The Allotment Wife


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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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Fresh planting and gap filling

Very frosty this morning, so we’ve had trouble digging in the raised beds – they seem to have held on to the frost more than the open areas on the allotment – maybe it’s the nature of raised beds? Perhaps they hold onto the heat and the chill as well. Anyway, we’ve planted three more asparagus plants to fill up the asparagus bed, and we’ve also created a rhubarb patch at one end of the soft fruit area:

Rhubarb patch

It may not look much yet, but give it time! There were already two rhubarb crowns there, but we’ve added in one Timperley Early and one Raspberry Red.

We’ve also added in one redcurrant and one whitecurrant to the soft fruit area:

New redcurrant and whitecurrant Redcurrant and whitecurrant

And, because K is keen on gooseberries, we’ve put one bush in next to the rhubarb patch:

Gooseberry

Apart from that, I did some more digging in the soft fruit area – which was a lot easier than the raised beds, I must say. And a quick look around the plot tells us that things are ticking along. The Brussels sprouts look particularly good, I think. Today’s harvest was the winter lettuce, two beetroots and a very large carrot.┬áSo enough to keep us ticking along!

Anne Brooke Books
Tales from the Typeface: a Secretary’s Life and How to Survive It