The Allotment Wife


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Scented lilies and pumpkins

The scented lilies are late, but they’re finally here, hurrah! The scent is totally amazing, and I LOVE the colour too.

Scented lilies

The sweet peas are also doing well – the ones near the shed are coming along, and the white ones we planted just because we had too many of them at home are really going strong, plus their stems are just so long.

Sweet peas 1.JPG

Sweet peas 2

The echinacea also look great:

Echinacea

The early gladioli are blooming well …

Gladioli

… and just look at those sunflowers:

Sunflowers

In vegetable news, we have our first ever pumpkins – two of them, well gosh! The shoots are amazingly long so in each case, the root is the other side of the raised bed, lengthwise, double gosh.

Pumpkin 1

Pumpkin 2

The marrow is looking good:

Marrow

And there are flowers on the climbing French beans:

Climbing French beans

Here is this week’s harvest of the rest of the mangetouts, a (very bolted!) lettuce, and a wide variety of flowers:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

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Marrows and sunflowers

The start of the soft fruit season is upon us in terms of our allotment as the red currants and blackcurrants are now ready. I do love picking blackcurrants as the smell of the plant is just fantastic and it’s so satisfying. However, there aren’t as many as last year as we have got all of the offering in one session (see harvest picture later on) and have left the netting off so the birds can have the rest. Last year, we had three currant harvest sessions before doing that. Is this an issue with the year we’ve had or aren’t the bushes happy? We’ll have to see how next year goes.

Anyway, ¬†we have a couple of lovely marrows, one of which we’ve picked. We’re desperately looking for marrow recipes, but today we fried some of it, then added salt and cheese – and very nice it was too!

Marrow

I also think we’ve got the last of the mangetouts or almost – and the ones there today are a bit old and scraggy. Mind you, we’re still eating the crop of last week so can’t complain.

Mangetouts

Flowers are also doing well – the gladioli are out, hurrah!!! I am LOVING that gorgeous red colour.

Gladioli

We also have alstroemerias and echinacea in the perennial flower bed, which are both lovely.

Alstroemeria

Echinacea

And the coreopsis are still holding their own against being nibbled to death – though the stems are much shorter than usual.

Coreopsis

The main lily area is still producing some blooms, and the sweet peas next to them are just starting too – here they are all white, and the stems are beautifully long (which is so much easier for flower arranging!):

Lilies

Sweet peas

Plus we have our very first sunflower, hurrah! It’s not as big as many others in the allotment right now, but I’m definitely still happy.

Sunflower

Here is the harvest of blackcurrants, red currants, a lettuce, mangetouts, a marrow, gladioli, coreopsis, carnations, pelargoniums, dahlias, sweet peas, sweet williams, verbascums and lilies:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Lilies and Mangetouts

Once again, the lilies are the outright queens of the allotment and look simply amazing this week.

Lilies

In addition, the gladioli appear to be heading for the bloom and the first one to come will definitely be red!

Gladioli

The sweet peas have finally decided to bloom as well, which is great news:

Sweet peas

And the wonderful K has managed to fool the pigeons/squirrels/mice (or whatever they are) by surrounding the coreopsis with a cat’s cradle pattern of string. Let’s hope it continues to work!

Coreopsis

There’s good news on the sweetcorn front too – there’s been no more nibbling since K added the wire cage around them, hurrah:

Sweetcorn

Meanwhile, we have one autumn raspberry just starting to mature – I hope there might be some more to follow it at some point …

Autumn raspberry

And we have a marrow in the making, hurrah!

Marrow

The mangetouts are still going completely crazy:

Mangetouts

Here they are at home, after I’d washed and trimmed them – we’ve only just finished last weekend’s bowl! However, we’ve found they’re very nice indeed in a stir-fry with spring onions, mint, mushrooms and even some crystallised ginger – or any combination of these that takes your fancy!

Trimmed mangetouts

Here is today’s harvest – which is mangetouts, a lettuce, lilies, coreopsis, cosmos, carnations, verbascum, sweet williams and sweet peas:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home. First, the lilies:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Now, all the vases together:

Vases 3

Vases 4

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Blighted potatoes and lilies galore

Sad potato news from the allotment this week – we have blight, oh the horror. Still, we have managed to salvage some of the crop so at least that’s something. Oh well.

Blighted potatoes

Our sweetcorn is also still being nibbled (is it mice?) so we have strengthened the netting around them and also raised it as plants get bigger.

Sweet corn

The French beans are starting to go up the sticks and I tied some of them in just to give them a helping hint – last year, some of them simply grew along the ground but it’s much easy if they go up rather than sideways!

French beans

The mangetouts have gone insane and we harvested a totally enormous crop. At home, K looked up mangetouts recipes – and one of these is frying mangetouts with spring onions very briefly and then adding mint – we already have all the ingredients (though the spring onions are bought) so will definitely have to try that one.

Mangetouts

Prepared mangetouts

We also found space for a couple of yakons (Peruvian ground apple) by removing some of the sweet williams which aren’t really doing so well. The other couple of yakons we have will be planted at home.

Yakons

K also mulched the rhubarb this week – I really do love a mulched bed. We used compost from the allotment so there won’t be many nutrients in it but it will do for now.

Mulched rhubarb

Turning to flower news, the cosmos and pelargoniums are doing well.

