The Allotment Wife


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Goodbye to the Dahlias and Clearing the Shed

This week’s double frosts have certainly done their worst for the dahlias:

And the yakons too have come to an end – though the good news with them is the frost simply indicates that they’re ready for cropping so we have collected a good harvest from them:

Strangely though, our gladioli bed doesn’t appear to have got the memo about the frost so we still have a flower stem!

We have spent most of the summer being utterly unable to enter our shed (oh the shame of it!) due to the amount of stuff – mainly discarded netting – in there. So today we’ve made a good start on it as you can see – and we can actually get inside now!

As it’s November, it’s now okay to plant tulips (as if you plant them earlier you’re in danger of losing them all to tulip rot) so that’s what I have done today:

Once under the ground, we covered them with netting and sticks to stop the squirrels digging them all up again – which usually works:

Today, we have a decent harvest of sweet williams, that one gladioli, yakons, lettuces, beetroot and carrots:

Here is the vase at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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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


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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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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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The World’s Smallest Soft Fruit Harvest

Was expecting more sunshine today, but never mind – it’s still perfect allotment weather – ie not too hot to work! Am happy to say we have a couple more dahlias in bloom in the perennial bed:

And the gladioli are still going strong:

Meanwhile, the lovely Monty Don tells us on last night’s Gardeners’ World with great confidence that our sweet peas will now all be over and we should remove them. Um, I don’t think our sweet peas have got that memo so we are leaving them right where they are for now!

We are also very happy with the lettuce & yacon bed – as you can see, the lettuces are really hearting up now and just look amazing. I’m still on slug patrol …

You might remember that a while back we sowed some carrot & basil seeds just to get rid of them. Well, they are doing okay, much to our amazement. The carrots are obvious but we have to be careful not to weed the basil out – you can see some of them on the right of this pic (small shiny flat leaves). They smell wonderful even though they’re tiny. With a bit of luck, we might have another month of growth so will hopefully be able to pick them at some point soon:

Here is this week’s harvest – with the world’s smallest ever fruit crop, LOL! One blueberry & one loganberry. Hey ho. Still, we also have French beans, gladioli, roses(!!), sweet williams, sweet peas, dahlias and one coreopsis.

On the way home, however, I foraged more blackberries, so soft fruit honour is restored!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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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


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The Productive Plot

Loads of gladioli now in bloom at the allotment today – and more to come too, which is fabulous.

We also have one remaining scented lily – I do love the colour of these ones:

And the sweet peas have gone insane! I think they are taking over the whole shed now.

Meanwhile, the French climbing beans are really laden with beans so that’s brilliant.

We are also happy with the cabbage bed which is quietly doing its thing:

Plus we have two more courgettes on Maureen’s plant:

Here is today’s harvest, which is French beans, three mangetouts from the second mangetout sewing this year, one courgette, some beetroot, one cabbage, a handful of blueberries, the gladioli, the lily, sweet peas and sweet williams, plus a couple of coreopsis.

On the way home, I also foraged some blackberries from the bushes along the road – you see, it’s definitely autumn!

These were added to the plum crumble I made today.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Delightful dahlia and the nibbled courgette

So pleased that we have our first courgette on the allotment now – though it’s been slightly nibbled by something! Still good to have it though – as we had a late start with the courgettes due to various disasters.

In other good news, our newly planted lettuces are surviving though I picked up eight(!) dead slugs from the bed – thank goodness I put the slug pellets down and have also redone them today. Yes, I know – bad me, but I want those lettuces …

Also our French climbing beans are doing well:

I’m thrilled to say we have our first dahlia in bloom – I’m now only growing the pom-pom type ones on the plot as the other ones lose their petals too easily on the way home:

There are also more gladioli:

The lilies are stunning and smell amazing!

Plus the sweet peas are still going for it – these ones are just fabulous as the stems are incredibly long (we looked for long-stemmed plants deliberately as they look better in vases):

Today’s harvest is a beetroot, the courgette, a handful of blueberries, French beans, sweet peas, lilies, gladioli, sweet williams, coreopsis, the dahlia and one alstroemeria:

Here are the vases:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Nearly Winter!

A definite hint of autumn in the air today – lot of torrential rain followed by bursts of welcome sunshine. Strangely we were the only ones on the allotment today – and we certainly needed wellies.

I’m pleased to say the carrots, courgette & French beans are doing well.

The courgette even has its first very small fruit which is great news (thank you to Maureen who kindly donated the plant to us!).

Last weekend, when I was (a) hugely busy and (b) depressed, K did the allotment on his own and planted up some hearting lettuce which has bravely fought off the slugs (so large!) to make it to this week:

They’ve got a while to go though! I’m also happy with the scented lilies:

And the alstroemeria and gladioli are also coming along:

Today, we have a harvest of lilies, astroemeria, Sweet Williams, sweetpeas, blueberries, a few loganberries, beetroots, French beans, carrots and one cabbage (so nearly winter then!):

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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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