The Allotment Wife


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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

 

 


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Mole Hill City

Goodness, but the moles are having a fabulous party at the allotment! Mind you, they’re really the only thing that’s seriously got going at the moment, so I don’t really begrudge them, LOL.

Mole hills

I only did a bit of gentle weeding this week as I have a minor tear to the rotator cuff in my left shoulder (the one I had the operation on 4 years ago) and I don’t want to make it any worse – as the doctor advised me yesterday! Mind you, it’s certainly better than earlier this week when it was really incredibly painful, ouch and double ouch. I fear I will have to give up the Zumba, alas …

Anyway, the daffodils are doing their best – we even have a stray one in one of the disastrous Brussels sprouts bed, so at least something worked in there, hey ho …

And the tulips are a tiny bit taller than they were last week, which is positive news. I think they look like tiny mouths desperate to be fed, but maybe that’s just me:

Tulips

The rhubarb is hanging on in there too:

Rhubarb

Not much else going on at the moment however. So the harvest of two beetroots and some daffodils is small but perfectly formed!

Harvest

Here are the daffodils at home. I added them to last week’s mini-harvest which is still going strong, so it’s almost a bunch now …

Vase

Have a lovely and relaxing weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Quiet Allotment

Nothing much happening at the plot today – even the chrysanthemums are all but over so I think I’ll cut them back next week.

Chrysanthemums

Mind you, there are signs of life amongst the daffodils:

Daffodils

And there are buds on the currant bushes, which is great.

Currants

So we didn’t do much there today – just some hoeing and also weeding between the raised beds. And K cut back those determined sweet williams once more.

Here are some winter plot scenes:

And here is the tiny harvest of yakons and some beetroot:

Harvest

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Weedy Allotment

Goodness me, but there was a lot of weeds at the allotment this week – mind you, we didn’t manage to weed last week as we were too busy getting ready for the allotment show, but I think the recent rain has also had a hand in it. So we have done surely three times as much weeding today, plus we trimmed the edge of the allotment – as soon it will be the Allotment Inspection (argh, the terror, the terror!!) and we must NOT be found lacking …

Anyway, the flowers have rallied in the rain and the alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) we planted earlier in the year are actually in bloom, though I didn’t expect them to do anything at all until next year.

Alstroemeria

The gladioli and dahlias are also still doing their thing:

And we have more sunflowers, hurrah! I do love the dark orange colour of these ones.

The lilies are growing taller, but I fear the promise of them being in bloom this year might well be fading … as they really need to get a move on as the weather is definitely autumnal now!

Lilies

Today, we’ve removed the old sweet williams from one of the beds and planted about 60 new ones:

Sweet Williams

Hopefully that will give us a good crop next summer, as they’re just SO brilliant in the vases.

The autumn raspberries continue to look good, though to my eye there isn’t as big a crop as there has been over the last couple of years. Though, of course, they’re not quite ready yet.

The beetroot look straggly but the crops are still good:

Beetroot

Though look at our mildewed courgettes! The weather is really confusing them, I fear. We cut those leaves off after I took this picture.

Mildewed courgettes

Here is the harvest, which consists of various flowers, French climbing beans, courgettes, one lone potato, and some rather small (but very smelly – in a good way!) onions:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home:

Enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday Monday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books