The Allotment Wife


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The Easter Allotment

A couple of visits to the allotment this week as I have time off from work, hurrah! I’m going to be wild and free today (yikes!) and do things in alphabetical order as it just seems easier. So not that wild and free then … Anyway, the alliums are coming along nicely, as are the asparagus and autumn raspberries:

Alliums

Asparagus 1

Asparagus 2

Autumn raspberries

I’m also pleased with how the lilies are getting along – and I have sprayed them this week for the first time as I thought they might be getting chewed a bit – the curse of the lily beetle! Ooh, and there are lupin buds on the lupin which you can just about see if you peer VERY closely at the picture:

Lilies

Lupin buds

Meanwhile the peas seem to have escaped the curse of the mice, although the ones we started off at home are doing much better than the ones which we planted as seeds straight into the soil – which just goes to show that Monty Don isn’t always right, goodness me!

Peas

We’re also pleased with how the rhubarb is getting along, and I harvested three sticks of it today to add to my apple crumble, which was surprisingly good, LOL.

Rhubarb

The soft fruit area is getting there too, and the bees seem to be loving it which is great news for a later harvest – we hope.

Soft fruit

Today, K set up a new sweet pea structure to give them more height when we get round to planting them, and as an added bonus it also helps hold up the shed guttering which suffered from the winds last month. You can just about see the netting in the picture, plus K’s hat and my fleece (didn’t need it) …

Sweet pea netting

The plant I’m most proud of though is the tulips which have given us a totally glorious display this season.

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

Tulips 3

Tulips 4

A couple of harvest pictures this week:

Harvest 1

This (above) was some asparagus, the tulips and the last of the scented narcissi.

Harvest 2

Today’s harvest shot (also above) is rhubarb (the first of the season!), asparagus and tulips. I’m also taking home the sunflower seeds as we’ll start them off at home this year, and then plan to plant them round the runner beans as usual.

Here are the tulips in the vases at home. I’m very happy indeed with the parrot tulips (the first red and white frilly ones) as usually I don’t like these in the garden, but they’re absolutely GORGEOUS in the vase, so I’ll definitely get more for the allotment next year.

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Vase 5

Vase 6

Vase 7

Have a very happy Easter Day everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Striped Tulips and Asparagus Rising

We knew our allotment tulips have done well this week as a couple of lovely allotment people have been admiring them – we were stunned when we saw the flowers today!

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

Tulips 3

Tulips 4

Tulips 5

So thrilled with all this glorious abundance that I can’t even speak! Now there’s a shock, eh …

The tulips aren’t the only thing going for it either – last week, we had absolutely no asparagus at all and this week we have an enormous one (as it were!!) and there are others ready to spring up any day now, LOL!

Asparagus

Just looking at that picture makes me laugh!… Other excitements are the rhubarb – no flowers on them this week, phew – and the lilies.

Rhubarb 1

Lilies

I’m not spraying the lilies yet and they look okay – but possibly the dreaded lily beetle is just waiting for the right moment, yikes! We’re also pleased that the peas K planted a couple of weeks ago haven’t been eaten by mice after all, and are actually starting to sprout, well gosh! Alongside some weeds of course, but I’m leaving those in to distract the mice …

Peas

The onions K planted are also starting off, and the smell around that bed is just brilliant, even though they’re still so small!

Onions

Meanwhile the sweet williams are doing well, as is the soft fruit area & the autumn raspberries:

Sweet Williams

Soft fruit area

Autumn raspberries

Whilst there today, I planted another three rows of gladioli bulbs and K planted up a bed of potatoes:

Potato bed

Here is the harvest of tulips and a couple of asparagus stalks:

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Harvest 3

Here are some narcissi and the tulips at home:

Vase 6

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Vase 4

Vase 5

Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the sunshine!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

 


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Gooseberry Pruning

I was on my own today at the allotment as K is busy building the stage for the village play which is next week. So I went prepared as last night on Gardener’s World, the great Monty Don told us to prune our gooseberries to get rid of some of the inner twigs so this is what I’ve done. Apparently it helps prevent gooseberry sawfly but we’ll have to see. It’s certainly a task that needs thick gloves as the stems are so prickly.

Gooseberry

Continuing the pruning theme, our oldest rhubarb has got a lot bigger, but there are more flowers on it so I cut those off to encourage stem growth. The leaves are looking good though.

Rhubarb

There is also some new growth in the chrysanthemum and dahlia area, so that’s exciting!

New growth

Not so many flowers to gather this week, though there are more daffodils and tulips to come. Maybe the heat has put them off or something?

