The Allotment Wife


Leave a comment

Naughty Nature and Compost Delights

Just one lone daffodil on the allotment today, so we have a flower gap – oh the horror of it!!

lone-daffodil

I have stuck it in a champagne glass at home to make it look less lonely, LOL. Still, other daffodils are on the way, but they look much smaller than we anticipated!…

daffodils-1

daffodils-2

Maybe I will have to get some small bowls to float them in as they don’t look tall enough for an actual vase. Naughty daffodils!

Speaking of naughty flowers, here is the raised bed from which (I promise you!!) K and I removed ALL the tulip bulbs last year. EVERY SINGLE ONE!

unexpected-tulips

Hmm, that worked well, eh. Nature is obviously fighting our plans at every step! I might have to take these out before they flower and put them in a pot or something. As we already have two whole raised beds where the tulips are actually supposed to be …

tulips-1

In more anticipated news, the lupin we were kindly given by an allotment neighbour last year is coming back so I’m looking forward to seeing that develop:

lupin

K has taken out the last of the sprouts (sob!) and dug that bed over. He also dug through the old potato bed and put compost on it. As I absolutely LOVE compost, here is a picture of the wonderful stuff!

compost

What could be nicer?

I also trimmed round the plot borders and did a hoe-through, and K and I shaped up the more overgrown blackcurrant bushes:

blackcurrant-prune

And here is the first autumn raspberry leaf, well gosh!

autumn-raspberry

A very small harvest today – just the last of the sprouts and that lone daffodil:

harvest

By the way, I took a fresh tea towel for the flowers (when we get any more!) all the way up to the allotment and then all the way back again, as I forgot to take it out of my coat pocket! I hope I have better luck next week …

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


Leave a comment

Nearly Daffodil Time

The daffodils are nearly out on the allotment, hurrah! I might well pop in again this Thursday to see how they’re doing – it will be great once we can start having fresh flowers in the house. Plus other, later daffodils are also beginning to come up so that’s good too.

daffodils-1

daffodils-2

daffodils-3

Whilst there, K dug up the potato bed and I trimmed all the way round the allotment so it all looks a bit neater now, which is good news. I also hoed the beds and soft fruit area, which is much easier now the autumn raspberries are cut down, LOL!

K also shaped one of our older blackcurrant bushes to give it a bit of air and encourage growth:

blackcurrant-bush-1

blackcurrant-bush-2

blackcurrant-bush-3

We’ll do the other older one next week. Here are the spare canes, which we won’t plant as we don’t have much space at the moment:

blackcurrant-canes

So our harvest today is the usual sprouts and potatoes, but they’re always welcome!

harvest

And here are the sprout leaves, which we’ll use as compost:

sprout-leaves

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke


4 Comments

Vases, vases everywhere!

The allotment is really going for it this week, which is fabulous. In the veggie & fruit corner are runner beans and the soft fruit area:

Runner beans

Soft fruit

This week we’ve also planted new crops for later in the season, including leeks and lettuces:

Leeks

I suspect I’ve put far too many of the red salad bowl lettuces in their space, but I’ll see how they do over the next few weeks – I can always move them if problems arise.

I thought you might like to see a general view of the allotment currently, so here it is:

Allotment 1

Meanwhile, the flowers are going wild, hurrah! We have dahlias, echinaceas, gauras and gladioli in assorted colours:

Not to mention sweet peas and the sunflowers coming on:

Two harvests this week, including: gladioli, cosmos, dahlias, sweet williams, penstemon, runner beans, mangetouts, courgettes, beetroot and blackcurrants.

Back at home, the vases are literally filling up the house and there is almost no room to move!

I am definitely going to have to buy more vases some time soon. Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


3 Comments

The Gladioli are here!