Cosmos and pelargoniums

And there are now a couple of flower spray buds on the gladioli, hurrah!

Gladioli

However the lilies are simply the stars of this week’s show and look totally amazing – they’re just so tall and such a glorious colour!

Lilies

Plus we have the first of the sweet peas in bloom, which is grand.

Sweet peas

I also took a view of the allotment as it is right now, as I think it looks pretty good.

View

So, today’s harvest is lilies, the first of the dahlias (hurrah!), verbascum, carnations (still going strong …), cosmos, pelargoniums, sweet williams, sweet peas, and the mangetouts and rescued potatoes.

Harvest

Here are the amazing lilies at home:

Lily vase 1

Lily vase 2

And here are the vases all together:

Vases

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Nibbly Creatures

Lots of nibbly creatures both on and off the allotment this week … here is the sweetcorn section where the middle is all but missing. Pigeons? Mice? Who knows. But we are not amused!

Sweetcorn

We also struggled with lettuce planting last week as the pigeons (or mice!) had had a good go at them before we even arrived at the allotment – you can just about see them here, still hanging on – just – at the bottom left of the really lovely lettuces (hurrah!):

Lettuces

Anyway, the beetroot section is doing well, and we even have one or two mangetouts lurking amongst the leaves, well gosh:

Beetroot

Mangetout

The autumn raspberries are growing well:

Autumn raspberries

And the flower crops are doing well too. We have the first of the lilies out:

Lilies

The carnations are still being totally amazing and I picked 128 of them – which is only about half of what I picked last week!

Carnations

The verbascum is still blooming:

Verbascum

And the sweet peas we thought were a goner near the shed have a sudden lease of life:

Sweet peas

Today, I planted the rest of the gladioli bulbs so that’s filled up a bed nicely. I also planted some coreopsis (which I picked flowers from before taking it to the allotment). They are a type called Golden Sphere:

Coreopsis Golden Sphere

Plus I thought I’d plant some annual flowers for the first time so here are four new pelargoniums – which again I picked before planting. I’m astonished about how beautiful the flowers are in a vase (see later) so will definitely do this again:

Pelargoniums

Here is the harvest of three mangetouts(!), verbascum, lilies and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home. The pelargonium flowers are on the right between the carnations and the verbascum – I think they’re gorgeous. And the coreopsis are on the left.

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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Bean Planting

A whole 2.5 hours on the allotment today, go us! Everything – including the weeds! – is really starting to go for it, so a lot of hoeing got done.

We also planted a bed full of French beans and runner beans, and tied them up with string to try to keep them (vaguely …) under control.

French beans and runner beans

We have added extra sweet peas at the end of that bed, and just between the lilies and the sunflowers:

Sweet peas

Speaking of lilies, don’t they look marvellous? Those buds are really coming along well.

Lilies 1

The asparagus has been very keen this week so we have enough for at least a couple of meals, which is grand.

Asparagus

We are also pleased with the lettuce …

Lettuces

… and the beetroot – which always look so terribly fragile when you first plant them but soon bulk up:

Beetroot

The potatoes are doing fine:

Potatoes

And just look at the mangetouts!

Mangetouts

Turning to flowers in bloom, the verbascum is simply marvellous:

Verbascum

And the carnations are just coming into flower too:

Carnations

However, the gladioli seem to have a mind of their own and have skipped a couple of rows in my succession planting plan, LOL:

Gladioli

No idea what’s going on there!

Anyway, here is the harvest of asparagus, verbascum, some sweet williams and a few carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sunflower Planting

Yes, it’s that time of year once more and we have planted some sunflowers. Here they are before and after we tied them to canes:

Sunflowers 1

Sunflowers 2

I also planted another 20 gladioli in 2 rows of ten. I really need some more for succession planting but I suspect I might be too late for this now! Anyway, here are some we planted earlier:

Gladioli

The lilies are also going for it so I gave them a good spray today so the dreaded lily-beetle can’t get in there:

Lilies 1

Lilies 2

We also have a few verbascums on their way but I won’t be picking them till at least next week:

Verbascum

Meanwhile, a few alliums have come up unexpectedly next to the lettuce – so a nice surprise there. I’m planning to take them up and plant at home later.

Lettuces and alliums

There are plenty of asparagus spears today so that’s Sunday lunch veg sorted.

Asparagus

The young beetroot plants are coming along too, and I have put slug pellets down to keep them safe.

Beetroot

The mangetouts have started to climb which is brilliant news:

Mangetouts

Not such great news with the sweet peas however – they’ve done nothing for a couple of weeks or so, sadly. So we have bought some more and hope to plant them elsewhere on the allotment to see if they do any better. It’s a shame really as for a couple of years the sweet peas did so well – I wonder if it’s because they don’t like the pine needle compost we’ve been using there … Something to ponder …

At least the potatoes look happy!

Potatoes

And here is the rhubarb which, again, isn’t doing brilliantly now but I still managed to get a few stalks for Sunday pudding.

Rhubarb

The spring onions and shallots are now putting on a growth spurt – but don’t ask me which is which in the photo as I’ve already forgotten what K told me! I think the shallots are the taller ones? But I could be wrong …

Spring onions and shallots

And the sweetcorn has survived one week already, hurrah!

Sweetcorn

I thought I’d also add in a view of the allotment so you can see how things are getting along as a whole:

Allotment View

Here is the tiny harvest of alliums, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books