The Allotment Wife


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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 Escaped Asparagus!

Goodness, but the asparagus is now in full flood and there was loads for Sunday lunch today:

Asparagus 1

Not only that, but it’s decided the bed isn’t big enough for its needs and is now sprouting on the pathway too!

Asparagus 2

The autumn raspberries now have a nice ground cover so it’s getting trickier to do the weeding between them. We’ll keep weeding them for as long as possible though as it saves so much time later in the season.

Autumn raspberries

The lilies are growing very well:

Lilies

And I’ve planted another couple of rows of gladioli bulbs:

Gladioli

Here is today’s harvest of the asparagus and just a few tulips:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase

Have a good Sunday, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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Another Little Harvest

Spring is ambling along nicely at the allotment and there are more tulips to collect, though not as many as last week:

Tulips

Definitely no narcissi this week, but that’s not too surprising in April. The rhubarb is also coming along:

Rhubarb

And there is a little more asparagus to pick too (which has the shadow of our sweet pea climbing frame across it):

Asparagus

So, today’s harvest is tulips, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

We had the asparagus for Sunday lunch, and I added the rhubarb into the apple crumble I made for dessert – and very nice it is too! We do so love the smell of fresh rhubarb – the perfect hint of summer.

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

I really love the striped tulips in this selection, especially the ones with a raspberry ripple effect. Sadly though I don’t know what they are as they came in a mixed sack. But if I saw them again, I’d definitely get them!

Have a great Sunday, everyone – and stay safe.

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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Planting potatoes

Lovely sunny morning at the allotment today. I sorted out the weeding while K planted the potatoes – which are the last of the ones we have.

Potatoes

I’m pleased to say the rhubarb is continuing to flourish:

Rhubarb

And the autumn raspberries are starting to sprout for real:

Autumn raspberries

The tulips continue to make a lovely display, and there are also more to come which is great:

Tulips

Here is today’s harvest of tulips and a scattering of daffodils:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a blessed Palm Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Sleet and shallots

There I am, putting on my suncream for a good healthy once-a-day walk to the allotment with my husband, and a quarter of the way there, it is sleeting!!! Great news for the first day of British summertime, hey ho. Anyway the walk there and back was invigorating – to say the least!

Once on the allotment, we are surprised by tulips, hurrah:

Tulips

So lovely to see their beautiful colours. The rhubarb is also doing well:

Rhubarb

And we have planted our first crop of the allotment year – shallots!

Shallots

We made sure to put them in a side of the bed they’ve not been before, and also not to bury them too deeply as they do like having their tops showing (the picture shows them before planting however so they’re not that shallow, LOL!).

Whilst there I did a hoe round, though actually things weren’t too bad, and K mended another one of our raised beds, which was great.

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a good Sunday, and stay safe, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The daffodils aren’t over yet!

I might have spoken too soon when I said last week that we had harvested the last of the daffodils as this is the scene that greeted us when we arrived at the allotment this morning:

Daffodils

What do we know?! Nothing, obviously! Anyway, it’s a lovely day so I thought I’d take a picture of the whole plot:

Allotment view

As you can see, it’s definitely a time for planning ahead … Here’s a closer view of the tulips which you can see on the right of the above picture – they’re coming along nicely:

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

The rhubarb is also enjoying the early sunshine and I’m quite hopeful about it this year:

Rhubarb

Whilst at the allotment we chatted to a few people – at a safe distance of course! – and in general everyone is doing okay health-wise, which is good news. It was also lovely to get out and be active in a safe way without worrying about carrying anything nasty to anyone else.

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And hear are the daffodils in their vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a good week, everyone – and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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March Begins

Really good weather today in spite of the storm we were forecast, so we made the most of it at the allotment by doing some weeding (me) and repairing some of the raised beds (Husband).

The walk across the field to the allotments is still like a marsh though! Thank goodness for Wellington boots – though of course the rhubarb is lapping up the rain. Definitely hoping for a better crop this year.

Rhubarb

Meanwhile, the tulip shoots are growing and some of them are even in bud, well gosh. Have to admit that the ones in bud aren’t the ones we actually planted in November though!…

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

Anyway, here is a mini-harvest of daffodils:

Harvest

And here they are in a vase at home:

Vase

Have a lovely start to March, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Making the Most of Failure

As you may remember, our sprouts this year (for the second year running) have been a total failure (sob!…), so much so that they just look like tired cabbages:

Sprouts

So we’ve finally admitted defeat and taken them out to see what we could salvage, if anything. In fact, once home, I have salvaged some decent looking greens and a selection of very tiny sprouts that look SO cute, LOL!! We could probably eat them raw – they are that small! Here they are on our kitchen draining board:

Sprout harvest

So it just goes to show that there’s always something you can make of disaster …

Anyway, in other news, the daffodils are going strong:

Daffodils

And there is a rather nice display of tulips on their way in a bed where we did NOT plant them – I blame the squirrels though it’s more likely to be my total inability to find all the bulbs when digging them up, to be honest!

Tulips

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books