Great news at the allotment – some of the gladioli are finally in bloom and are a gorgeous colour! They’re mixed, but I hope there are some more of these amongst the crop:

Gladioli

Just so beautiful – whoever thinks gladioli are unfashionable and tacky is an idiot to my mind! The dahlias seem a bit cheerier today, and I think I might be on the way to beating off the blackfly hurrah – here they are with the gauras:

 

The cosmos are also doing well, and the sunflowers are definitely getting taller but no blooms yet …

Cosmos

Sunflowers

I’m also getting to the last of the lilies now (sob!) but the sweet peas have got a second wind, I think – and the smell is wonderful:

Lilies

Sweet peas

There’s also a lovely little flower that’s just bloomed that we were given by a kind person on the allotment, but for the life of me I can’t remember exactly what it is. Still very beautiful though!

Flowers

In terms of the veg, the beetroot are going great guns and the crop is growing very large indeed!

Beetroot

However, in the potato bed, it’s a game of two halves – the tasty potatoes now all have the blight, and the tasteless Sarpo potatoes don’t, hey ho. We might be able to rescue some potatoes which taste of something, but it looks like on the whole we’re doomed with Sarpo again, LOL!

Potatoes

Elsewhere, the runner beans are running away, and the soft fruit’s enthusiasm knows no bounds:

Runner beans

Soft fruit

Here’s this week’s harvest, which includes golden beetroot, runner beans, peas, mangetouts, sweet peas, cosmos, echinacea (not brilliant but it’s there …), some of the dahlias, coreopsis, gaura, lilies and a geum. Oh, and there’s a pot of blackcurrants too!

Harvest

And here are the flowers in the vases at home:

 

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


2 Comments

Allotment abundance

I’m really thrilled with how the allotment is going at the moment – we’ve harvested our first courgettes and runner beans, and the gladioli are so nearly there. The only real problem is that my dahlias are covered with black fly (sob!…) and it might be spreading. I’ve sprayed loads of times but the beasties just keep fighting back. So I’m not using the dahlias as cut flowers at the moment which is a shame.

Here are pics of the rest of the allotment though, plus flower arrangements at home. I’m particularly pleased with the first crop of blackcurrants, and also I’m very happy with the white and red lily arrangements. Which are your favs?

Anne Brooke Books


2 Comments

Minimal mulch

No deep frosts this week so we hoed round the plot today, though actually there weren’t that many weeds. K also mulched the asparagus bed …

Asparagus bed

… and the rhubarb patch …

Rhubarb patch

Okay, nothing much happening in either area at the moment but, believe me, it’s all happening underneath – I hope!

Meanwhile, the blackcurrants are still doing well for the time of year, and even have buds on, which is quite exciting:

The flower beds aren’t doing that badly either – some of the daffodil shoots actually have buds on them too (gosh!), and the leeks are looking okayish too – though the mystery of how to thicken them up still escapes us …

Even the tulips are that tiny bit bigger – could it be a very early spring, LOL?

Tulips

Finally, a harvest of sprouts for this week, though we haven’t kept the leaves as they were pretty well chewed. Sprouts have been delicious for Sunday lunch though, and there are some left over for tomorrow too.

Harvest

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


Leave a comment

Sprouts and slug city

Great news today! I have started driving again after my operation in December and everything was fine. It was ridiculous how nervous I felt before I got in the car – but though it felt weird, there wasn’t any pain and I managed to drive to the village and also to the allotment, hurrah!

K took out one of the blackcurrants to grow at home, and I weeded everything in sight. Much to our delight, the blackcurrant canes we poked into the ground last year are actually starting to sprout so nature has been kind:

Blackcurrant canes

At the same time, the beetroots are hanging on in there, the spinach is bearing up under all the rain, and the sprouts are taking over the whole of their beds:

And there’s even more excitement – the daffodils sharing their bed with the leeks are well on the way, and also the tulips are just beginning to show themselves, well gosh.

Anyway, here is today’s harvest of spinach and sprouts. The sprouts were full of slugs when I got home, but I dealt with them in the usual (violent!) way, hey ho. I am indeed the Scourge of Slugs everywhere …

Harvest

Have a fabulous weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

 


Leave a comment

Unexpected Daffodils in the Loading Area

My first visit to the allotment today since having my shoulder sling removed and the dressings off. As a result I’m able to use both arms a bit more, though I did take it easy – only hoeing with my good arm where possible. It will take a while to be properly workable again.

