The Allotment Wife


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The End of the Season

There’s definitely a feeling on the allotment today that it’s the end of the season – we have removed the gladioli corms, and raked the bed they were in so it looks a bit neater. We’ll store the corms until next year when we can plant them again, and we’ll compost the stalks.

While there and in the mood, I gave all the raised beds a quick rake over and they look amazing, I have to say! I will try to do that more often, I think:

As you can see, it’s definitely the end of the season! Though, that said, the sprouts are doing well and we’re looking forward to harvesting those soon:

Last time, I forgot to take a picture of the completed tidy shed, so here it is today – it’s just SO amazing to be able to get in, stand up (without falling over the netting) and find things too. Such a difference.

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the yakons, carrots and beetroot:

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


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Goodbye to the Dahlias and Clearing the Shed

This week’s double frosts have certainly done their worst for the dahlias:

And the yakons too have come to an end – though the good news with them is the frost simply indicates that they’re ready for cropping so we have collected a good harvest from them:

Strangely though, our gladioli bed doesn’t appear to have got the memo about the frost so we still have a flower stem!

We have spent most of the summer being utterly unable to enter our shed (oh the shame of it!) due to the amount of stuff – mainly discarded netting – in there. So today we’ve made a good start on it as you can see – and we can actually get inside now!

As it’s November, it’s now okay to plant tulips (as if you plant them earlier you’re in danger of losing them all to tulip rot) so that’s what I have done today:

Once under the ground, we covered them with netting and sticks to stop the squirrels digging them all up again – which usually works:

Today, we have a decent harvest of sweet williams, that one gladioli, yakons, lettuces, beetroot and carrots:

Here is the vase at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Still blooming

An unexpected number of flowers in bloom for this time of year at the allotment today. Yes, I expected the Sweet Williams to be still going strong as they are:

But I did think the dahlias would have finished due to the cold night we had on Thursday, but they are still there!

Even more astonishing, a couple of the gladioli have come back into bud and we were just about to take them out as they should be over!

All very strange, but very welcome. Assuming that next spring will still turn up when we assume it will, we planted the last of the daffodil bulbs in a spare bed:

I’m pleased to say the Brussel sprouts are getting larger which is good news, so should definitely be ready for Christmas, if not earlier:

However, proving that we did have the cold snap on Thursday, the yakons are slightly damaged by frost, but that’s not a problem as the produce is only ripe when the leaves have all turned yellow anyway.

Here is today’s harvest, which includes carrots, beetroots, two lettuces, Sweet Williams, alstroemerias, dahlias and a couple of carnations:

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely Sunday.

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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Sweet peas and soft fruit

A couple of visits to the allotment this week as it was so hot and we needed to get some watering done. Today, I thought there would be a huge amount of rain but in fact it’s not been like that at all and we’ve even had sun. Surrey must have missed the memo about the storms.

Anyway, the French climbing beans are doing well but of course there’s never as many as I’d like – I’m a real fan.

The second planting of peas we did a few weeks back are also finally starting to grow which is good news – we had been a bit worried about them:

Today, K planted another yakon to keep the first one company:

We’ve decided to buy some little gem lettuce to add into the raised bed above as there’s space – so will sort that out next week. That’s a hearting lettuce so we don’t have to worry about it bolting.

I have also sown some basil seeds and carrot seeds into the space next to the original lilies – they probably won’t do anything but there’s no harm in trying. You can’t see much in the picture but they are definitely there!

In the world of our new fruit cage, we have already found a couple of holes in the roof netting, so K has mended these with string today. We’re not too fussed about it as the roof netting is simply an old one we were using at home – it’s the wall netting that’s new.

We also have our first gladiolus in bloom, hurrah! Such a glorious colour – I’m a real fan of anything orange or red.

Here are our two harvests this week:

Above are lilies, sweet peas, the gladiolus, a Peruvian lily and a few roses.

Today’s harvest has soft fruit! We cropped gooseberries, blueberries (Smoky Blue variety), a few tayberries and one spare blackcurrant. We also have the French beans, the first of the scented lilies – which are amazing – more sweet peas, Peruvian lilies and roses. The house right now smells wonderful!

Here are the vases at home:

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Frost City at the Allotment

Two bad frosts this week and the allotment is feeling the brunt of them. Here are the poor dahlias:

I wasn’t too worried about the ones here at the allotment but I was a bit cross with myself for not checking the overnight forecast before the first frost and therefore losing ALL my dahlias at home, sob! And I have loads of them. I will try to remember for next year – I hope! So no more flower harvests from the allotment, I think …

Anyway, the yakons (aka Peruvian Ground Apples) have also suffered and so we’ve cut them back and harvested a couple of them. It doesn’t affect the crop which is underground – and which is great if peeled and chopped finely to go with salad. You can cook it too but it’s not as good as when eaten cold. It’s a kind of mix between apple and cucumber (LOL!) and if you leave them unpeeled in the garage for a couple of weeks, they are far sweeter and nicer.

