The Allotment Wife


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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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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


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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


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The Great Raspberry Cull

We finished off pruning the rest of the autumn raspberry canes which we started on a couple of weeks ago today – it’s hard work but extremely satisfying when it’s all done!

autumn-raspberry-prune

Weeding it will certainly be a lot easier now anyway. So we’ve taken back loads of canes for the garden waste at home, and there are still more at the allotment to bring back later.

raspberry-canes

As you may remember, I was hoping to get at least one of our early daffodils in bloom in January, but sadly (sob!), this is not to be … but I’m hoping these ones will be in flower early Feb:

daffodils

The sweet williams seeds we planted last year are coming along slowly, which is positive:

sweet-williams

I’m hoping for good things from them!

Just a few sprouts and the last of the potatoes to harvest this week, but we feel proud we’ve managed to make them last so far.

harvest

Have a great Sunday evening!

Anne Brooke Books


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Rhubarb and tidying

Just time to do a quick tidy  and hoe round of the allotment this morning – first time on the allotment in 2017, hurrah! We unexpectedly have an early sign of rhubarb but it’s a tad small to harvest as yet …

rhubarb

On the other hand, the leeks have done nothing exciting for weeks so we may well just have to harvest and eat them as they are at some point – we were hoping for something larger(!), but they seem to be in hibernation for the moment:

leeks

However, the daffodils shoots look hopeful and it would be great to have at least one bloom in January – we’ll have to wait and see …

daffodils

While K dug up the potatoes, I tidied up one of our ‘mix & match’ beds which hasn’t worked out so well, and there are just the sweet williams left in there now. We’ll have to start planning what to grow around them!

sweet-william-bed

And here is today’s harvest of potatoes and sprouts – yum!

harvest

Happy New Year, and have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Ring out the old, ring in the new!

The last allotment post for 2016 and indeed the last day of 2016 – what a rollercoaster year it’s been, LOL.

On the allotment front, we’re pleased to see that the January daffodils are well on their way:

daffodils-1

And the later (Feb) daffodils are also starting to sprout, hurrah!

daffodils-2

daffodils-3

We’ve also taken the opportunity to replace our old and rubbish  (green & purple) secateurs with shiny new red ones that actually cut – which should make things a heck of a lot easier …

secateurs-new-and-old

Whilst there, K dug out the potato bed (see harvest pic!) and I weeded the beds and fruit area, as well as the areas of pathway. This was made a far easier job by the lack of frost this morning, phew …

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the winter lettuce, potatoes and sprouts, together with a couple of gladioli bulbs we missed and which we’re bringing home for storage.

harvest

Have a fabulous new year, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Luscious Lettuce

This week, it’s the turn of the lettuce to shine in Allotment World, and how glorious it’s all looking:

lettuce-1

lettuce-2

I do always feel so pleased when the winter lettuce is in full spate – such a happy plant. Not to say the dahlias aren’t still doing their thing as they most definitely are and there are more buds on the plants to come, hurrah!

dahlias-1

dahlias-2

The chrysanthemums are also really gorgeous right now and the joy is they last so long in the vase – almost two weeks in most cases! Another lovely autumn flower.

chrysanthemums

I also harvested one small courgette, a scattering of beetroot and one or two spare potatoes that were lying around trying to look innocent – ha! It doesn’t work with me, LOL! Added to the harvest were the lettuce, marigolds, dahlias, chrysanthemums and one echinacea that sadly didn’t last the journey, oh well.

harvest-1

harvest-2

Here are the flowers at home:

vase-1

vase-2

vase-3

vase-4

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

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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It’s (nearly) Showtime!

There are five days to go (not that we’re counting …) to the big Allotment Show which takes place this coming Friday, so the allotment folks are becoming quietly focused. Or it’s contained panic – but it comes to the same thing, LOL!

As a result, we haven’t taken any flowers for the house today – except for a few sweet peas – as I’m keen to put some flowers into the show so want to see how everything is doing Thursday night. However, I have cut down half of the gaura as they’re starting to be a bit of a nuisance even though the bees love them. They’re trailing through the dahlias so I can’t see what’s going on, and likewise on the other side with the chrysanthemums. NB: Sad to say the chrysanthemums are behind so there won’t be any from us at the show this year. Back to the gaura – I don’t think I’ll grow these again, as though they look nice in vases for about 1 or 2 days, they then kind of explode and the pesky petals and seeds get EVERYWHERE – I’m forever cleaning them up, so it’s really not worth it! I could replant them in the garden but we already have some and there isn’t really any room for more – so it’s the garden waste container for them, I’m afraid.

Gaura

Flowers I do have my eye on for possible show entries are the sunflowers (which came Second in the blooms section last year – in case you’d forgotten!!), the echinacea, the dahlias, the gladioli (if there are any left by then!) and the marigolds:

Sunflowers

Echinacea

Dahlias

Gladioli

Marigolds

I will have to do something creative with oasis this year, as that’s what other people did last time – I was the only one who just plonked them in water, LOL! Shows what I know, eh – absolutely nothing!

Turning to veggie city, the courgettes have morphed into marrows again and are going full-tilt for world domination, go them:

Courgettes to Marrows

Courgette to Marrow family

However, they’re not as rampant as those runner beans – so if it comes to a dust-up between the marrow/courgettes and the beans, my money’s on the beans, every time … I only harvested a few runner beans today – enough for lunch and a couple of other meals this week for sure! – as we’re hoping to enter some of them in the veggie categories at the show, as well as the longest runner bean category.

K. has also dug up the potatoes, but sadly there are no super-large ones this year, probably due to blight, but we might see if we can find three roughly of the same shape and size for Friday. Oh, and the lettuce looks amazing – can’t wait to try some when the leaves are a bit larger! We also planted some new lettuce seeds and sweet william seeds in our spare bed to get another flower/salad crop going. It’s great to have new things at this time of year.

Lettuce

Anyway, here’s the harvest from today (not including the courgettes). I added the autumn raspberries to our apple crumble and very tasty they are too!

Harvest 1

And here are some sweet peas (mostly the perennial ones from home, with some allotment ones – the last of the crop, alas!):

Vase

Have a super Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books

 


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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