The Allotment Wife


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The Day of the Dahlias

It’s the time for the dahlias to shine on the allotment now the asters are over and they do indeed look lovely.

These glorious flowers are definitely lifting my spirits today, that’s for sure.

The yakons are also doing well:

And the carrots continue to look amazing too:

We were also really impressed with how beautiful the blueberry leaves are this autumn – this is one of the plants in our new fruit cage:

So, not that much to do today apart from weeding and harvesting, though I did cut down all the lily stems and take down the remains of the pink aster. We also removed the rest of the cabbages, and plan to put tulips in that spare bed in November.

Today’s harvest is carrots, cabbages, one lettuce, the dahlias and a handful of sweet peas:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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New Rose Garden and the Developing Fruit Cage

Back in the allotment today after a two-week hiatus due to mental health issues. K has been nobly keeping things going and also working on our massive fruit cage, which is coming along amazingly well. He calls it ‘woodhenge’!

As you can see, we have decided to skirt round our rhubarb bed and the door area can be seen next to the rhubarb in the photo immediately above. A work in progress and a major undertaking from my amazing husband, but it will make life so much easier when it’s done.

We have also decided to take the verbascum out – well, it was just becoming a nightmare and to my mind is a terrible flower for cutting – it sheds petals every second or so and it’s a hive of moth caterpillars! Yuck. So I dug those out for the compost heap today and instead – inspired by our trip to Hampton Court Flower Show last week – have planted three scented roses for cutting. We have Desdemona, Lycidas and The Poet’s Wife. We also bought a fourth rose – William & Catherine – but we will plant that at home.

As you can see, the lilies are doing wonderfully:

And the sweetpeas are finally starting to grow:

Another thing that struck us today is that the weeds are just crazily out-of-control. Honestly, this year is the WORST year for weeds both on the allotment and at home that I have ever known. Must be to do with the amount of rain we’ve been having, but it’s just crazy.

Mind you, the rain does mean vegetables are doing well too. The cabbages are beginning to ‘heart up’ which is great news:

And the beetroots are doing okay too:

My favourite of all of them though is the climbing French beans which have already reached the top of their supports:

We have discovered a small wasp nest in the shed which is a real pain – K went back after we’d come home to deal with it, as we certainly don’t want those sort of shed tenants!

Here is another allotment view for you:

You can see that the gladioli at the front are doing well too. Today’s harvest is the lilies, some mangetouts and a decent amount of blackcurrants plus one redcurrant, all alongside my boot, LOL:

Here are the gorgeous lilies at home:

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Fruit Cage Plans

We’re planning to put a permanent fruit cage around the whole of our soft fruit area to save having to build it each year which is a real pain. The allotment committee have said yes (thank you!) so we are now starting to build it. Here is the wood which we took a couple of goes to get from the car to the allotment:

Today K put in 4 corner posts so the structure is basically in place (sorry – forgot to take a picture of that!). It’s tough work, but it will be so worth it.

I have also done a huge amount of weeding – as everything is going crazy with the rain we’ve been having. Here are some views across our plot:

The verbascums were knocked flat in the rain so I have tied them up to give light to the other plants around them:

As you can see, the gladioli have not fitted in with our succession planting efforts as they’ve all come up at the same time:

We finally have some lilies!

And Monty Don made me grit my teeth a bit last night on Gardeners’ World when he told us we should be picking our sweet peas regularly. Ha! Not in our case!

Good news on the veggie front though as we have our first small harvest of the mangetouts:

And the French climbing beans are slowly on their way – I do love their dark stems. So elegant.

Here is the harvest of carnations, lilies, asparagus (our last cropping of this one) and some mangetouts:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! And happy Fathers Day

Anne Brooke Books


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Bye bye courgettes and hello carrots!

