The Allotment Wife


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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


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The kindness of gardeners

I must say once again how kind gardeners are! After my courgette disaster of last week, the lovely Maureen at my church job has donated one of her courgette plants and a cloche into our tender care – thank you, Maureen! Here it is in its new position, and I am praying hard for its survival!

Whilst we were on the allotment this morning, the equally lovely Melissa kindly donated one of her spare rhubarb plants to us as well, so a huge thank you for that too!

We have removed most of the old daffodils and some of the tulips so we have space for other crops. I leave the daffodils at the allotment for planting out for next spring, and I take the tulips home for planting in the garden (and get new tulips for the allotment next year).

So we have planted out our cabbages and netted them to try to ensure survival:

And K also planted some fresh pea seeds so we can get a succession of crops:

Though of course all you can see at the moment is netting! Speaking of which we have netted our gooseberry bush in the soft fruit area now as it has fruit on it and the birds go crazy for them even when they’re not ripe so we are determined to gather as much of the harvest as possible for ourselves:

Our sweet peas are also doing well in their new position on the other side of the shed:

Our verbascums are also out at last – late due to the poor weather in May, but still welcome:

I also planted out a whole lot of sweet williams but for some reason didn’t take a picture of them, so I will try to remember to do that next week!

Here is our harvest of verbascums, asparagus & rhubarb:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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French Beans and Daffodils

Huge amounts of weeding to do on the allotment this week as we didn’t go last weekend as the weather was so appalling. Actually it wasn’t much better today but we had wellies and raincoats so were just about fine.

While we were away, the asparagus went mad:

And the rhubarb wasn’t that far behind either, which is brilliant news for today’s rhubarb crumble:

The lilies are also coming along nicely:

And the soft fruit bed is looking good too (must be the rain!):

While I was weeding and hoeing like a crazy woman, K got to grips with the long grass around the plot and also set up a climbing frame for the French beans which we planted today. Here you can see them with a rather sad looking courgette which we also added (front of pic):

I have also removed most of the daffodils from one of the beds they’ve been in and plan to tackle the other bed next week, weather permitting. I will store these in the shed and those that survive will be planted again in the autumn:

Here is the harvest – which consists of asparagus, rhubarb and two lone tulips!

Have a great Sunday, everyone, and stay dry!

Anne Brooke Books


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Dahlia and Beetroot planting

Thought we’d add in a few more dahlias to our perennial bed now it’s warm enough so I planted those out today while K was mulching the soft fruit area:

Before you ask, yes, I did remember to take them out of the plastic bags before putting them in, LOL! And speaking of the soft fruit area, here it is looking very green and lush:

We have also put in the beetroot – it’s a golden variety which doesn’t stain, hurrah:

Not many tulips left now but still a nice scattering of colour:

So a small harvest today of tulips, asparagus and a few rhubarb stalks (the latter of which I have added to today’s apple crumble):

Here is the vase at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The first of the asparagus and the escapee lilies

Lovely to see the first of the asparagus appear today – small but perfectly formed, LOL! Here’s hoping there will be more to come.

The lilies are doing well:

Although some of them obviously don’t like being with their gang as here they are trying to escape the bed!

Go them!

I also planted more gladioli bulbs to fill up the gladioli bed, though I have about 25 or so more to plant from the new ones so will have to find a place for them somewhere …

We have also planted sweet peas in the old compost area:

We moved the compost area as we are making a large all year round fruit cage which we are hoping will be more reliable than the one we have been improvising with each year up to now – so needed to move the compost to the other side of the shed where the sweet peas used to be …

As you can see, we’ll need to move the old sweet pea trellis to the other side at some point.

So today’s harvest is super-small, as we’re giving the rhubarb time to catch up before we harvest more of it:

Here are the tulips at home. The gorgeous big yellow ones at the front are called Orange Princess – and they are just amazing. After a couple of days they turn more orange, open up, and have green lines in them as well. Will definitely be getting more of those.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday Monday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Flower City

Maybe not exactly flower city at the allotment today, LOL, but I’m pretty pleased that the lilies are doing so well. Particularly the ones in the first picture as I was worried about them being disturbed when we mended the raised bed earlier in the year – but they are obviously tougher than I think!

The tulips are also doing well, with more to come:

Meanwhile, the rhubarb is doing its best in this dry spell (we are watering the beds like crazy people!):

And I’m happy to report that the peas haven’t yet been taken by mice – though there’s still time …

Here is the harvest of rhubarb & tulips:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a great week!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb Lost and Found

It’s been an icy week at the allotment so the rhubarb is sadly suffering a little though we did manage to harvest a few sticks to add to our crumble today.

Whilst there, I also planted another few rows of gladioli to make the season last later in the summer. I still have one pot of old bulbs, plus a packet of new ones to go.

Our soft fruit area is still doing okay:

And here are the two beds of tulips – this year they’re not as abundant as I would have liked, but they are doing all right:


The lilies are definitely looking good though:

Here is the harvest of tulips, narcissi and 4 spindly rhubarb sticks:


On the walk home, I managed to lose two out of the four rhubarb sticks (the horror!) who made a bid for freedom so I had to run back down the road and find them both, LOL! Husband could then say how there was more rejoicing in Elstead over the two rhubarb sticks that were found than there was over the remaining two who had sensibly stayed in the trug! There ends today’s homily …!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb Season

Absolutely thrilled with the rhubarb today, which we have been able to harvest for the first time, yay! Ideal for apple and rhubarb crumble.

We are also very happy with how the soft fruit is growing – all looking healthy.

However, there aren’t as many tulips as last week and some of them are really small so not worth picking for the house – but we did our best.

I’m pleased to say the lilies are on their way as well, which is good news:

So today’s harvest is the rhurbarb (my yearly warning – do NOT under ANY circumstances eat rhubarb leaves as they are VERY poisonous!!), daffodils and tulips:

And here are the vases at home – some of these in the picture are still going strong from last week’s crop!

Enjoy the rest of Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Easter Tulips

First of all, a very happy Easter day to you all! A lovely sunny day today so naturally we were down at the allotment this morning. And I’m thrilled to say that the first of the decent-sized tulips are here!

Those small red ones are still pretty small, but one of them is just about worth cutting!

I also planted another few rows of gladioli for our succession planting, so that’s another bucket of last year’s bulbs sorted out. Still one more bucket of the old bulbs, plus the new ones we bought to go in.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb is really going for it, but still not quite ready to harvest:

And our haskap berry (edible type of honeysuckle) is in flower though I’m afraid the photo isn’t great:

Anyway, here is the harvest of tulips and narcissi which is just so spring-like! And perfect for Easter Day:

And here are the vases at home:

Happy Easter!

Anne Brooke Books


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New Stuff and the World’s Smallest Tulip

A couple of new things on the allotment today – we found out one of our fellow plot-holders had two spare garden chairs they wanted to get rid of so now they are ours, hurrah! It will be lovely to have something to sit on when we’re down there – so huge thanks to the previous chair owner:

K has also attached new blades to our allotment secateurs so we are ready once more for a year’s serious pruning. However, I have been given strict instructions to WEAR GLOVES when doing so, as I’m rather inclined to prune myself and have to go to A&E to be stitched up, LOL!!

Not so many daffodils out this week, which is a bit sad, but then again the season is moving on …

We also appear to have grown the world’s smallest tulip! Honestly, we spend a LOT of time making sure we only plant tulips which are tall enough for cutting, but obviously this one didn’t get that memo!…

Really no point cutting that! Anyway, in better news, the rhubarb has still got the growing gene in full spate and is looking pretty good:

So here is our small harvest today:

And here is the vase at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books