The Allotment Wife


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Winding Down for Winter

Not much happening at the allotment this week, and there’s sadly no flowers to pick for home, so definitely the end of the season. It’s lovely to potter about though.

Still, we did manage to dig up all the gaura and compost it – it’s not good as a cut flower (too much stuff drops off and makes a mess) and we’ve got more than enough at home so there’s no need to replant it. However, I did dig up the crocosmias and replanted them at home – though they’re not a great cut flower, they do look beautiful in the garden.

However, the good news is that the Brussels sprouts are doing well and we’re looking forward to having those for Christmas:

brussels-sprouts

And, of course, the lettuce is still going for the burn and there’s definitely enough to see us through this week!

lettuce

So, here’s the harvest – which is basically the lettuce and the crocosmias, LOL:

harvest

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books

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I Love Manure!

We were lucky enough to have 20 bags of manure delivered directly to our plot this week – courtesy of the lovely P (thank you!) – and K has been getting some of it onto the beds today while I did hoeing and plot tidying elsewhere on site. I really love manure – it makes everything look so rich and lush, and I find the smell weirdly exciting – don’t tell me that’s just me, LOL!

manure-3

manure-1

manure-2

manure-4

How can anyone resist that glorious earthy brown?…

Meanwhile the asters and dahlias continue to do well, and if our luck’s in, we might even get flowers in November – I do hope so.

asters

dahlias

And the chrysanthemums are on their way – I really love this pink flower:

chryanthemums-1

K dug up half the remaining potatoes today so that should keep us going for a while!

potatoes

And the harvest includes autumn raspberries, courgettes (still growing!), beetroot, lettuce, alongside asters, chrysanthemums, one crocosmia, coreopsis, dahlias and marigolds.

harvest

Here are the vases at home:

vase-1

vases-2

vases-3

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Lettuces and daffodils

Not too much hoeing to do at the allotment today as we’re now into autumn which is lovely news, even though that means no more summer flowers, sob! Still the autumn flowers are doing well. Here are the dahlias, still going strong:

dahlias

And our first chrysanthemum is now in bloom, with more to come:

chrysanthemum

We also have an assortment of flowers coming up, such as dianthus and asters and something else I’m not sure about but it looks as if it will be good, LOL!

allotment-flowers

allotment-shrub

I also planted some more daffodils for spring, but there are more left to plant, so will try to find a space for them next week.

daffodil-bulbs

While we were there, K took down the sweet peas, and I also need to think about removing the gaura and crocosmia at some point – which I hope to find space for in the garden at home – somewhere!

The plot has also gone lettuce-crazy with three separate crops really going for it, hurrah!

lettuce-1

lettuce-2

lettuce-3

Here is this week’s harvest, which includes autumn raspberries (all of which I have just used to make raspberry & chocolate brownies, yum!), courgettes, beetroot, onions, coreopsis, dahlias, asters, echinacea and marigolds.

harvest

We’ve taken a few courgettes, beetroot and onions to the URC this morning as it’s their harvest festival tomorrow. so all in a good cause, hurrah.

Here are the vases at home:

vase-1

vase-2

And tomorrow it’s the allotment working party & bbq, so I hope everyone has a great time at that! K will be going but I’m working at the university tomorrow helping new students arriving on campus – welcome to all! It’s that time of year again – hasn’t it gone quickly …!

Have a great weekend.

Anne Brooke Books

 

 


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Sunflower and Aster Explosion!

Our first sight of the allotment this morning was two of our sunflowers lying collapsed across the path, oh dear me – must have been the storm during the week. Luckily they didn’t cause any damage and they were about due to come out anyway! It’s amazing how tiny a root system sunflowers all have for such a top-heavy flower – it’s a miracle how they stay upright at all …

resting-sunflowers

So we’ve taken the rest of the sunflowers out, and also removed the runner beans.This gave me a chance to get half of our planned daffodils into the empty runner bean bed – I put the new ones in today, but I’ll put the rest of the old ones from last year in next week. The new daffodils are supposed to bloom even earlier than the ones we had last year, so I hope they all do all right.

I’m also totally delighted with the new flowers – Little Carlow asters (they’re blue) – which we planted a few weeks ago just to see how they do. They’re TOTALLY amazing – and look stunning in their vase (see later) so I am so definitely going to get more next year.

little-carlow-asters

The dahlias are still going strong, though the stalks are shorter now so more of a challenge for flower arranging, LOL!

dahlias

The last of the gladioli is a beautiful red one – I’m sad to see them finish and we think we’ll get more of them next year and do more successional planting so they go on later into October, rather than finish now.

last-gladiolus

And the sweet peas are most definitely done! Didn’t get a chance to take them out today, but I’ll try to fit that in next week as I really don’t like them when they get this untidy:

dead-sweet-peas

We’ve also taken out one of the courgette plants, but the other has two large courgettes and two mini ones today, plus five or six still to come, so we’ll give that one a bit longer:

courgettes

Meanwhile, the autumn raspberries are fruiting far more than they did last year – is this possibly because I did what my stepfather told me (very rare, LOL!) and didn’t cut them down last year as you’re supposed to do? It certainly means you get loads more fruit, but not cutting them down might be something we do every 2 years, as this year they’ve got very untidy and are drifting over the path which makes things tricky.

autumn-raspberries

So, here’s our harvest – the courgettes (the mini ones are SO cute and you can even wear them as earrings, LOL!), some autumn raspberries (no time to pick all of them today!), plus the gladiolus, the Little Carlow asters, crocosmia, penstemons, marigolds, dahlias and coreopsis:

harvest

Here are the vases at home – first off, those glorious asters, which I put together with the penstemons, and I think it works very well:

vase-little-carlow-asters-and-penstemons

I kept the dahlias together which I think they like best:

vase-dahlias

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the crocosmia and gladiolus as I don’t really have a vase small enough for them, so made do with a champagne glass:

vase-crocosmia-and-gladiolus

I’m really happy with how the marigolds and coreopsis have gone together though – the yellow and gold are stunning!

vase-coreopsis-and-marigolds-1

vase-coreopsis-and-marigolds-2

Have a super weekend!

Anne Brooke

 

 


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Gladioli Gold

This week, the gladioli just keep on flowering and do look stunning in vases so I’m definitely going to get more of the same next year. I’ve recently discovered the trick of snipping the last few flowers off at the top when I pick them (as they won’t come out anyway) and that definitely makes them last longer and helps the rest of the buds come into bloom too.

Talking of buds, now that the dahlias have recovered from the dreaded blackfly, I can pick a harvest of them twice a week and still have huge numbers of buds remaining, waiting to come into bloom:

Dahlia buds

Meanwhile the autumn raspberries are doing well, and we are beginning to get the beginning of a small harvest, even though it’s not ‘officially’ autumn yet – though actually there’s a change in the weather that is definitely autumnal to my mind, plus we had the first of the large autumn spiders (yuk!) in the house this week so that doesn’t look good for the rest of the spider season, oh dear me …

Autumn raspberries

And the runner beans continue to do their thing in great abundance – we have now filled the freezer with them to see us over the winter, and there’s no sign of them stopping yet! Maybe we’ll try to enter the longest runner bean competition in the Allotment Show next month and see how we do, LOL!

Runner beans

Anyway, here are the two harvests of this week, which include courgettes, runner beans, autumn raspberries, gladioli, gaura, penstemons, sweet peas (now reaching the end of their season, alas …), crocosmia, coreopsis, dahlias, marigolds, geums and echinacea.

Harvest veg & fruit

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the flowers at home in their vases:

Vases 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Vase 5

Vase 6

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Runner Bean Riot

Oo-err, we can’t get to the allotment for one week and the runner beans have gone mad! This is the trug I normally get everything in but not today …

Runner beans

The courgettes aren’t that far behind either and definitely have marrow aspirations:

Courgettes

I think courgette/marrow soup is definitely on the menu for us! Mind you, the beetroot are going for it too:

Beetroot

That should last us the week for sure. Flowers are doing well, and the gladioli and echinacea have bounced back:

Gladioli

Echinacea

And here are the sunflowers, getting even taller!

Sunflower

Dahlias are doing well as well, and are still blackfly-free, hurrah!

Dahlias

We’ve also got some crocosmia growing, though I had thought I’d taken them all home last year – obviously not! I shall have to have another go to get them home when they’ve finished flowering this year:

Crocosmia

Here is the harvest, which consists of gladioli, sweet peas, sweet williams, geums, dahlias, echinacea, coreopsis and marigolds.

Flower harvest

And here is the total harvest – also including some autumn raspberries!

Harvest

Whilst there today, K watered and I hoed, but there honestly aren’t too many weeds anyway, hurrah! We also did some composting using stuff from home, and took down the pea frames. I managed to get a splinter in my finger in the middle of doing that (ow! ow!) but thankfully K is a GENIUS at getting splinters out of fingers and managed to rescue me, phew. Heaven alone knows how he does it but it’s wonderful.

Here are the vases at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Yacon Revisited and a Missing Beetroot

Enjoyed a very pleasant hour or so on the allotment this morning. K sorted out the compost so it’s all in the compost bins now rather than lying messily next to the rhubarb patch, and I did a quick hoe round to keep the weeds more or less under control.

Having looked it up on the web thingy last week, we retrieved the heart of the yacon (Peruvian Ground Apple) from the shed and planted it as instructed back in the ground, though we are still letting the tubers dry out.

Peruvian Ground Apple

Whilst there, I dug up the Crocosmias (Emily McKenzie) as they were wasted on the allotment as they don’t last in the vase when cut. Instead I have planted them at home with my other crocosmias at the front. Hopefully, they’ll be a vision in red and orange next year.

I also harvested some spinach and two beetroots, one red and one golden – here they are with the dug-up crocosmias:

Harvest

Sadly, when I got home I was confused as I was also sorting the garden out by doing mega-pruning before I lost the light, and I appear to have added the golden beetroot into the garden waste bin by mistake, yikes!! I am officially a Bad Gardener! Next time, I will sort out the harvest BEFORE tacking the garden, eh … Still, at lease we have the red beetroot left and the spinach!

Have a great weekend, all.

Anne Brooke Books