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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Planting up the season

We really focused ourselves at the allotment today and planted up the rest of the vegetables we’ve been looking after at home, so it was hugely busy but fun. First off, the beetroot is now all done:

And we have put in the cabbages, netted them, sprayed and put slug doom down so we hope they will survive!

K also built the structure for the French beans and we have put those in as well. There were some left over so we put those on the allotment shared table for people to take if they would like some – such a useful facility to have!

The Brussels sprouts which we planted earlier in the month continue to do okay:

The fruit cage is also really going for it, with lots of flowers so that’s good news:

The gerberas I planted last week are still there but a bit slug-chewed so I put some slug doom pellets down to protect those too:

Whilst there this week, I also planted three more rows of gladioli – though the bucket I’ve been storing them in appears to be doing its own planting without needing me at all! That’s the joy of gladioli – I swear to you I could just chuck them onto the bed without bothering with planting them at all and they’d STILL produce leaves and flowers, no problem. I could probably leave them in that bucket and they’d look fine!

Here is a view of the allotment which almost makes it look as if we know what we’re doing – as if, LOL!

Here is the harvest of asparagus and sweet williams, plus a bed of tulip bulbs I dug up which I will take home to plant in November:

Here are the sweet williams at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The First of the Asparagus

Great news! The asparagus has begun. It’s always lovely to see it as it’s one of my favourite veggies.

Hopefully there will be more soon. We also took the chance today to water in some Nemaslug mix to keep the little beasts at bay. Plus there is a whole lot of compost we have ordered which we need to collect and spread round but we haven’t had the chance this morning – so plan to do this later in the week if we can.

The French beans and gladioli bed is doing well:

And the rhubarb also seems happy:

K took out some old lilies (which I have potted up at home now) to prepare a bed for Brussels sprouts:

The fruit cage is looking good so we’re anticipating a better crop than last year:

In terms of flowers, the tulips are still in bloom:

And the lilies are on their way:

I did find one lily beetle so killed that but will need to restock the lily beetle doom spray this week for sure!

While there, we did a good water round across the plot after we’d sorted the Nemaslug out as quite honestly the soil is like dust.

Here is our small harvest of asparagus and tulips:

And here are the tulips at home:

Happy St George’s Day, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Easter Allotment

Lovely to be back at the allotment today as I’ve been off sick for two weeks – the first week with a bad cold and the second week with the Village Vomiting Virus – you don’t want to know and you do NOT want it!! Anyway, neither of these nasty things turned out to be Covid, and I’m must better now, which is good news.

The allotment of course is more than happy to carry on without much input and looks pretty good in this weekend’s glorious sunshine.

The lilies have come along in leaps and bounds in my absence:

And the rhubarb is looking good too, though still not large enough for cropping.

The shallots are quite happy:

And the roses look surprisingly healthy – much healthier than the ones we have at home!

The tulips are looking like little jewels:

And the soft fruit is very happy in its cage:

Whilst there, we hoed the beds and strimmed the edges of the plot, and also gave everything a good water as the soil is as dry as dust. We also planted up a couple of more rows of gladioli:

And one more row of beetroot:

We’ll take those daffodils out near the beetroot soon so we have room for more beetroot plants. It’s such a great crop.

Here is today’s harvest:

And here are the tulips at home in their vases. Tulips look so much better when they’re placed in a vase with similar colours, I have to say.

Have a lovely Easter, everyone.

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 for Spring

There are many more daffodils on the allotment this week, which is lovely news:

The little narcissi next to the shed door are also out, which is very cute – I have to be careful when opening the door, but they seem to survive:

We also have our first tulip but, annoyingly, it’s one of the small ones (way too small for cutting!!) that I thought I’d got rid of last year. Oh well, the splash of colour is still very welcome:

This morning, we put up the stakes and netting for the mangetouts and have planted them out. We used most of them, but put the remainder on the allotment bench for other people if they can make use of them. And, yes, I put slug pellets down to protect them. Here’s hoping the mice don’t eat them all first though!

I also took the opportunity to plant up three rows of gladioli for the first of our successional planting. I’ll do the next few rows in a couple of weeks or so to elongate the season:

I’m pleased to say the rhubarb has come on well in the past week and is looking quite happy:

I even had time for a bit of a sit-down and admiring the roses, which was nice:

So here is the daffodil harvest:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a good week, everyone, and let’s hope that the world news gets better very soon.

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 New Allotment Year

Happy new year, everyone! I hope 2022 will be kind to us all. Much to our surprise we appeared to be the first ones at the allotment this morning – unless the amazing Mrs P had already visited and left by the time we got there at 10.30am! It’s certainly possible.

Here are the raised beds and the fruit cage on the first day of 2022:

I have to admit to being a bit despondent first thing – as I did get rather disheartened with the allotment at the latter end of last year, but I have been cheered by the fact that the daffodils are on their way. And – even better! – the tulips have started to sprout underneath their netting:

This is good news indeed as it means they have grown beyond being attractive to the squirrels so we have removed the netting:

Whilst there, we harvested some sprouts for our new year meals:

And we added the stalks and leaves from the sprouts to the compost:

K also took the opportunity to prune the blackcurrant bushes so that meant more composting – which is fabulous as of course the smell of the canes is amazing when you’re chopping them up:

He also made a start on mending one of the raised beds we didn’t get round to doing last year, but it’s a bit of an ongoing project at the moment. In the meantime, I have taken out the asters and the carnations from the perennial bed as I fancy something different this year – don’t know what that might be yet though.

Anyway, here is the harvest – of sprouts!

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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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