Daffodils 1

Daffodils 2

Tulips

Meanwhile, the lilies are getting there, at least in terms of foliage. I’ve not sprayed them yet though but will start when they’re a bit taller:

Lilies

Whilst there, I did a hoe through, particularly in the soft fruit area where the weeds are sneaking up, and also trimmed our plot edges with the shears so it all looks a lot neater.

Here is this week’s harvest of narcissi and tulips:

Harvest

And here are the vases at home – the little narcissi have an amazing scent! Interestingly, last week’s daffodils have all gone, but the tulips from last week are still going strong which is great!

Vase 1

Vase 2

Vase 3

Have a lovely April weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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A Scented Heaven

Lots of flower excitement on the allotment today – the most thrilling thing of all though is that the tulips are out in force, hurrah! First of all, here are some at home!…

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

And here are the allotment ones …

Tulips 3

Tulips 4

Plus those that aren’t supposed to be there, LOL!

Tulips 5

Then there are the glorious daffodils, plus the incredibly scented narcissi (the smaller ones): the yellow narcissi are very pungent indeed and the lighter yellow ones smell just like sweet lemon. Bliss indeed.

Narcissi 1

Narcissi 2

Our rows of new sweet williams are coming along too …

Sweet Williams

… as are the lilies:

Lilies

Whilst there today, I did a hoe round and K mended the shed guttering which has been battered by the winds. I also planted 2 rows of gladioli – these are the older ones, though we have some new bulbs too. We’re planning sessional planting so we can extend the season so will put some more in next week, and so on, until they run out.

Gladioli

I’ve also planted five purple sunflowers which we’ve been growing at home but are now big enough to go in. They’re very spiky though so you have to wear thick gloves whilst planting …

Purple Sunflowers

The rhubarb is coming along well, though the oldest plant now has a head of flowers on it (you can just see the pink towards the top of the picture) – which apparently can happen if it’s feeling stressed or if it’s been a warm spring, so we’re hoping it’s the latter reason. K cut them off so we hope it will carry on fruiting so we can get a decent crop from it.

Rhubarb 1

Today’s harvest is narcissi, daffodils and the tulips:

Harvest 2

And here are the flowers at home – the narcissi scent is just incredible!

Vase 7

Vase 8

Vase 9

Vase 10

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Vases 4

Vases 5

Vases 6

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Narcissi Delight

Lots of the little narcissi tete-a-tete on the allotment today – very cute indeed, if tiny.

narcissi-tete-a-tete

There are other taller daffodils coming along too, but they’re not ready yet!

daffodils-1

daffodils-2

Maybe next week, eh, LOL!

The tulip bed is looking grand and I’m really excited about that one. Can’t wait to see them in bloom.

tulips-1

We were also surprised to see some of the alliums I planted on the off chance are on their way too, which is great. I do love alliums.

alliums

No great changes in the autumn raspberry & summer soft fruit area, but I’m sure the rhubarb is coming along:

rhubarb

Can’t wait for the first rhubarb crumble of the season, but I don’t think it’s going to be soon.

Our harvest today has been the leeks (which haven’t done very well but smell amazing) and those narcissi (which look really lost in that tea towel …):

harvest

However, at home, I found a tiny glass and now think the narcissi look pretty good in it – I’ve put this vase on the dining room table to brighten up mealtimes.

vase-1

vase-2

Have a fabulous weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulips in Bloom

The allotment was a riot of spring flowers today, including daffodils, narcissi and the first of the glorious tulips!

Also, last year, I thought I took the lilies out but obviously I didn’t, as here they are in force:

Lillies

The asparagus is also getting larger, so we harvested it for tomorrow’s lunch:

Asparagus

And the rhubarb is coming along:

Rhubarb

We did our usual hoe-round today, and K also trimmed the plot edges, so it looks very smart indeed. And we pruned one of the autumn raspberries that is not yet in leaf to give it some encouragement. Our harvest included the flowers, the asparagus, leeks and some spinach:

Harvest

And at home the vases look amazing and the smell of the narcissi is once again out of this world. I love spring!

 

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Spring at last!

Am well enough to get to the allotment this week, and had a hoe round. Mind you, I took it slowly as this post-viral thing is really exhausting – had to have a sleep when I got home! Anyway, the allotment is a riot of daffodils and narcissi and the narcissi smell is amazing. I also love the fact that the narcissi are multi-stemmed so there are loads more to come.

