The Allotment Wife


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A quiet week

Not much going on at the allotment this week so we’re just keeping things under control and watching things grow – which is always nice! That said, we did plant out a few rows of beetroot – though I have to be careful at this stage as they’re very similar to weeds!

Beetroot

Oh, and we’ve also gone for a lone courgette as we planted three courgettes last year, and there was just so much produce! So we’re hoping that one will be more sensible:

Courgette

Finally, we also got the sweet peas in, which is good news.

Sweet peas

Here is this week’s harvest, which is asparagus and tulips:

Harvest

And here they are in the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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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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Striped Tulips and Asparagus Rising

We knew our allotment tulips have done well this week as a couple of lovely allotment people have been admiring them – we were stunned when we saw the flowers today!

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

Tulips 3

Tulips 4

Tulips 5

So thrilled with all this glorious abundance that I can’t even speak! Now there’s a shock, eh …

The tulips aren’t the only thing going for it either – last week, we had absolutely no asparagus at all and this week we have an enormous one (as it were!!) and there are others ready to spring up any day now, LOL!

Asparagus

Just looking at that picture makes me laugh!… Other excitements are the rhubarb – no flowers on them this week, phew – and the lilies.

Rhubarb 1

Lilies

I’m not spraying the lilies yet and they look okay – but possibly the dreaded lily beetle is just waiting for the right moment, yikes! We’re also pleased that the peas K planted a couple of weeks ago haven’t been eaten by mice after all, and are actually starting to sprout, well gosh! Alongside some weeds of course, but I’m leaving those in to distract the mice …

Peas

The onions K planted are also starting off, and the smell around that bed is just brilliant, even though they’re still so small!

Onions

Meanwhile the sweet williams are doing well, as is the soft fruit area & the autumn raspberries:

Sweet Williams

Soft fruit area

Autumn raspberries

Whilst there today, I planted another three rows of gladioli bulbs and K planted up a bed of potatoes:

Potato bed

Here is the harvest of tulips and a couple of asparagus stalks:

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Harvest 3

Here are some narcissi and the tulips at home:

Vase 6

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Vase 5

Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the sunshine!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

 


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Farewell to Courgettes

The great allotment autumn cull these week. We’ve cut down the courgettes and the asparagus, which really neatens up the plot. Here’s the courgettes before and after – it’s done us proud in terms of cropping so we’ll definitely get the same (El Greco) again. NB Apologies for the quality of some of these pics – my camera phone was having ‘a moment’!

courgette-1

 

courgette-2

I’m sure the courgette skeleton is some kind of alien – or at the very least a baby crocodile! Here’s the asparagus before being cut down too:

asparagus

We chopped up both the courgette and the asparagus for the compost. Chopping the courgette is strangely tuneful as the stems are hollow (weird!) and so start off giving out a bass tone as you begin cutting them, and then end up quite tenor as the stem gets smaller. I’m sure if K and I could make a record of this, it would be a hit, you know!

The lettuce is also doing well and so we harvested some of that to last us through the week:

lettuce

The chrysanthemums and dahlias are also looking amazing and benefitting from the mild weather at the moment. We particularly love that burnt orange colour of some of the chrysanthemums so hope we’re able to get more for next year – this lot were mixed, so no guarantees.

chrysanthemums-1

Here is this week’s harvest, which includes chrysanthemums, dahlias, marigolds, coreopsis, beetroot and lettuce.

harvest

And here are the flowers in their vases at home:

vase-1

vase-2

vase-3

vase-4

vase-5

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

 


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Yacon Revisited

Another couple of visits to the allotment this week and all seems to be ticking along fairly nicely. K has now planted up the Brussels sprouts (type: Revenge! Which is a name that always makes me laugh but they’re great sprouts) in the netting and we’ve sprayed them liberally with slug doom.

Brussel sprouts Revenge

The beetroot is also doing great things and even producing a crop – though we’ll leave it a while as we don’t need it right now.

Beetroot

The mangetouts are also going well, and just look at those runner beans – I love the red flowers, which we definitely didn’t expect as we thought they were white!

Mangetouts

The potatoes are also looking good, and we found another yacon (Peruvian ground apple) at Wisley today, so have planted that up too. A shame that the one from last year didn’t seem to survive but we’ll try again with this one – or maybe they’re annuals? I’m not sure.

