The Allotment Wife


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The Easter Allotment

A couple of visits to the allotment this week as I have time off from work, hurrah! I’m going to be wild and free today (yikes!) and do things in alphabetical order as it just seems easier. So not that wild and free then … Anyway, the alliums are coming along nicely, as are the asparagus and autumn raspberries:

Alliums

Asparagus 1

Asparagus 2

Autumn raspberries

I’m also pleased with how the lilies are getting along – and I have sprayed them this week for the first time as I thought they might be getting chewed a bit – the curse of the lily beetle! Ooh, and there are lupin buds on the lupin which you can just about see if you peer VERY closely at the picture:

Lilies

Lupin buds

Meanwhile the peas seem to have escaped the curse of the mice, although the ones we started off at home are doing much better than the ones which we planted as seeds straight into the soil – which just goes to show that Monty Don isn’t always right, goodness me!

Peas

We’re also pleased with how the rhubarb is getting along, and I harvested three sticks of it today to add to my apple crumble, which was surprisingly good, LOL.

Rhubarb

The soft fruit area is getting there too, and the bees seem to be loving it which is great news for a later harvest – we hope.

Soft fruit

Today, K set up a new sweet pea structure to give them more height when we get round to planting them, and as an added bonus it also helps hold up the shed guttering which suffered from the winds last month. You can just about see the netting in the picture, plus K’s hat and my fleece (didn’t need it) …

Sweet pea netting

The plant I’m most proud of though is the tulips which have given us a totally glorious display this season.

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

Tulips 3

Tulips 4

A couple of harvest pictures this week:

Harvest 1

This (above) was some asparagus, the tulips and the last of the scented narcissi.

Harvest 2

Today’s harvest shot (also above) is rhubarb (the first of the season!), asparagus and tulips. I’m also taking home the sunflower seeds as we’ll start them off at home this year, and then plan to plant them round the runner beans as usual.

Here are the tulips in the vases at home. I’m very happy indeed with the parrot tulips (the first red and white frilly ones) as usually I don’t like these in the garden, but they’re absolutely GORGEOUS in the vase, so I’ll definitely get more for the allotment next year.

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Vase 5

Vase 6

Vase 7

Have a very happy Easter Day everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Daffodil Delight and a Fabulous Frog

Lots going on at the allotment today. Next week, we get our annual inspection so I’ve trimmed the edges to make it look a lot neater – lots of fun with a pair of shears and some very dirty trousers now!

Anyway, it’s daffodil city on the plot, which is just lovely – even the narcissi which we thought were over have rebloomed:

Daffodils 1

Daffodils 2

Narcissi 1

Narcissi 2

The little narcissi with the dark orange centres (the pic immediately above) smell absolutely amazing so we can’t wait to get more of those.

The tulips are also on their way now and some even have buds showing. I’m convinced everything is arriving a month early at the moment whereas last year it arrived a month late. All very strange …

Tulips 1

The tulips above are growing where they shouldn’t be growing so obviously we weren’t as good at removing all the bulbs as we thought we were! But the ones below are definitely in the right place:

Tulips 2

The alliums and the aster are making a showing:

Alliums

Aster

And we also have lilies and the lupin, hurrah:

Lilies

Lupin

We need to sort out more flowers for summer as the last thing I want is a gap – perish the thought! We have some purple sunflowers at home which I think I’ll plant on the allotment, and of course I can plant more yellow sunflowers too. Plus we have the dianthus and the sweet williams still on the allotment, so hopefully they’ll put in an appearance at some point.

The rhubarb is on its way and there are now definitely shoots on the autumn raspberry bed:

Rhubarb 1

Autumn raspberries

Today, K also planted a row of early peas, as Monty Don was doing this on Gardeners’ World so we thought we’d give it a go. Here’s hoping the mice don’t get them first!

Early peas 1

Early peas 2

And we discovered a frog! Isn’t he cute – we left him well alone and hope he finds a home under the shed rather than under the bags of compost where he was actually hiding …

Frog 1

Frog 2

Frog 3

Just a harvest of those glorious daffodils today, though we’ve also bought home the rest of the peas to save them from the mice.