There are some leeks next to the daffodils too, and I harvested three of those for eating during the week. Actually there were loads of people at the allotments today, which was lovely, and one little boy was fascinated by the amount of flowers on our plot, so I gave him a few smelly narcissi for his mum – shame I couldn’t remember which variety they were though, as they came amongst a bag of others!

And we have our first tulips, hurrah! Can’t believe it and the colour is wonderful.

Tulips

Talking of produce being early, our first asparagus is on its way too – a FULL MONTH earlier than last year, well gosh.

Asparagus

It looks faintly rude (LOL!) but that’s asparagus for you … The rhubarb is also doing well, but the funny thing is that the plants that are doing the best are those we can’t harvest this year, as they need to be left until their second year – so I hope the rest of them get a spurt on as well:

Rhubarb

Finally, I gave the peas K planted last week a quick water – they seem to have survived the slight frost earlier in the week, hurrah. Oh, and the autumn raspberry experiment is going well, I think.

Autumn raspberries

Here’s the harvest, which includes leeks, spinach, daffodils, narcissi and the tulips – plus a kitchen roll holder for planting pea seeds once we’ve cut it in half(!):

Harvest

And here are our lovely allotment flowers in their vases at home:

Have a great weekend and stay healthy!

Anne Brooke Books


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Yellow raspberries and wicked squirrels

Yesterday, we bought 5 yellow raspberries (All Gold), and K planted them on the allotment this morning.

Raspberry All Gold 1 Raspberry All Gold 2

The rhubarb is also coming along nicely, and we managed to harvest a very small crop of the world’s tiniest beetroot and some winter lettuce.

Beetroot and winter lettuce Rhubarb

As we’re keen to have an area for sitting in front of the shed, plus another raised bed there, we have marked the paths around the bed so we know what we’re doing a bit more. I think we’ll lay slates on the paths in the end as they’ll be lighter to transport than gravel, but we’ll have to see.

Planned path Planned paths and bed 1 Planned paths and bed 2

We’re thinking of putting wild flowers in that new bed, but no final decision as yet. I’d rather like a block of solid colour as it can look amazing, but we’ll have to see. In the meantime, the narcissi are doing well and look like they might burst into flower any moment now, hurrah!

Narcissi

Sadly, however, the squirrels (wicked squirrels!) have found my lovely tulip bed and dug out the middle of it, sob! Thankfully they’ve left some around the edges, so there’s still hope as we can now see the tips of them. As a result and to discourage further digging, we’ve netted the bed. Next year, we’ll do that when we plant the tulips!

Netted tulip bed Tulip bed 1

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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More signs of Spring

Not a great deal to do on the allotment today, though I did hoe round, and K dug through one of the beds near the shed.

Still, the narcissi are coming along nicely, though I’m afraid to say I’ve had to remove all the stocks I’d planted between them as they were all dead, oh well. The same thing has happened at home, so maybe it’s a bad year for stocks? Anyway, the narcissi look healthy, at least!

Narcissi

And another small harvest today – winter lettuce and the very last of the leeks, which have been very tasty as part of our Sunday lunch just now.

Leeks and Winter Lettuce

Have a great week!

Anne Brooke Books


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More mulching and a brassica clear-out

I think we’ve done good work on the allotment today. Mulching was our main aim so we’ve put on 5 more bags and done the main chunk of the soft fruit beds, plus around the more mature bushes where the weeds were worst. I think it looks quite respectable now:

Soft fruit bed 1 Soft fruit bed 2 Soft fruit bed 3 Soft fruit bed 4 Soft fruit bed 5

I also did a quick hoe round the rest of the plot and the raised beds, but there wasn’t a lot to do, to be honest. K and I then cleared out the brassica bed, and put the remains of the plants onto the compost heap, so there’s more green stuff on there now which is good. We’ll leave the hoops in the brassica bed for now, as we may as well. Not sure yet what we’re going to replace the brassicas with, but we’ll think of something!

Brassica Bed 1 Brassica Bed 2

Meanwhile, in the raised beds, the narcissi are coming up, though sadly the stocks I planted with them seem to have died a death. No idea why. All the stocks I put in at home have all died too, so I really don’t know what to do about them. Will they come back again? Are they just resting? Who knows … If I don’t see anything else there by February I’ll probably crack and get something else to go in there, but will have to see.

Narcissi 1

However, the sweet williams are going great guns, hurrah! So hope to have lots of lovely flowers to cut from them later on.

Sweet Williams

Finally, today’s harvest of leeks and winter lettuce is small, but perfectly formed. Ideal for Sunday lunch, hurrah!

Leeks and winter lettuce

Anne Brooke Books
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