilies are getting bigger too:

Lilies

Whilst there, I did a serious weed round and K replaced the felt roof on the shed as it was in need of attention after storms earlier this year. Look how lovely it is now!

New roof shed

I have also put slug pellets down and bug-sprayed those lilies. Meanwhile, the rhubarb and soft fruit are loving this sunshine.

Plus we have our first asparagus shoot, which is looking rather rude, I must say …

Asparagus

Here is the lovely harvest trug which is 99% tulips and a couple of late daffodils:

And here are those amazing flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Easter, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books

 

 


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Rhubarb Season

At last – it’s rhubarb season on the allotment and we’ve eaten the first of the crop today, hurrah. That said, I suspect we’re the last to harvest our rhubarb in the village, probably due to the fact we’ve not mulched it for a couple of years, wicked us … Will try to remember to add mulch some time soon!

Meanwhile the mangetouts are hanging on in there, and we’ve put slug doom on them today to give them a fighting chance:

Mangetouts

Today we’ve planted lettuces and onions to add to the range of crops we’re growing. K netted the onions to give them some protection as there appears to be a secret onion chewer at loose throughout the plots – possibly rabbits, grr!

Meanwhile the autumn raspberry area is coming on well, and I’m trying to keep the weeds seriously at bay as it saves so much angst later on when I just can’t get in.

Soft Fruit

There are still a few daffodils about:

Daffodils

But it’s the tulips who are queen of all they survey right now. I do so love the striped ones – they’re amazing.

Tulips

And even the lilies are looking hopeful.

Lilies

I’ve also planted another couple of rows of gladioli that we bought yesterday, and I have another thirty left to plant over the weeks ahead. If I run out, I’ll get more as it’s nice to have some later blooms. Plus one of the earlier gladioli is already on its way!

Gladioli

Here is the harvest of rhubarb, tulips and daffodils:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Anne Brooke Books


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Spring Planting

We popped into the garden centre before going to the allotment this morning, and bought sweet peas, golden beetroot, mangetouts, and cabbages for the allotment, and carrots for home (as we can protect them from carrot fly there). We’ve never grown cabbages before but thought we’d give it a go this year.

Planting

Once at the allotment we were delighted to find that some very kind person had left a huge pile of pine bark near the allotment fence so K grabbed the wheelbarrow and we have tidied up our paths, hurrah. Plus the pine smell is just amazing.

So, I have planted the sweet peas next to the shed as usual:

Sweetpeas

And I made half a bed for the beetroot plants – they’re just so small!

Beetroot

K created some sticks and netting for the mangetouts, and I have then put slug pellets on anything I think they might aim for …

In other news, there is one lone tulip in one of our disastrous Brussels sprouts beds (which we have now cleared):

Tulip 2

And the tulips in the actual tulip bed are coming along nicely too:

Tulips 1

The daffodils continue to hold their own:

And the lilies are coming along:

Lilies

Meanwhile, the currants and rhubarb are really getting going, which is fabulous – they are both definitely further along than they were last year, thank goodness.

So, no vegetables for harvesting this week – just the daffodils and tulips:

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Have a great Mothering Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Small can be beautiful

A quick hoe round the allotment this morning, plus I sprayed the lilies and put slug pellets down (no organic gardening here – well, I am a farmer’s daughter after all!…) while K  planted up some more beetroot:

Beetroot

We’re growing rather fond of beetroot – so wonderful that you can eat all the plant and nothing’s wasted, hurrah. So we picked a couple of the older beetroots and also some of the lovely geums, and the smaller alliums:

Harvest

I did think the smaller alliums (as in my earlier post) were a mistake, but I thought I’d try floating them in one of our ramekins (look how posh we are – we have ramekins! – not bad for an Essex Gal, eh …) and actually it really works.

Alliums

I’ve put the geums in with some of our chive flowers from the garden and they look pretty good too.

Geums and chives

Here they both are together, to give you a sense of perspective:

Geums, chives and alliums

In other flower news on the allotment, the lilies and sweet williams look like they’re going to bloom fairly soon so I’m looking forward to that. And we are letting the rest of the asparagus go to seed to give it a chance to get sorted for next year – so our asparagus season is now over, but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the crop. Also, I think that with a bit of luck and if the wind is in the right direction, we might get a second flush of rhubarb too.

Anne Brooke Books