The Allotment Wife


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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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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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New Allotment Year 2020

Happy new year to you all! Yes, it has really taken me THIS LONG to get back onto the allotment – partly due to bad weather, partly due to inertia and partly due to 2 weeks of a pretty determined virus.

But I’m back now in the land of the living (hurrah!) and there’s a whole new allotment year to look forward to so it was really lovely to get out there today.

Here’s a view of how it looks at the moment:

Allotment view

As you can see, there’s not much going on, but we do need to sort those broken raised beds out at some point, and we also sorted out the weeds while we were there today.

The leeks we planted last year are still hanging on so we must harvest those soon before they give up entirely!

Leeks

We also brought along a bag of mulch and spread that across the rhubarb bed, which is already starting to sprout:

Rhubarb

I do so love a good mulch moment. In other sprouting news, the daffodil bed is coming along very nicely indeed:

Daffodils 1

And – just to show that daffodils are a whole lot tougher than you might think – we realised today that the daffodil bulbs I’d rejected as being too mouldy or too tiny and abandoned near the water butt for taking home are actually sprouting! So much so that they’ve rooted where they’re lying so I can’t move them to put them elsewhere, LOL! We therefore have a mini daffodil patch near the water butt – which obviously we would have planned for if we’d thought about it … um, not!…

Just goes to show, nature does what she darn well likes and takes no notice of our opinions!

Daffodils 2

Oh, and I also planted five new lily bulbs (Red Eye) in the second lily area – as we were out at the annual Potato Day in Whitchurch yesterday, and I just couldn’t resist them – alongside 8 new potato varieties to try, and some shallots. If you’ve not been to a Potato Day before, then I can thoroughly recommend it – you get lots of new potato (and other veg) varieties to have a go at, you’re helping to keep heritage varieties alive, and you get a whole load of good advice as well. What’s not to like!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Allotment Break-in

I’m very sorry to have to tell you that our allotments suffered a break-in this week, with the perimeter fence broken in a couple of places, the main gate damaged, and thefts carried out at several sheds. Such an awful thing to happen. Our own shed was broken into, but nothing taken as we don’t have anything worth stealing.

Damaged shed

K mended the shed today – amazingly our now curved padlock still works as it’s actually much tougher than the shed itself!

In happier news, we still have an alstroemeria in bloom:

Alstroemeria

However, most of the rest of the flowers are now over, so I spent some time cutting back and composting while K was mending the shed. I did feel a lot better after the tidy up as it feels I’ve done something positive to prepare for next season after the communal break-in.

On similar lines, K has dug out the potato bed, rescuing the last of the potatoes – and it’s now ready for us to plant daffodils next time we’re there, hurrah!

Ready for daffodils

I’m also happy to say that our chrysanthemums are on the way though not quite there yet:

Chrysanthemums

Meanwhile we know it’s a very rainy autumn due to the sheer amount of mushrooms everywhere!

Mushrooms

Our cabbages are doing well:

Cabbages

And we’ve rediscovered the leeks which have been lurking under the runner beans for ages, quietly waiting to see the sun again …

Leeks

Sadly though, our Brussels sprouts are experiencing their second year of failure (sob!) – maybe next time we should plant them out in May rather than waiting for them to get bigger at home … Oh well.

Brussels sprouts

Here is the week’s harvest, which includes alstroemeria, a few pelargoniums, a handful of autumn raspberries (though I ditched them at home due to the amount of insects in them, yuk!) one cabbage, the potatoes, beetroot and a couple of stray runner beans:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Mystery sweetcorn and the allotment show

Just back from 10 days’ holiday this week so we had a lot of catching up to do at the allotment, which was basically weed city! Here are some pics of what’s going on.

The alstroemeria are coming back:

Alstroemeria

And the gladioli are rallying after the winds and rain the UK has had (not that we noticed as we were sailing up the Danube and ambling round Budapest in a mega heatwave, LOL!!).

Gladioli

Our cabbages are now starting to look like actual cabbages though something is getting in the netting and chewing them, wicked creatures!

Cabbages

The lettuces have also done well in our absence:

Lettuces

But what is this stray sweetcorn plant doing in the gladioli bed??!! We never planted it there! I blame the squirrels …

Stray sweetcorn

A couple of harvest shots this week:

Harvest.JPG

Harvest

As you can see in the picture above, both the red and yellow autumn raspberries are starting to fruit now, so this is our first (mini!) harvest.

Here are various vases:

Vases

Vases

The BIG news of the week however is our Allotment Show. We weren’t sure we were going to have much for it as we’d only returned to the UK a couple of days before, but here are pics of what we entered into the show:

 

Show entries

Above are our entries for the 5 beans class, the largest marrow (which ended up being the smallest, LOl!), 3 trimmed onions, 3 stems and the flower arrangement for A Day at the Allotment. I used a small watering can though it’s hard to see in the shots.

Here is a pic of all the flower arrangement entries (the one on the right deservedly won 1st prize and best in show!):

Flower arrangements

Here are the certificates we gained!

I have to admit, however, that there was only one entry in the 3 stems class and that was mine, LOL (for which I gained the 1st prize!) and there were only 3 entries in the flower arrangement class and I got 3rd for that! Still, awards of any kind are not to be sniffed at, LOL!!

And here is the amazing Helen who was best in show for her amazing flower arrangement!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Great Easter Tulip Extravaganza

There is a total take-over by the tulips on the allotment this morning – which is pretty dang near perfect for Holy Saturday, and I actually felt quite tearful when I saw them all – they were just so beautiful.

Tulips

Aren’t they amazing! The gladioli bed isn’t quite so dramatic, but the one shoot is definitely taller, LOL.

Gladioli

The lilies are getting bigger too:

Lilies

Whilst there, I did a serious weed round and K replaced the felt roof on the shed as it was in need of attention after storms earlier this year. Look how lovely it is now!

New roof shed

I have also put slug pellets down and bug-sprayed those lilies. Meanwhile, the rhubarb and soft fruit are loving this sunshine.

Plus we have our first asparagus shoot, which is looking rather rude, I must say …

Asparagus

Here is the lovely harvest trug which is 99% tulips and a couple of late daffodils:

And here are those amazing flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Have a lovely Easter, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books