Did a huge tidy up at the allotment today as we have the Allotment Inspection on Wednesday (yikes!) so must be as neat as possible, LOL. The weeds are an utter nightmare at the moment so a lot of time was spent pulling them up or cutting them down. I think the weeds are certainly having a great year …

I’m sorry to say that the courgette we planted last week was died, sob! So that’s two years we have been without courgettes even though everyone says they’re super easy to grow. Not for us, they’re not!… Anyway, we planted carrots in the area where the courgette used to be as we have some left over from home so here’s hoping they’ll managed to survive the dreaded carrot fly …


You can also see the French climbing beans at the back which look a bit sad but we’ve watered them and are hoping for the best.

In the meantime, the shallots are doing very well, especially since they started from nothing, vanished entirely for a bit(!) but have since recovered, hurrah:


K also put up a climbing frame for the peas which have miraculously survived any mouse attacks – so far!…

This week, there are no flowers to speak of (sob!) but we have a harvest of rhubarb and asparagus which is something:

Have a great bank holiday 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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First Daffodil of Spring!

A lovely morning at the allotment today – the weather was just right for being outside. K took out the rest of the old autumn raspberries from the soft fruit area so we now have space for the three blueberries that are on their way.

We also found the loganberry we planted a couple of years back (or was it last year? – can’t remember now!) and I tied it up so there is more space in the middle for the air to move round. We might well get another loganberry so it can have a friend as well.

I also did some more composting though there is plenty more to be done. And I did a bit of weeding round the plot though there wasn’t too much to do, hurrah.

Here is THAT daffodil, yay!

I am just so excited about it that I even screamed when it saw it, which gave poor K a bit of a shock!…

Here is the harvest:

And here is the vase at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke


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Unexpected visitors!

We had some unexpected visitors at the allotment today, but the first group were very well behaved and seemed interested in what we were doing, so I hope they pop along again sometime …

Horse 1

Horse 2

Horse 3

Horse 4 Foal

Horse 5

Aren’t they gorgeous! The foal was just adorable, but so fast moving that I couldn’t really get a decent shot.

Anyway, to more allotment-focused matters, today we planted up some more rudbeckia:

Rudbeckia

And also we added in some more pea seeds in the pea area, plus some beetroot (as below):

Beetroot

The alstroemerias are doing well and there is even one coreopsis in bloom (the yellow flower):

Alstroemeria

And the sweet peas continue to come along, although there is sadly a bit of a blackfly problem with them, so I keep on spraying …

Sweet peas

And the lilies are in bloom (though not the new ones … yet):

Lilies

Speaking of unexpected visitors, we have a rabbit interloper – oh the horror! So we put a plank over the hole as a temporary measure, but will have to get that fixed soonest …

Rabbit Hole 2

Rabbit Hole 3

Here are two harvests, as I popped up during the week to give the place a watering as the weather was so dry:

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Sweet Peas in bloom!

A quick trip to the allotment today as it’s my birthday weekend (21 June) and I have lots of other things to do!

We were pleased to see the sweet peas are finally in bloom, though they do have a lot of greenfly on them so I’ve sprayed them thoroughly.

Sweet peas

We did a weed round and K trimmed the plot edges. Here is the harvest of sweet peas, verbascum, alstroemeria and carnations:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a great weekend everyone, cheers!

Anne Brooke Books


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Netting and Thinning Out

It was definitely time to thin out those sunflowers today before they start exploding! Here is the ‘before’ shot:

Sunflowers 1

And here is the ‘after’ shot – I think I’ve done a pretty good job with them too:

Sunflowers 2

K and I also put the netting up for the soft fruit – we’d ordered a new net and pins to hold it down, but the new net still wasn’t big enough! So we’ve had to add an old piece to one end of it and we’re hoping for the best. We’re also hoping the structure will stay upright as it’s been pretty windy today …

Soft fruit

While I was doing a fairly serious weed, K also added the netting to the peas so they can get going:

Peas

The Brussels sprouts are also doing okay, which is good news, though I added more slug pellets to them just in case:

Brussels sprouts

Plus we’ve given everything a bit of a water as – in spite of the rain yesterday and today – the soil is still terribly dry …

Here is the harvest of verbascums, carnations, asparagus and rhubarb:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a good weekend and stay safe, everyone.

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