The Allotment Wife


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First of the Gladioli

Great news today – the first few of the gladioli are out and I am SO pleased! I really do love this red and white one (which came up by itself in totally the wrong bed so I have no idea what it is …):

Gladioli

The lilies also look particularly good in the sunlight:

Lilies

We also have more sweet peas coming through now (hurrah!):

Sweet peas

And the alstroemeria are back in business too:

Alstroemeria

In other news, the second sowing of peas we did a couple of weeks ago are now coming up which is good news:

Peas

Here is the harvest of gladioli, lilies, alstroemeria, carnations, one rudbeckia, the peas, and two containers of blackcurrants (half of which have gone into today’s crumble):

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone – the weather’s fabulous!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant


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Soft Fruit City

The soft fruit is now really starting to come into its own and we need to get picking. This year for the very first time we have gooseberries, and the blackcurrants are just loaded down!

Soft fruit inc gooseberries

Blackcurrants 1

Blackcurrants 2

The fun thing is having to take one side of the netting up and crawl underneath to get at them …

Plus we also have our first – very small! – pea harvest:

Peas

Whilst there, we planted out the yakon, which is the last of our veggies to go in – and we still have space so will have to think what else to plant.

Yakon

The gladioli are coming along nicely:

Gladioli

And the rudbeckia I planted last week have a flower!

Rudbeckia

So today’s harvest is small but perfectly formed. We have carnations, sweet peas, one rudbeckia, the soft fruit in the bowl, and a handful of peas:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant (yes – a new thing!)


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Netting and Thinning Out

It was definitely time to thin out those sunflowers today before they start exploding! Here is the ‘before’ shot:

Sunflowers 1

And here is the ‘after’ shot – I think I’ve done a pretty good job with them too:

Sunflowers 2

K and I also put the netting up for the soft fruit – we’d ordered a new net and pins to hold it down, but the new net still wasn’t big enough! So we’ve had to add an old piece to one end of it and we’re hoping for the best. We’re also hoping the structure will stay upright as it’s been pretty windy today …

Soft fruit

While I was doing a fairly serious weed, K also added the netting to the peas so they can get going:

Peas

The Brussels sprouts are also doing okay, which is good news, though I added more slug pellets to them just in case:

Brussels sprouts

Plus we’ve given everything a bit of a water as – in spite of the rain yesterday and today – the soil is still terribly dry …

Here is the harvest of verbascums, carnations, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a good weekend and stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Verbascum Explosion

Goodness me but the verbascum is the best it’s ever been, with more flowers to come.

Verbascum

The carnations are also in bloom, and I’ve planted a few more in the middle of the patch, where it’s getting bare.

Carnations

Our sunflower seeds are growing very well, and I really must thin them out in the very near future or it’s going to be chaos in there!

Sunflowers

I also have a few rudbeckia plug plants over from planting them at home yesterday, so I’ve added them to the perennial bed:

Rudbeckia

Meanwhile the asparagus is becoming a forest, LOL! I’ve harvested these for today but I think that’ll be the end of the season now.

Asparagus

We have also planted the Brussels sprouts which ended up filling one and a half beds. The photo below is taken before we put the netting on but rest assured we did rescue the trowel before putting the netting in place!

Brussels sprouts

The peas are growing well, and K has now put in some stakes they can grow up.

Peas

We are amazed at the amount of currants on the current bushes – they’re already so thick with fruit that the branches are weighed down! We’d best buy more netting to sort them out before the birds get there first …

Currant bushes

I have to say that the soil was also the driest I’ve ever known it so we did as much watering as possible while there. Here is the harvest of asparagus, verbascum and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Stay safe, 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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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


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Asters and Tatties

It’s the turn of the asters to shine today on the autumn allotment – we really know summer is over now as they’re such an autumn flower! K has dug up the last of the potatoes (tatties), so we have an empty bed to do something with:

No more potatoes

It’s been a hot week so the allotment is very dry and we’ve given it a good water today – the rubbish bin water butt is proving very useful indeed. Here are the beans looking very dry and definitely past their best:

Beans

And even the currant bushes and autumn raspberries are struggling in the heat:

Currants

Autumn raspberries

Here is today’s harvest which consists of beans, potatoes, one beetroot, the asters, a few sad-looking gladioli, one or two sunflowers, the autumn raspberries and a scattering of sweet peas, pelargoniums and carnations.

Harvest

We have also taken the tulip bulbs (in the round, green basket) so I can plant these at home in November (when the threat of tulip rot will have passed). We will get fresh ones for the allotment as usual.

Here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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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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Autumn Crops

Yes, I know – autumn is early this year but though we are saying goodbye to summer produce, the autumn goodies are coming along nicely. Here are our squashes (though we have utterly failed to get any courgettes, strangely…):

Squashes 1

Squashes 2

Our very first cabbages are doing well in spite of being nibbled all the time, and even look like cabbages, well gosh.

Cabbages

The yacon is happy:

Yacon

And I think the lettuces look really cute – so frilly!

Lettuces

We also have our first major crop of autumn raspberries, which this year include red ones as well as the yellow ones. The birds have ignored them so we are getting the whole crop which is great news.

Autumn raspberries

Meanwhile the sunflowers just keep on going:

Sunflowers

Here is this week’s harvest which includes one marrow and a crazy amount of French & runner beans:

Harvest

And here are the vases:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Happy weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books