PotatoesYacon

Meanwhile, things are really pleasing on the flower front too. The cosmos are slowly getting larger and the dahlias are on their way:

CosmosDahlias

I’m also happy with the lilies, and the sweet peas are progressing so we’ve had to add a layer for them to climb up. This time, K has made an arch, which I think looks great.

Lilies

Sweetpeas 1Sweetpeas 2

We’ve also bought more cut flowers where we were at Wisley and planted them up – they are dianthus (I just LOVE that smell of cloves – it’s amazing!), penstemon and asters:

New cut flowers

Here are the two harvests from this week, which include lilies, sweet peas, sweet williams,  cosmos, asparagus, mangetouts and rhubarb.

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home (which include the dianthus though they weren’t yet on the allotment when I cut them!):

Finally, I decided to make oasis flower arrangements with the rest of the sweet williams so here they are:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Bursting with growth

The allotment is really leaping into summer now. A couple of visits this week, including this morning, and the mangetouts are now so tall that K had to build a tepee for them to scramble up.

Mangetouts

We’ve had a nice harvest from them as well, which is quite a challenge to find as the green of the bean blends in so well with those leaves! Honestly, you can be staring a mangetout in the face and just not see it. I now understand why people prefer purple beans – much easier to harvest!

K prepared the one-and-a-half beds we’re allocated for Brussels sprouts and put up the netting supports. We’ll probably add the netting and the sprouts themselves next weekend.

And the beetroots are continuing to do well, hurrah!

Beetroot

While K set up the tepee and the sprouts support, I trimmed the edges of our plot with the shears. It’s a strangely satisfying task, I must say, and I’m happy with the result:

It certainly makes everything look a lot tidier.

There’s good news on the lilies too which are now starting to bloom – here you can see the progress from Thursday to today:

Plus we have our first sweetpea, though they’re not doing as well as last year – perhaps because they’re in shade near the shed? Though that didn’t seem to bother them last summer and these are the same type too.

Sweetpea

It’s really the same story with the asparagus which hasn’t cropped so well this year. I think it’s because we didn’t mulch them very much (if at all) so next year we must make sure to do that, as I absolutely love asparagus in season.

There are no complaints with the sweet williams though, which are as amazing as ever, and look really incredible in vases – as well as lasting as cut flowers for a very long time (see later vase pics!):

Sweet Williams

This week’s two harvests have included the sweet williams, forget-me-nots, cosmos, geums, lilies, foxgloves, rhubarb, mangetouts, asparagus, and the rest of the old leeks (too tough to eat now, so they’ll do as compost) which have been removed for the Brussels sprouts.

Here are the vases at home:

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Flowers on their way

I’ve had a look back at last year’s allotment diary and I think it’s true to say that everything is actually about a month behind – and a couple of people I’ve spoken to confirm this. Last May/June, I was harvesting lilies, sweet williams and geums galore, but right now most of these are only really on their way and are still going for growth.

The sweet williams are definitely in bloom though:

Sweet Williams

There are still no flowers on the lilies though, but the growth is pretty good:

Lilies

Other greenery going strong with no blooms are the dahlias, the chrysanthemums and the gaura.

Dahlias

We’ve also planted our other chrysanthemums in that space now, as you can see, plus the Little Carlow aster:

Aster Little Carlow

Still, there are cosmos flowers (if small) plus sunflower seedlings, hurrah:

Over in the veggie area, the beetroot are growing apace:

Beetroot

Plus the mangetouts and the potatoes are flourishing:

I have also pruned the spinach to stimulate new fresh growth as the smaller leaves are just so much nicer than the big ones.

Spinach pruned

And we have gooseberries, hurrah – though I hope the birds don’t get them:

Gooseberries

Meanwhile, one of our lovely allotment neighbours has kindly donated a spare lupin and some zinnias to our cutting garden (thank you, L!):

Lupin and zinnias

As you can see above, we’ve taken out all the old daffodils and tulips, so now have space for other stuff, which is great news. I’m adding to the daffodils to the collection in the shed for planting next year, but I’ll take the tulips home for adding to the garden in November.

Here are the two harvests of this week, which include sweet williams, geums, cosmos, forget-me-nots, spinach, rhubarb, mangetouts, asparagus and those pots of tulip bulbs for taking home:

Here are the forget-me-nots, sweet williams, cosmos and geums in the vases at home:

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books