The Allotment Wife


Leave a comment

Still blooming

An unexpected number of flowers in bloom for this time of year at the allotment today. Yes, I expected the Sweet Williams to be still going strong as they are:

But I did think the dahlias would have finished due to the cold night we had on Thursday, but they are still there!

Even more astonishing, a couple of the gladioli have come back into bud and we were just about to take them out as they should be over!

All very strange, but very welcome. Assuming that next spring will still turn up when we assume it will, we planted the last of the daffodil bulbs in a spare bed:

I’m pleased to say the Brussel sprouts are getting larger which is good news, so should definitely be ready for Christmas, if not earlier:

However, proving that we did have the cold snap on Thursday, the yakons are slightly damaged by frost, but that’s not a problem as the produce is only ripe when the leaves have all turned yellow anyway.

Here is today’s harvest, which includes carrots, beetroots, two lettuces, Sweet Williams, alstroemerias, dahlias and a couple of carnations:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


Leave a comment

Autumn in the Air

Definitely an early autumn in the air this week – our silver birch is now in its early autumn colours and there’s a mist over the field in the mornings so the season is turning.

Still lots going on at the allotment though. The French beans continue to produce a good crop:

And the Brussels sprouts have their first small sprouts in place ready for winter!

The lettuces are also bravely fighting off slug attacks, thanks to our use of Nemaslug and also slug pellets, and they’re looking pretty good, I think:

The gladioli are looking beautiful too:

And there is a whole new week’s worth of sweet peas to pick:

Here is our harvest, which consists of the first of our carrot crop, shallots (which keep for months and are just brilliant, once dried out), two courgettes, a handful of soft fruit, French beans, gladioli, sweet peas, sweet williams, one coreopsis and a Peruvian lily:

Naturally I did some foraging on the way home and have another bowl of blackberries (see – definitely autumn!):

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


2 Comments

Brussels Sprouts & Carnations

Hot work on the allotment this morning! We have finally cleared the rest of the second bed of tulips and planted up the Brussels sprouts in their place.

I’m pleased to say the courgette gift we planted last week is still with us, hurrah!

The rhubarb continues to do well and there’s enough of it for a crumble this afternoon.

As promised, here is the picture of our sweet williams which I planted up last week – they are still with us, which is great news:

Plus the verbascum is going for it – but honestly it is NOT a great cut flower as there are just so many caterpillars and ants that come with it so my plan is to dig it up later in the year and just put it in our garden somewhere. Good display though:

We are very pleased with how the dianthus are doing and the spicy smell is just wonderful:

Today’s harvest is rhubarb, asparagus, verbascums and dianthus:

And here are the vases at home:

Enjoy the rest of Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


2 Comments

A Borrowed Harvest

A wee bit disappointed with the allotment crops today – there was literally only one daffodil in bloom, though I did pick a couple of others which were not quite there yet.

Still, all was definitely not lost – as we have decided to give up composting the old raspberry canes and instead use them as a kind-of path on one of our most weedy areas – which we hope will keep the weeds down a bit …

I’m also pleased that the rhubarb is coming along slowly:

And K very nobly planted three more soft fruit bushes in our new area – they are the row on the left in the picture below:

However, the really amazing thing was that one of our lovely allotment neighbours had extra sprouts and parsnips he was trying to get rid of, so we were of course more than happy to help in this terrible crisis, LOL! I never say no to a sprout! Or indeed a parsnip. I did offer our one daffodil in exchange but he was sweet enough to decline – thank you, R!

So here is our borrowed harvest:

And here is the mini-vase at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


6 Comments

Fruit section overhaul

Today at the allotment we mended another raised bed – so there’s just one more with real problems which we hope to tackle later on. We have also made the decision to remove the autumn raspberries as they’ve not given a good crop in the last couple of years, so we’ve done half of that today and will carry on with it next week:

We would have brought the discarded canes home for the garden waste bin but Waverley have stopped collecting garden waste temporarily due to staff shortages in this tricky year. Whilst we were removing them, we were surprised to see how deep some of the canes in the middle had actually rooted as autumn raspberries normally have quite shallow roots so they must have been there for years! Definitely time for something new, but if anyone out there has any ideas, please let us know – thank you!

