The Allotment Wife


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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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Planting up the season

We really focused ourselves at the allotment today and planted up the rest of the vegetables we’ve been looking after at home, so it was hugely busy but fun. First off, the beetroot is now all done:

And we have put in the cabbages, netted them, sprayed and put slug doom down so we hope they will survive!

K also built the structure for the French beans and we have put those in as well. There were some left over so we put those on the allotment shared table for people to take if they would like some – such a useful facility to have!

The Brussels sprouts which we planted earlier in the month continue to do okay:

The fruit cage is also really going for it, with lots of flowers so that’s good news:

The gerberas I planted last week are still there but a bit slug-chewed so I put some slug doom pellets down to protect those too:

Whilst there this week, I also planted three more rows of gladioli – though the bucket I’ve been storing them in appears to be doing its own planting without needing me at all! That’s the joy of gladioli – I swear to you I could just chuck them onto the bed without bothering with planting them at all and they’d STILL produce leaves and flowers, no problem. I could probably leave them in that bucket and they’d look fine!

Here is a view of the allotment which almost makes it look as if we know what we’re doing – as if, LOL!

Here is the harvest of asparagus and sweet williams, plus a bed of tulip bulbs I dug up which I will take home to plant in November:

Here are the sweet williams at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The First of the Asparagus

Great news! The asparagus has begun. It’s always lovely to see it as it’s one of my favourite veggies.

Hopefully there will be more soon. We also took the chance today to water in some Nemaslug mix to keep the little beasts at bay. Plus there is a whole lot of compost we have ordered which we need to collect and spread round but we haven’t had the chance this morning – so plan to do this later in the week if we can.

The French beans and gladioli bed is doing well:

And the rhubarb also seems happy:

K took out some old lilies (which I have potted up at home now) to prepare a bed for Brussels sprouts:

The fruit cage is looking good so we’re anticipating a better crop than last year:

In terms of flowers, the tulips are still in bloom:

And the lilies are on their way:

I did find one lily beetle so killed that but will need to restock the lily beetle doom spray this week for sure!

While there, we did a good water round across the plot after we’d sorted the Nemaslug out as quite honestly the soil is like dust.

Here is our small harvest of asparagus and tulips:

And here are the tulips at home:

Happy St George’s Day, 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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Tulips and soft fruit

A lovely display of tulips at the allotment today, which is very heartening. Most of them are tall enough for cutting too.

Meanwhile the daffodils are continuing well and the scented ones are just amazing.

I planted some more gladioli rows this week.

And, while I was doing that, K had a good look through the soft fruit cage and things are definitely coming on early. The haskap berry (a type of blueberry) even has flowers and a bee was hovering round enjoying that treat.

One of the blueberries is in leaf:

And the smaller of the two gooseberries is coming along well too – though watch out for those thorns!

Sadly, the sweet pea plants near the shed are definitely on the way out so we will have to get some bigger ones later and hope for the best. Oh well. You win some, you lose some!

However, the shallots always make me smile – they’ve not done much but they just look so weird and alien:

The rhubarb is definitely growing and more plants are appearing too:

Here is the harvest of daffodils and tulips:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a great Mothering Sunday and start of British Summer Time, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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First Daffodil of the season

And it’s here – the first daffodil of the season:

Just the one, but very welcome nonetheless! I hope some more will join it soon.

K brought down a blueberry from home which we didn’t need as a replacement to a blueberry that had sadly died in our fruit cage and it looks very good in its new position:

We also have some rhubarb making an appearance now which is lovely news:

Not much else to do on the plot, except a bit of composting and a token weeding session, so we weren’t out for long but it was nice to keep an eye on the place.

Here’s our lone daffodil at home:

Have a lovely pre-Valentine weekend, everyone!

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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The Day of the Dahlias

It’s the time for the dahlias to shine on the allotment now the asters are over and they do indeed look lovely.

These glorious flowers are definitely lifting my spirits today, that’s for sure.

The yakons are also doing well:

And the carrots continue to look amazing too:

We were also really impressed with how beautiful the blueberry leaves are this autumn – this is one of the plants in our new fruit cage:

So, not that much to do today apart from weeding and harvesting, though I did cut down all the lily stems and take down the remains of the pink aster. We also removed the rest of the cabbages, and plan to put tulips in that spare bed in November.

Today’s harvest is carrots, cabbages, one lettuce, the dahlias and a handful of sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

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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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