Anyway, the big surprise is that the daffodils are definitely showing through now, even though it’s still December – all this unusually warm weather is doing strange things to the seasons.

Daffodils

The leeks and daffodils in the other raised bed are also doing very well:

Leeks and daffodils

Not only that, but the chrysanthemums – which I assumed were annuals – appear to have a new lease of life, so goodness only knows what’s happening there …

Chrysanthemums

Anyway, I’ve weeded the beds and soft fruit area – one-handedly! – and tidied up the edge and paths of our plot. K pruned half the autumn raspberries, as my stepfather never ever prunes his autumn raspberries in spite of what all the gardening books tell you and he gets a HUGE crop each year – so we’re giving it a go in a half-and-half fashion.

Autumn raspberries

The blackcurrant bushes are looking good too and are already starting to produce buds:

Currants

Meanwhile the spinach is doing well, so we harvested that and some beetroot to keep us going through the week.

SpinachHarvest

Have a great week!

Anne Brooke Books


Leave a comment

Soggy allotment

Good news – my cold is better and my shoulder is pain-free enough to allow me a visit to the allotment today, hurrah! I managed to hoe gently and with the other hand as much as possible to clear out the weeds before winter – while K cut down the sunflowers and asparagus.

Asparagus and sunflowers

They’d been battered by the wind and rain, so were definitely due to go. Here is the allotment in the rain – we got so wet we had to change when we got back home!

Allotment in rain

Last week, while I was still ill, K planted some new autumn raspberries (red ones) and here they are in their new position:

New Autumn raspberries

And autumn is definitely having an effect on the blackcurrants which are now leaf-free virtually (all the better for hoeing, of course …).

Blackcurrants in autumn

Despite the season and the weather, our harvest consisted of a lot of chrysanthemums, some dahlias, one or two coreopsis and one geum (Mrs Bradshaw). On the vegetable front, K harvested runner beans for seed, and some sprouts for tomorrow’s lunch.

Harvest

Here are the flowers in their vases at home – great to have cut flowers in November, I must say!

Vases 1 Vases 2

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books


4 Comments

A bumper crop of fruit and flowers

Ah now, this is what happens when I don’t go to the allotment for over a week because I’ve been sick – there’s a bumper crop! Thank goodness I’m well again, indeed. As you can see, everything is doing very well. We have cleome, dahlias, courgettes, coreopsis, echinacea, runner beans, sunflowers, sweet peas and a second flush of sweet williams, well gosh.

Cleome and Dahlias Cleome Coreopsis and courgettes Dahlias 1 Dahlias 2 Echinacea 1 Echinacea 2 Runner beans Sunflowers and runner beans Sunflowers Sweet peas Sweet Williams

In fact the runner beans are getting too big and stringy, so I harvested the smaller ones and put the others in the compost pile. I really HATE beans with strings in them – yuck! It’s very hard to spot the darn things too as they hide themselves within the leaves very cunningly. Meanwhile, the sunflowers are getting very tall, and I had to tie them in to the stakes at the top. The flowers are forming nicely, but no colour yet.

We have also harvested the blackcurrant bushes, which was great fun (with the juice all over my hands I looked like I might have killed someone!) and left the netting off so the birds can have the ones we’ve left. All in all, we’ve harvested 1.5 kilos (gosh!). Tonight, K has strained the juices so we can save them, and will make ice cream later, hurrah. We’ve also made ourselves a special kir royale with a bottle of white wine we had in the fridge (as you do …) and very nice it was as well. Definitely summer drinking.

Blackcurrants

On the left of the trug above you can also see some of the young perpetual spinach which is still coming back in the brassica beds – so that’s salad sorted!

Anyway, as I’ve been absent for a bit, the flowers have built up and I’ve managed to make seven vases (seven!) of today’s harvest. If I had to pay for seven vases of flowers, it would cost a fortune, so hurrah for the allotment flowers.

Seven vases 1 Seven Vases 2

And here’s the rest of our harvest, which includes potatoes, courgettes, onions and that lovely golden beetroot which is just fantastic – and so much easier to cook than the red beetroot:

Harvest 1 Harvest 2Golden beetroot

It’s great to be back at the allotment! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke