The Allotment Wife


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The Allotment Working Party & BBQ

This Sunday, we’ve had the allotment working party and BBQ which has been hard work and great fun, all wrapped up together. We’ve thoroughly tided the plots and surrounding areas, and it’s looking good. K helped with the digging at various areas, and I tided round the perimeter and sorted some of the weeds out. Then it was time to party, hurrah! Great burgers, a fabulous cinnamon cake and wonderful company, so a pretty perfect day, all in all.

BBQ 1 BBQ2

Just after the party, we found out (thank you, HP!) that there were some plants going spare from one of the plot, so we grabbed a marrow and a courgette, and I have high hopes for these:

Marrow and courgette

During the week, we’ve also worked pretty hard too. K put up the fruit cage round the blackcurrants and redcurrants – though we’re leaving the autumn raspberries to fend for themselves, as the area is really too big. Here is the beginning of the cage, and its final state too:

Fruit cage beginnings Fruit cage

The rhubarb is back in full force (pun not deliberate!) and I have made a rhubarb crumble, and also a rhubarb and orange cake, which is really delicious, I must say – though tricky to cut as it’s quite moist.

RhubarbRhubarb and orange cake

I’ve also taken out some of the tulips for storing, and added in cosmos and asters for cutting, plus something else with a strange name that I can’t remember(!):

Cosmos, asters etc

There have also been a couple of harvests this week. The first is leeks, rhubarb and sweet williams:

Harvest 1

And the second harvest (today) is sweet williams, foxgloves, lilies, beetroot and one sweet pea (hurrah!):

Harvest 2

Here is the sweet pea in situ, and I’m thrilled they’ve started to flower so soon:

Sweetpeas

As a result of all these flowers, I’ve made up two vases this week, plus a number of bowls with flower heads of sweet williams and alliums. The first vase is sweet williams, foxgloves and one (ah bless!) geum:

Foxgloves, sweet williams and geum

And the second flower harvest is sweet williams and lilies:

Sweet williams and lilies

It’s been funny this week as someone on Facebook queried the fact that I was transporting foxgloves from the allotment to home, and of course they’re poisonous. I handle with care, naturally, but I’ve not noticed any increased heart rate or any other problems at all. However, in view of the fact that in the garden at home we grow monkshood and ricinus (the poisonous Castor Oil Plant), a few foxgloves here or there are probably not going to add any more danger to our gardening lives!

Happy Sunday, all!

Anne Brooke


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Unexpected rhubarb and the missing leek

A quick trip to the allotment this morning just to say hello to it, though we had nothing to plant and therefore not much to do down there. K did some digging, and I did a quick hoe-round to keep the weeds down. The good news is that the moles seem to have headed off in the direction of the fence and away from our allotment, so I hope they keep going in that direction …

The other good news is that we can see tiny red tops of the rhubarb which has just started to grow, hurrah! I had no idea it started this early, but apparently it does and, hey, I’m not complaining.

Signs of Rhubarb 1 Signs of Rhubarb 2

Ok, I know they’re very small so you can hardly see them, but they’re hugely exciting for us! Whilst down there, we decided to plan a flower bed in front of the shed where we were intending to put the greenhouse, but that’s going to be too complicated now. We’ve marked out the space and also factored in enough space in front of the shed for a small table and a couple of chairs – so we have dreams of sitting out in the summer, surveying the estate (ha!). I thought I might put poppies in the flower bed – as the deer won’t eat them as they do at home – and maybe a rose bush too. Just to make it homely. We’ll have to see.

Meanwhile, today’s harvest is more winter lettuce (still hanging on in there!), three leeks and some unexpected potatoes that K unearthed when he was on digging duties.

Leeks, potatoes and winter lettuce

We proudly transported them all to the car, but on the way one of the leeks escaped and I had to retrace my steps to try to track it down. It was obviously making a quiet bid for freedom, but I’ve corralled it again now, go me!

Anne Brooke Books