Whilst doing a major prune, we also took out the gladioli and have stored them in the shed ready for next year:

Here is the harvest – of yakons, beetroot and also sprouts, yay!

Have a good weekend, everyone, and stay safe.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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First small sprout harvest!

Goodness me, we have harvested a couple of small sprouts today, hurrah (see later pic)! So the autumn season is most definitely here. Even with just three sprouts, it’s more than we harvested last year when it all went horribly wrong, LOL! Anyway, we are hoping for more sprouts later on.

Only us two on the allotment this morning, when we went anyway – everyone else must be keeping dry, and I can’t say I blame them. Here is the perennial bed in the rain and the wind:

I cropped more of the pink asters than I really needed as they were flopping over the dahlias, and I want to keep the dahlias going as long as I possibly can. Talking of which, the sunflowers are still doing well:

And, on the vegetable front, the French climbing beans are definitely the gift that keeps on giving! Plus more flowers on the plants as well.

And the yakons are still very happy:

It’s so rainy and has been for a good few days that for the first time that I can remember our water butt is actually overflowing! We’d best think about putting another one in before the year is over …

Here is the harvest, which includes the sprouts, the French climbing beans, sunflowers, rudbeckias, dahlias, one gladiolus and the asters.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Sunflower City and How Not to Store Daffodils

A tad windy on the allotment today and I’ve got a bit of a sniffle so wrapped up as warm as possible. It seems as if the sunflowers haven’t yet got the memo that summer is over though as they’re still doing their thing! Some of them suffered wind damage during the week but are still blooming, which is amazing.

The dahlias are also very happy and pest free at the moment which is great news.

The asters are also either going strong (the blue ones) or just starting to bloom (the pink ones) and are just a really useful autumn flower, all in all.

I think I’m going to move the short pink asters back home when they’ve finished blooming though as they’re really no use as cut flowers – only the tall ones will do.

I’ve not done so well with one of the daffodil buckets though! Foolishly I’ve been storing them in a bucket with NO drainage holes (always a rookie mistake …) so they’re now hugely wet and muddy, groan. I’ve rolled them out of the bucket and hope they might dry off during the week so I can have a go planting them next week.

At least the yakons are doing marvellously – and once again queen of all they survey in terms of height!

Here is this week’s harvest: French beans, mangetouts, beetroots, sunflowers, rudbeckias, gladioli, asters and dahlias:

And here are the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Independent Consultant


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Stately Sunflowers and Yakons Galore

The sunflowers on the allotment are getting ridiculously tall – soon I’ll have to get a ladder to see them at this rate!

We also have the first dahlias out now (which is curious as I thought I’d taken them all out and planted them at home!) and an actual rudbeckia, yay!

We’re also very happy with the Brussels sprouts:

And the French beans are really going for it too:

However, it’s the yakons that are forging ahead – they have honestly never been this huge! Must be the sort of weather they like for some reason, but we’re certainly not complaining.

Anyway, here is the harvest, which consists of French beans, gladioli, sunflowers, the rudbeckia and one lone sweet pea. We also have some of the autumn raspberries and a decent crop of foraged blackberries as well – which will go very well with the apple crumble I’m making.

Here is the vase at home:

Have a great week, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop at Home Consultant


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Back on the allotment!

I’m finally back on the allotment today after a couple of weekends when I was too busy to go and so my lovely husband kept an eye on it instead.

Even though it’s definitely autumnal, the French beans and mangetouts have decided they can get another crop in before the frosts, hurrah!

Beans

Mangetouts

I’m also REALLY happy with the Brussels sprouts which look and smell amazing – so hoping we can actually get a crop this year, as we’ve not had any luck with them over the last two years. Surely this year, things will be okay – I hope so!

Brussels sprouts

The yakons are also really happy:

Yakons

As are the beetroot next to them – though they’re tiny in comparison with the yakons, LOL!

Beetroot

However, we are disappointed with the autumn raspberries which aren’t giving as good a crop as last year. Is it the weather we’ve had? Or just that they’re old plants? Hard to tell really, but we’ll have to have a think about what we do with them next year …

Autumn raspberries

The sunflowers are still going strong though:

Sunflowers

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of potatoes, beetroot, beans, mangetouts, gladioli, the autumn raspberries, the sunflowers, one(!) sweet pea and two carnations:

Harvest

Here are the vases at home:

Vases

Have a great Bank Holiday Monday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Body Shop Consultant