The Allotment Wife


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Starting to plant

An exciting time at the allotment today as we have planted the first of the crops for this year, yay! First off are the gladioli – we have four buckets full of the bulbs of last year’s stock plus a new packet for this year. So I’ve planted three rows and will do more every couple of weeks so we can get a succession of flowers, hopefully from June to October.

We also planted shallots and then put netting on them to prevent the birds taking them – with shallots, you have to plant them no more than an inch into the ground which means that the pointy bit tends to stick up and birds think they’re worms and uproot them.

K also planted peas and we netted them too but I didn’t take a picture of that.

Am also happy to say the rhubarb is definitely growing:

And we have more daffodils:

Not only that, but some of the tulips now have flowerheads on them and the lilies are growing too:

Here is the harvest:

And here is the vase at home. One of the daffodils has an amazing scent so that’s fabulous.

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Clearing the Beds

More raised bed maintenance on the allotment today and I think we’re getting there – thank goodness for husbands and electric drills is what I say!

I’ve also cleared the sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli beds ready for spring crops. Here are the sprouts:

And here is the bed with no sprouts:

A good job done, yay!

The tulips are also coming along nicely:

Here is a view of the raised beds area:

The light was amazing this morning though it was pretty nippy!

So, today’s harvest is the last of the sprouts and the purple sprouting broccoli – which in fact only has two small sprouts you can JUST ABOUT see on top, and is mostly leaves, LOL:

Anne Brooke Books


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New Shoots

We’ve spent the last few weeks on the winter allotment mending our raised beds, most of which have needed attention – as they were there when we first took over the plot in 2014. Really they’ve lasted well, but it’s time to refresh! So we’ve got the bulk of them sorted out, and certainly the worst of them – but we just need to mend some minor issues now. Hard work, but it feels great to get it done at a time when nothing else is happening.

Mind you, nature has been working hard – the daffodils shoots are definitely on their way:

And we even have the first few tulips starting to appear! – so we’ve removed the netting which has been keeping the squirrels at bay – as they don’t bother with them so much at this growth stage.

We were also surprised to see some rhubarb on its way, goodness me:

And, as usual, I collected the sprouts for lunch and next week – there are still some left so will look forward to eating these for a couple of weeks or so to come:

Have a great Sunday and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Books


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Compost City and Daffodil Shoots

We arranged to take some compost over to the allotments today, plus some pieces of wood (for mending our raised beds which definitely need attention). I do LOVE compost time – the look of it just makes me so happy. Mind you, it does make me laugh when the compost bag instructions tell us to dig it in. Dig it in??!! My, how we laugh! No way!! And absolutely no need for any of this digging nonsense as that, my dears, is what the worms do – so just shovel it on and leave Nature to do the rest. Job done.

Here are our dahlias, now safe and warm for the winter under their special duvet – no need to dig up the dahlias as this is the South, LOL!

And here is our lovely asparagus bed, also freshly composted:

I’m also thrilled to say that our daffodil shoots are now coming up – which is fabulous news and give us fresh hope for spring (which we definitely need after this year!…)

The chrysanthemums are also still in bud, astonishingly, so we may actually get some very late flowers next week – weather depending …

Finally, we’ve managed to plant the tulips in, which we’re thrilled about. Once planted, we’ve put netting on the bed, held down by rods – to try to make sure the squirrels don’t take them all.

So a small harvest today of sprouts (yum!) and beetroot – but enough for a couple of meals, yay.

Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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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