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Anne Brooke – Biblical Fiction & Prayer

 


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Narcissi Delight

Lots of the little narcissi tete-a-tete on the allotment today – very cute indeed, if tiny.

narcissi-tete-a-tete

There are other taller daffodils coming along too, but they’re not ready yet!

daffodils-1

daffodils-2

Maybe next week, eh, LOL!

The tulip bed is looking grand and I’m really excited about that one. Can’t wait to see them in bloom.

tulips-1

We were also surprised to see some of the alliums I planted on the off chance are on their way too, which is great. I do love alliums.

alliums

No great changes in the autumn raspberry & summer soft fruit area, but I’m sure the rhubarb is coming along:

rhubarb

Can’t wait for the first rhubarb crumble of the season, but I don’t think it’s going to be soon.

Our harvest today has been the leeks (which haven’t done very well but smell amazing) and those narcissi (which look really lost in that tea towel …):

harvest

However, at home, I found a tiny glass and now think the narcissi look pretty good in it – I’ve put this vase on the dining room table to brighten up mealtimes.

vase-1

vase-2

Have a fabulous weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Queen of the compost

We’re deep in compost-making this week, in those two new compost bins we now have. K has taken out the everlasting spinach and we’ve used this for compost, alongside lots of spare or dead raspberry canes which I have cut up into manageable pieces. Here’s the now empty bed (we plan to use it for Brussels sprouts, along with one of the other beds which currently has old tulips in it):

Empty spinach bed

Spinach is a strange thing – the roots look like they’re weeds, to my mind:

Spinach

And here’s our lovely compost bin. I suspect all this will be half the volume next week though as you can never fill up a compost bin, so they say!

Compost bin

Our asparagus bed is now enormous and looks like a fairy forest. It’s blocking one of the paths too, but that’s not really an issue – there are plenty of other ways round the plot.

Asparagus

In terms of flowers, we have a blue allium, and the sweet peas are starting to blossom too:

AlliumSweet peas

Back home, the supply of cut flowers, including lilies, sweet williams and the sweet peas continues apace:

Lilies in vase Sweet Williams and sweet peas in vase

Finally, we’ve managed three different harvests this week, which is great news! The first is lilies, sweet williams, and foxgloves (which don’t really last that well in vases, so I’m not sure I’ll plant them next year …):

Harvest 1

The second is rhubarb (for another crumble), beetroot, sweet williams, lilies and foxgloves:

Harvest 2

And the third is sweet peas, sweet williams and lilies:

Harvest 3

How I do love all these cut flowers – it really cheers the house up.

Happy Sunday to you all!

Anne Brooke


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The first of the summer flowers

Very rainy at the allotment today, but we had our raincoats and hats so kept out the worst of the wet. However, I think I should have worn my wellies, as my old walking shoes don’t keep out the rain, sadly. Today, K sorted out the compost section so the slats are now removed and we can use the bins instead. A lot of what is in the old compost appears to be just soil, so we’ll bring the soil sieve down at our next visit and sort it out. It will be easy enough to put the soil back on the allotment – and certainly easier than the 2 days it took us to de-weed and de-bramble our front garden at home!

Anyway, the exciting thing for me is the allotment flowers are on their way for sure now. Today, we have alliums large and small, foxgloves, geums, lilies and Sweet Williams.

Alliums Foxgloves Geum Lilies Sweet Williams

Meanwhile in the veggie area, the rhubarb is growing back apace, hurrah. I’ve not harvested any today as I want to try to make a rhubarb and orange cake next week so I’m saving it for that.

Rhubarb

We’re still letting the asparagus go to seed now, and so far the carrots are surviving against the dreaded carrot fly (fingers crossed, eh!)…

Asparagus bed Carrots

We’re also very pleased with the lettuce, and in addition the runner beans and sunflowers have put a bit of a spurt on.

Lettuce Runner beans with sunflowers

And the soft fruit area is now a veritable forest of hope – we’ll have to net it pretty dang soon though!

