The Allotment Wife


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Gazanias and gladioli

Gorgeous weather at the allotment this morning and not too hot for working either, which was great. I planted up a couple of rows of gazanias (Red Shades) in the perennial bed for summer colour – I have more of these which I will plant up at home in the front garden.

The lilies are doing well though I did spray them to deter the dreaded lily beetle!

And, thankfully, our second planting of sweet peas next to the shed is still surviving:

We are happy with the rhubarb but will let it grow for a while longer before we do any harvesting to give it time to gather strength:

The mangetouts are looking okay, and – as ever! – the gladioli are going for it. Nothing will ever destroy that flower, honestly! I planted up another couple of rows whilst there, so only another row to go before I’ve filled that bed:

In the week since we’ve last seen the allotment, the asparagus has grown so that’s a nice starter for tonight’s dinner:

The French climbing beans are still happy and we even have a flower on one of them which is great news:

And the beetroot and shallot bed is looking good:

So, only a small harvest of the asparagus this week, though we have dug out the rest of the tulip bulbs to take home for planting:

Whilst there, we also did a jolly good water round to give everything a drink – always a worthwhile task!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Sprouts and Rhubarb

A quick update today as I forgot my phone so had to get K to do a couple of pics for me!

We have planted up the sprouts into the cage K made last week and added the netting – so that’s Christmas dinner sorted …

The asparagus has truly begun and we also have the first of our rhubarb harvest (which smells amazing):

**Don’t forget, everyone: rhubarb leaves are HIGHLY POISONOUS, so NEVER use them!!**

Whilst there, I also planted up three gerbera (big daisy-like flowers) into the perennial bed so am hoping for a few blooms from them later on. We also planted some more sweet peas to replace the failure earlier this year. No flowers today, though there were a few sweet williams but not enough for harvesting.

Have a lovely bank holiday!

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 Beetroot and More Daffodils

Lovely day on the allotment today though the wind is still a bit chilly. The daffodils continue to look good with more to come:

The tiny tulips are also looking quite bright and are just about long enough to cut this time!

I’m happy to say that the mangetouts we planted up last week seem to have survived the mice and I’ve added some more slug doom to them while they are at this vulnerable stage:

I’m a bit worried about the sweet peas next to the shed though, which look very unhappy indeed. I’ve given them a water and am hoping for the best. At least the rhubarb is doing okay:

I have put some sunflower seeds in around the tulip bed as we’re not planning to use that for anything in particular, and the tulips will be over by the time the sunflowers arrive – if they do! We have also planted up our first row of beetroot. As ever, we are using a non-red variety so it doesn’t stain when you handle it. Tastes exactly the same though.

Here is the harvest of daffodils and tulips:

And here they are at home:

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Planting and Mending

Sunny but very chilly on the allotment today, especially in the wind. We took some mangetouts and sweet peas which we bought at a garden centre yesterday to the allotment for planting out – there’s no space yet for the mangetouts while the daffodils are still going strong so we ended up bringing those back home. But I did plant up the sweet peas next to the netting on the shed to give them something to climb up:

There were some sweet peas spare so, as I hate throwing them into the compost, I planted them up in the perennial bed so they can scramble across there later on if they so wish:

The daffodils are still sparse but doing their best:

And the tulip bed is coming along nicely too:

The rhubarb is slow but sure:

K also finished off mending the raised bed he was working on and so we levelled out and raked the soil when that was done. There’s nothing more beautiful than raked soil in a raised bed, to my mind!

Here is the daffodil harvest:

And here they are in the vase at home:

I hope you have a good week, and let’s hope that things in the world are better soon.

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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Planting Daffodils and an Aster Explosion

Much to our relief, the allotment has on the whole survived the massive amount of rainfall we had yesterday, though the pink asters have been flattened and have – in their turn – flattened the roses and the dahlias. I suspect the roses and the dahlias will survive as they’re tough as old boots – but I cut armfuls of the asters down all in one go to avoid further damage.

I have also planted the first of the spring daffodils, which is great news. There are 1.5 buckets of them still to go in after today’s planting – but we’ll add them in where we can as we go through autumn.

The harvest included a huge amount of the pink asters, roses, sweet williams, dahlias, a few sweet peas, plus one cabbage, one lettuce, a handful of French beans, carrots and a couple of sprigs of basil.

Here are the vases at home, which look most impressive!

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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I Spy The Work …

… of the leaf cutter bee! Which is fabulous news as I was only moaning to K last night that we’ve not seen the leaf cutter bee at home for a couple of years at least, whereas we had a few of them for several years on the go before that.

Even the great Monty Don mentioned he had them in his garden last night and how thrilled he was about it – thus explaining my moan. Well, we still don’t have them at home (alas) but the great news is we have them on the allotment!

As you can see from the marvellous circular bites taken out of the rose leaves on the right of the picture above, they are busy making their homes somewhere nearby. They cause absolutely no damage to the plant and I think the patterns they make are very beautiful, so this is a wonderful addition to our plot!

However, not all visitors are good ones as it’s obvious that some evil creature is eating our poor cabbages:

Still, at least the cabbages – once we’ve removed the damaged parts – are edible, but I wasn’t anticipating on doing this much sharing with the wildlife …

However, the lettuces and yacons are surviving well:

In other news, I’m happy to say that the first of our asters are now in flower and the butterflies and bees are LOVING them:

In this perennial bed, we also have the dahlias arriving and a second showing of the roses, which is good news too:

Meanwhile, the sweet peas are still going strong:

And the sweet williams are looking happy too:

So, today, we have a harvest of one cabbage, one courgette, three beetroots, French climbing beans, sweet peas, sweet williams, asters, roses, gladioli, dahlias and a coreopsis:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Autumn Crops

The allotment seems to have had a spurt of growth this week – just look at our carrot & basil bed – amazing!

The lettuces and yacon bed is also doing well:

Meanwhile, the gladioli are still doing their thing:

And the sweet peas are definitely the gift that keeps on giving:

We are also pretty pleased with our perennial bed – we have a second crop of roses, and more dahlias have arrived:

Today’s harvest is a huge amount of French climbing beans, two courgettes, gladioli, dahlias, roses and sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

Dahlias
Gladioli
Roses
Sweet peas

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books