In flower news, the daffodils are doing well and a couple of them now have actual buds on, yay!

Not much to harvest this week, though I did find a couple of spare sprouts which must have escaped me last week, LOL! So just those and some leeks today:

Have a good Sunday everyone.

Anne Brooke


2 Comments

Clearing the Beds

More raised bed maintenance on the allotment today and I think we’re getting there – thank goodness for husbands and electric drills is what I say!

I’ve also cleared the sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli beds ready for spring crops. Here are the sprouts:

And here is the bed with no sprouts:

A good job done, yay!

The tulips are also coming along nicely:

Here is a view of the raised beds area:

The light was amazing this morning though it was pretty nippy!

So, today’s harvest is the last of the sprouts and the purple sprouting broccoli – which in fact only has two small sprouts you can JUST ABOUT see on top, and is mostly leaves, LOL:

Anne Brooke Books


4 Comments

New Shoots

We’ve spent the last few weeks on the winter allotment mending our raised beds, most of which have needed attention – as they were there when we first took over the plot in 2014. Really they’ve lasted well, but it’s time to refresh! So we’ve got the bulk of them sorted out, and certainly the worst of them – but we just need to mend some minor issues now. Hard work, but it feels great to get it done at a time when nothing else is happening.

Mind you, nature has been working hard – the daffodils shoots are definitely on their way:

And we even have the first few tulips starting to appear! – so we’ve removed the netting which has been keeping the squirrels at bay – as they don’t bother with them so much at this growth stage.

We were also surprised to see some rhubarb on its way, goodness me:

And, as usual, I collected the sprouts for lunch and next week – there are still some left so will look forward to eating these for a couple of weeks or so to come:

Have a great Sunday and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


4 Comments

The Winter Allotment

I’ve not been here for a while as there’s not been much doing in winter – though we have managed to mend one of the raised beds which desperately needed it last week – only another 6 or so to go, LOL!

Plus we’ve been harvesting the sprouts which have done amazingly well this year – I’m SO happy about this as I just LOVE sprouts!

The only trouble is they are a bit of a fiddle to prepare for cooking, what with all that taking off of the outer leaves and then making a cross in the top to ensure they’re cooked all the way through – still, SO worth it!

So here are a couple of pictures of the winter allotment – not much seems to be happening, I know, but the daffodil shoots are already coming up and the rudbeckia are still flowering every now and again. I think I’ll take those up later and replant them at home as they’re not great in vases, though very pretty in the garden.

The picture above shows the autumn raspberry area – which we’re planning to dig up and plant with a better cropping fruit this spring.

Happy Sunday to all!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


Leave a comment

Chrysanthemum City

Just me at the allotment today as K needed to stay at home and sort his car out (which we think is now mended, hurrah!). I was hugely surprised that the chrysanthemums are still in bloom – as to be honest I’d forgotten about them!

I do love that burnt orange colour – just amazing. The daffodil shoots are also doing well:

Today’s harvest is beetroot, sprouts and the chrysanthemums:

Here is the vase at home:

Happy Advent Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


Leave a comment

Compost City and Daffodil Shoots

We arranged to take some compost over to the allotments today, plus some pieces of wood (for mending our raised beds which definitely need attention). I do LOVE compost time – the look of it just makes me so happy. Mind you, it does make me laugh when the compost bag instructions tell us to dig it in. Dig it in??!! My, how we laugh! No way!! And absolutely no need for any of this digging nonsense as that, my dears, is what the worms do – so just shovel it on and leave Nature to do the rest. Job done.

Here are our dahlias, now safe and warm for the winter under their special duvet – no need to dig up the dahlias as this is the South, LOL!

And here is our lovely asparagus bed, also freshly composted:

I’m also thrilled to say that our daffodil shoots are now coming up – which is fabulous news and give us fresh hope for spring (which we definitely need after this year!…)

The chrysanthemums are also still in bud, astonishingly, so we may actually get some very late flowers next week – weather depending …

Finally, we’ve managed to plant the tulips in, which we’re thrilled about. Once planted, we’ve put netting on the bed, held down by rods – to try to make sure the squirrels don’t take them all.

So a small harvest today of sprouts (yum!) and beetroot – but enough for a couple of meals, yay.

Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant