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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Unexpected visitors!

We had some unexpected visitors at the allotment today, but the first group were very well behaved and seemed interested in what we were doing, so I hope they pop along again sometime …

Horse 1

Horse 2

Horse 3

Horse 4 Foal

Horse 5

Aren’t they gorgeous! The foal was just adorable, but so fast moving that I couldn’t really get a decent shot.

Anyway, to more allotment-focused matters, today we planted up some more rudbeckia:

Rudbeckia

And also we added in some more pea seeds in the pea area, plus some beetroot (as below):

Beetroot

The alstroemerias are doing well and there is even one coreopsis in bloom (the yellow flower):

Alstroemeria

And the sweet peas continue to come along, although there is sadly a bit of a blackfly problem with them, so I keep on spraying …

Sweet peas

And the lilies are in bloom (though not the new ones … yet):

Lilies

Speaking of unexpected visitors, we have a rabbit interloper – oh the horror! So we put a plank over the hole as a temporary measure, but will have to get that fixed soonest …

Rabbit Hole 2

Rabbit Hole 3

Here are two harvests, as I popped up during the week to give the place a watering as the weather was so dry:

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sweet Peas in bloom!

A quick trip to the allotment today as it’s my birthday weekend (21 June) and I have lots of other things to do!

We were pleased to see the sweet peas are finally in bloom, though they do have a lot of greenfly on them so I’ve sprayed them thoroughly.

Sweet peas

We did a weed round and K trimmed the plot edges. Here is the harvest of sweet peas, verbascum, alstroemeria and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a great weekend everyone, cheers!

Anne Brooke Books


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Getting the Beans In

This week is the week to get the beans in on the allotment so we’ve put in runner beans (at the front of the picture) and French climbing beans (at the back of the picture):

Runner beans and French beans

K did a brilliant job getting the supports in. We had a few plants of both types left over so we gave the French beans to a fellow allotmenteer (thank you, Helen!) and left the others near the gate for anyone who wants them.

Another allotmenteer was kind enough to give us some of her spare purple sprouting broccoli plants (thank you, Nicola!), which we’ve never grown before. We’ve added these under the netting next to one of the sprout areas:

Purple sprouting broccoli

It was also time to dig up the tulip bulbs, which I’ve now done. It was pretty hard as the ground was so dry but I think I have most of them. I’ve put them in an old bird food bucket and will take them home for planting in the garden in November, as usual. We’ll buy new bulbs for the allotment next year:

Tulip bulbs

Whilst digging them up, I forgot to wear gloves (silly me!) and so managed to scrape the skin off my palm (ouch! ouch!) when using the trowel. Sigh! Oh, and I also tried to tidy up the communal shed but realised as I was just getting going that there is a new wasps’ nest in there (yikes!) so put everything down and backed away very slowly and carefully before they got really angry! K has now put a big post with the word WASPS on it leaning against the door, which he had to write with his finger and some dirt as we didn’t have any other way of doing it! That definitely deserves a medal or two, LOL. We have wasp killer products at home so will try to get back and sort it out at some point.

In better news, our first couple of sweet pea flowers are out, hurrah!! SO thrilled by this!

Sweet pea

Anyway, here is the harvest this week – which consists of rhubarb, carnations, verbascums, 2 sweet peas and one sprig of Peruvian lilies, which is great. No proper lilies yet though, sob.

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone! And don’t forget – today is World Gin Day – cheers!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sweet pea puzzle

We are bamboozled by how yellow and sad our allotment sweet peas are in both areas where we have planted them …

Sweet pea disaster

I’m really not sure what is going on – we protect them against slugs and we certainly mulched before we planted – but the colour of these is totally different from the lovely lush green ones we have at home. It’s a mystery, hey ho …

In better news, however, more gladioli shoots are coming up and I planted two more rows today as well.

Gladioli

The lilies are also strutting their stuff:

Lilies

I’m also happy to say that the autumn raspberry bed is looking very good indeed (see below pic), so here’s hoping we get a good crop. (In other news, the gooseberry cage is doing a great job at keeping the birds away, so we actually still have gooseberries this week!).

Autumn raspberries

And there’s enough asparagus on the plot to last us several meals:

Asparagus

Today’s harvest is a couple of spare tulips, the first of the verbascum (hurrah!), two alliums, and the asparagus:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase

Stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Spring Spurt

First of all, a very happy Easter to you all, especially in these tricky times. But, goodness me, lots of activity on the allotment today. First of all, we have our first asparagus, hurrah!

Asparagus

And the rhubarb is now big enough to harvest, well gosh. It’s a bit late to add it into my Sunday crumble, but I’ve found a recipe for rhubarb puree/juice which you can add to gin, ice cream etc. Hmm, gin – brilliant for lockdown, I’m sure!

Rhubarb

The lilies are also growing well and so I’ve now sprayed them against the dreaded lily beetle:

Lilies

But look at these tulips!

Tulips

Today we took along some of our sweet peas and have put them against the shed (with mulch) and also at the end of the potato bed. We’ve watered them in and put down slug pellets as usual:

Sweetpeas 1

Sweetpeas 2

As for the gladioli – start planting in May, they say – they’ll be fine before then. Um, well, I don’t think our gladioli bulbs from last year had that memo as they’re already sprouting in their bucket in the shed!

Gladioli 1

So I’ve planted them out into 4 rows of those with the longest shoots and will try to keep to succession planting (so they bloom at different times) by adding a couple of rows each week or so until last year’s bulbs are used up. We’d usually try to get some new ones as well, but of course we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to do that this year.

Gladioli 2

Here is the harvest of daffodils, tulips, asparagus and rhubarb (hurrah!):

Harvest

And here are the flowers in all their glory at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a good week, everyone, and stay safe.

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