The Allotment Wife


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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


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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


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Making the Most of Failure

As you may remember, our sprouts this year (for the second year running) have been a total failure (sob!…), so much so that they just look like tired cabbages:

Sprouts

So we’ve finally admitted defeat and taken them out to see what we could salvage, if anything. In fact, once home, I have salvaged some decent looking greens and a selection of very tiny sprouts that look SO cute, LOL!! We could probably eat them raw – they are that small! Here they are on our kitchen draining board:

Sprout harvest

So it just goes to show that there’s always something you can make of disaster …

Anyway, in other news, the daffodils are going strong:

Daffodils

And there is a rather nice display of tulips on their way in a bed where we did NOT plant them – I blame the squirrels though it’s more likely to be my total inability to find all the bulbs when digging them up, to be honest!

Tulips

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulip Planting

We finally got round to planting the tulips at the allotment – though actually we’re not late at all, as they can’t be planted out till November at the earliest due to the possibility of tulip rot if you try to plant out any earlier.

Anyway, here they are about to be planted:

Tulip bulbs 1

And here they are with the netting weighed down with sticks on them in order to put off the pesky thieving squirrels. Here’s hoping it works!

Tulip bulbs 2

In order to free up the new tulip bed, I did take out the gladioli which we will store until next year:

Gladioli bulbs

At the same time, K pruned the currant bushes to give them a chance to get some air and light in them:

Currant bushes

So, a  mini-harvest this week of the remains of the beetroot and the last good cabbage. We’ve really enjoyed the cabbages this year and will definitely do them again!

Harvest

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Mystery sweetcorn and the allotment show

Just back from 10 days’ holiday this week so we had a lot of catching up to do at the allotment, which was basically weed city! Here are some pics of what’s going on.

The alstroemeria are coming back:

Alstroemeria

And the gladioli are rallying after the winds and rain the UK has had (not that we noticed as we were sailing up the Danube and ambling round Budapest in a mega heatwave, LOL!!).

Gladioli

Our cabbages are now starting to look like actual cabbages though something is getting in the netting and chewing them, wicked creatures!

Cabbages

The lettuces have also done well in our absence:

Lettuces

But what is this stray sweetcorn plant doing in the gladioli bed??!! We never planted it there! I blame the squirrels …

Stray sweetcorn

A couple of harvest shots this week:

Harvest.JPG

Harvest

As you can see in the picture above, both the red and yellow autumn raspberries are starting to fruit now, so this is our first (mini!) harvest.

Here are various vases:

Vases

Vases

The BIG news of the week however is our Allotment Show. We weren’t sure we were going to have much for it as we’d only returned to the UK a couple of days before, but here are pics of what we entered into the show:

 

Show entries

Above are our entries for the 5 beans class, the largest marrow (which ended up being the smallest, LOl!), 3 trimmed onions, 3 stems and the flower arrangement for A Day at the Allotment. I used a small watering can though it’s hard to see in the shots.

Here is a pic of all the flower arrangement entries (the one on the right deservedly won 1st prize and best in show!):

Flower arrangements

Here are the certificates we gained!

I have to admit, however, that there was only one entry in the 3 stems class and that was mine, LOL (for which I gained the 1st prize!) and there were only 3 entries in the flower arrangement class and I got 3rd for that! Still, awards of any kind are not to be sniffed at, LOL!!

And here is the amazing Helen who was best in show for her amazing flower arrangement!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Soggy Allotment

A very soggy allotment today so the Wellies are definitely on! Still at least we don’t need to water anything … Today’s important job was getting the tulips in, so K took out the gladioli (which we’ll store for next year), and then we planted up that bed with tulips old and new:

We then put netting across and weighed it down with sticks to keep those pesky squirrels off! Odd how the squirrels love the tulip bulbs so much but pay no attention to the daffodil bulbs. Obviously they’re just very picky.

Tulips 3

Meanwhile, the asparagus forest is growing and we really must cut it down soon.

Asparagus forest

The chrysanthemums are struggling and the lilies are really fighting a losing battle now. I’ll give the lilies one more week (tops!) before cutting them down, I think.

And in the soft fruit zone, one of our currant bushes actually has buds, well gosh! Signs of hope for next year then.

Currant buds

All in all, the harvest is very meagre indeed, though K did grab a beetroot as we left the allotment after I’d taken this photo!

Harvest

Here is the very sad vase at home – I threw out the red chrysanthemum as it was crawling with black fly (yuck!) but the yellow flowers seemed unaffected, though rather brown at the edges … Maybe the black fly is as picky as the squirrels, LOL?!

Vase

All best to everyone for Remembrance Weekend.

Anne Brooke Books