Soft fruit 1 Soft fruit 2

Today there is also exciting (well, sort of!) news as I have planted some chrysanthemums that I’m hoping to display at the allotment show in September, if they’re any good, that is. I’ve never done this sort of thing before but it will be nice to have a go if we can, as we did enjoy last year’s show very much. I foolishly forgot to take a pic of them, but I will try to remember next time.

I’ve also planted cornflowers, a scattering of marigolds (Naughty Marietta – we love that name, but sorry, no pic yet!) and more beetroot (which you can compare with the older beetroot next to it below).

CornflowersBeetroot 2 Beetroot 1

Finally, here is the harvest of small alliums, Sweet Williams, lilies foxgloves, lettuce and beetroot, plus the cut flowers in vases at home:

HarvestCut flowers

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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The Whole Plot and Nothing but the Plot

Looking back over my last few allotment posts, I don’t think I’ve taken a picture of the plot as a whole, so here’s a wider view of it to give you an idea of the whole thing:

Allotment Raised beds Soft fruit area 1 Soft fruit area 2

As you can see, the soft fruit area is coming along nicely. Turning to the topic of vegetables, we’ve planted the runner beans today – which means that for a short while we have the tallest runner beans on the allotment (gosh!) until other people plant them out of course!

Runner Beans

We’ve also cut the spinach right back (though harvested some first for the week) as a fellow-allotmenteer advised us to do so – as hopefully it means we’ll get lots of new plants sprouting which will be tastier than the old spinach:

Spinach

It gave us a chance to get rid of some of the weeds in that bed as well, though of course they’re bound to come back. Ooh, and we used our spinach yesterday when we had friends round for dinner as we stuffed some chicken pieces with it – and laid some of our asparagus across it too as a garnish (go, us!) – and very tasty it was as well. When I say “we” here, I mean “K”, as he’s much better at cooking main courses than I am. I’m much happier making puddings …

And we’ve harvested our first garlic bulb, hurrah! I’ve chopped it up and added it to today’s chicken joint – the smell was amazing. There’s plenty of garlic left over too, so shall use that during the week – which surely means we will be the smelliest people in the village, ha!

Garlic

Meanwhile, in Flower City, I’ve planted some more dahlias today, and am also very happy that the geum is doing well.

Dahlias Geum

But there’s sad news about the alliums I planted for cut flowers – maybe I should have read the description more thoroughly as they’re now in flower and appear to be only about an inch or two in height! No chance of cut flowers here – though they are pretty – unless I get a job-lot of egg-cups in …

Alliums

Happy Sunday and happy allotmenteering!

Anne Brooke Books


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Time for Sweet Peas and a Potato Disaster Averted

This week’s main job has been putting in the sweet peas. K created a climbing frame next to the shed for one lot and put the other lot in next to the compost frame so they can climb up there.

Sweet peas 1 Sweet peas 2

Speaking of the compost bin, K also turned it to try to persuade it to break down more but it really needs more green matter, so we will have to try to remember to add the grass from the next lawn mowing to it.

Whilst there, I harvested more rhubarb, which we plan to use for a rhubarb fool and also a crumble, which should keep us going over the weekend.

Rhubarb

Plus I also harvested four asparagus tips (and there’s more to come) plus another armful of spinach, which is going great guns at the moment.

Spinach

And there’s good news about our potatoes – we were very worried that they might have got blight, even though K says it should be too early for that. We were just about to dig them up when the lovely couple in the plot next to us stopped us and said it was frost problems, rather than blight – and the cure is to earth them up and then more shoots can grow through. We were very grateful indeed (thank you, hugely!), and K earthed them up.

Potatoes

Interestingly, the potatoes K planted amongst the tulips haven’t come to any harm at all, so presumably the tulips are providing them with enough shelter from the frost – we must remember this next year!

Potatoes in tulips

In other parts of our plot, the soft fruit is doing very well and it’s starting to get very exciting indeed.

Soft fruit 1 Soft fruit 2

And the beetroot and young alliums are looking hopeful too, though really need to be bigger!

Alliums Beetroot

Plus you get a very special shot of my left foot, you lucky people! Think yourself lucky, as it’s apparently Naked Gardening Day so at least I have clothes on … Have a great and fruitful bank holiday weekend.

Anne Brooke Books