The Allotment Wife


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Mangetouts and our first rose

We’ve had a lovely break in the Lake District this week – amazing gardens and views! – and are back on the allotment today. Much to our surprise we have our first mangetouts crop:

And the joint mangetout/gladioli bed is looking pretty good:

We also have our first rose, which is astonishing!

The asparagus is doing pretty well too:

On the other hand, the French climbing beans do seem to be struggling a bit but they are producing some flowers which is positive:

The fruit cage is looking good and the early blueberry even has some fruit on it:

The rhubarb has also benefitted from our absence:

Much to my amazement there are no lily beetles on the lilies this week, but perhaps they are hiding?…

In the perennial bed, something has definitely chewed the gerberas but appears to be leaving the gazanias alone for the moment:

And the nasturtium seeds I scattered around the plot vaguely a couple of weeks ago are starting to grow!

Whilst there, we did a bit of hoeing and strimming down the weeds, plus we took the last two half-beds of daffodils out so will store those for next year.

This week’s harvest is mangetouts, asparagus, rhubarb, sweet williams and one rose:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Easter Allotment

Lovely to be back at the allotment today as I’ve been off sick for two weeks – the first week with a bad cold and the second week with the Village Vomiting Virus – you don’t want to know and you do NOT want it!! Anyway, neither of these nasty things turned out to be Covid, and I’m must better now, which is good news.

The allotment of course is more than happy to carry on without much input and looks pretty good in this weekend’s glorious sunshine.

The lilies have come along in leaps and bounds in my absence:

And the rhubarb is looking good too, though still not large enough for cropping.

The shallots are quite happy:

And the roses look surprisingly healthy – much healthier than the ones we have at home!

The tulips are looking like little jewels:

And the soft fruit is very happy in its cage:

Whilst there, we hoed the beds and strimmed the edges of the plot, and also gave everything a good water as the soil is as dry as dust. We also planted up a couple of more rows of gladioli:

And one more row of beetroot:

We’ll take those daffodils out near the beetroot soon so we have room for more beetroot plants. It’s such a great crop.

Here is today’s harvest:

And here are the tulips at home in their vases. Tulips look so much better when they’re placed in a vase with similar colours, I have to say.

Have a lovely Easter, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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New Shed Window

Have been feeling a bit despondent what with all the horrid news at the moment, but we did manage to get down to the allotment today so K could mend the window, which looks very good indeed:

I did some weeding while that was going on though, to be honest, there’s not a lot to do as we’ve had a couple of frosts recently. Here’s a view of the allotment for you:

A few more daffodils this week too, which is nice:

So a mini-harvest of blooms today:

And here they are at home:

Hugs and hope for the week ahead.

Anne Brooke Books


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First Daffodil of the season

And it’s here – the first daffodil of the season:

Just the one, but very welcome nonetheless! I hope some more will join it soon.

K brought down a blueberry from home which we didn’t need as a replacement to a blueberry that had sadly died in our fruit cage and it looks very good in its new position:

We also have some rhubarb making an appearance now which is lovely news:

Not much else to do on the plot, except a bit of composting and a token weeding session, so we weren’t out for long but it was nice to keep an eye on the place.

Here’s our lone daffodil at home:

Have a lovely pre-Valentine weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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A sneaky sit-down and a peculiar harvest

Lovely morning at the allotment today – almost springlike with the sun. Not much being planted up yet of course but the daffodil shoots are doing well:

The fruit cage looked amazing in the sunshine:

Inside the cage, the blackcurrant buds are well on their way:

Though I got ‘bitten’ by the gooseberry thorns as I was weeding round them, LOL.

Whilst K was mending one of our raised beds, I even (for the first time ever) had enough time for a very sneaky sit-down and a rest as I admired the rose bushes in our perennial bed:

I managed all of TWO minutes’ sit-down before K noticed and put me to work in the fruit cage strimming the grass at the edge, but it was nice while it lasted …

No harvest today, though we did find a handful of broken screws to take home as rubbish:

The harvesting year will definitely get better.

Have a lovely weekend – the last in January, thank goodness!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Last of the Sprouts

A quick winter visit to the allotment today to harvest the last of the sprouts and do a general tidy up. It really does feel like we are now just waiting for spring to get going again – though we do have the daffodil stems definitely on their way, which is good and hopeful news.

We’ve also sorted out the last of the composting we had to do, and I did a quick weed through the plot. Not much weeding needed as this week’s frost and the general cold weather is helping that task!

Anyway, here is our sprout harvest:

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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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