The Allotment Wife


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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

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Pootling Along

A nice pootling kind of a morning at the allotment today. We hoed round and made sure everything was okay, as far as possible. I was expecting a little more from the sweet peas we planted last week but they’ve not done very much so far:

Sweet peas

However, on the plus side, the tulips are still doing their best, and even the daffodils are hanging on in there:

It’s really the lilies which are putting on something of a growth spurt, and the gladioli are poking their heads up a little more too:

LiliesGladioli

On the veggie front, we’re pleased with the rhubarb, the asparagus and the spinach, and had enough of the latter two to take as part of our harvest, hurrah!

Meanwhile, the autumn raspberries and gooseberry have plenty of foliage which is good news.

Here’s the harvest we gathered, which includes leeks too – and it’s odd as they really make my eyes sore even from just having them in the car, which hasn’t happened before – the soreness lasted all afternoon and has only just gone, so goodness knows what that is about! I LOVE leeks! K suggested wearing a gas mask next time we harvest the leeks, but I don’t think it’s a good look, LOL!

Harvest

Finally, here are the tulips in their vases at home.

Vases

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

 


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Tulips Encore

Just back from a glorious holiday in Amsterdam and on the Rhine and I now have total tulip mania. However, by the looks of our allotment after a week of being away, I really didn’t need to go to Amsterdam to find the tulips!

Not only that but I think we have a couple of gladioli shoots on the way up – the ones that K planted a few weeks ago:

Gladioli

You have to look very closely to see them though! I also think that we might have a dahlia on the way though it will be very early if it’s true …

Dahlia

Meanwhile, the lilies I’d forgotten I’d left in their bed are doing well, and we have one of our sweet williams almost in bloom too:

However, the main focus of our visit (apart from catching up with the weeding, lol) was planting the first of our sweet peas next to the shed. Here they are in situ:

Sweet peas

The soft fruit area is doing well too, and we’re particularly pleased with the gooseberry:

The spinach is also growing fast, as is the rhubarb:

And, finally, the asparagus is now definitely on the way, though still small.

Asparagus

So, today’s harvest was the tulips, a few stray narcissi, leeks and the spinach:

Harvest

And here are the tulips in their vases at home – I’m very pleased with them indeed, especially the red ones!

 

 


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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. So enough to keep us ticking along!

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