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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Daffodil Delight and a Fabulous Frog

Lots going on at the allotment today. Next week, we get our annual inspection so I’ve trimmed the edges to make it look a lot neater – lots of fun with a pair of shears and some very dirty trousers now!

Anyway, it’s daffodil city on the plot, which is just lovely – even the narcissi which we thought were over have rebloomed:

Daffodils 1

Daffodils 2

Narcissi 1

Narcissi 2

The little narcissi with the dark orange centres (the pic immediately above) smell absolutely amazing so we can’t wait to get more of those.

The tulips are also on their way now and some even have buds showing. I’m convinced everything is arriving a month early at the moment whereas last year it arrived a month late. All very strange …

Tulips 1

The tulips above are growing where they shouldn’t be growing so obviously we weren’t as good at removing all the bulbs as we thought we were! But the ones below are definitely in the right place:

Tulips 2

The alliums and the aster are making a showing:

Alliums

Aster

And we also have lilies and the lupin, hurrah:

Lilies

Lupin

We need to sort out more flowers for summer as the last thing I want is a gap – perish the thought! We have some purple sunflowers at home which I think I’ll plant on the allotment, and of course I can plant more yellow sunflowers too. Plus we have the dianthus and the sweet williams still on the allotment, so hopefully they’ll put in an appearance at some point.

The rhubarb is on its way and there are now definitely shoots on the autumn raspberry bed:

Rhubarb 1

Autumn raspberries

Today, K also planted a row of early peas, as Monty Don was doing this on Gardeners’ World so we thought we’d give it a go. Here’s hoping the mice don’t get them first!

Early peas 1

Early peas 2

And we discovered a frog! Isn’t he cute – we left him well alone and hope he finds a home under the shed rather than under the bags of compost where he was actually hiding …

Frog 1

Frog 2

Frog 3

Just a harvest of those glorious daffodils today, though we’ve also bought home the rest of the peas to save them from the mice.

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Vases 1

Vases 2

Vases 3

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Anne Brooke – Biblical Fiction & Prayer

 


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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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Daffodils and an Early Bee

We’re nearly at the last of the early daffodils now, but they’ve been a lovely show. There was an early bee on one of them when I picked it, but I managed to persuade it to let go – eventually! I left one almost-open bud for it to feast on.

daffodils-1

daffodils-2

In other good news, there’s one tulip stem showing in our tulip bed, hurrah! So next week we’ll take the netting off as there’s no danger of squirrels stealing them now. Still a lot of moles around though – I kicked over loads of hills today …

tulip

Whilst there, I did a hoe round, and also had a good clear up of the first sprout bed, as K has now removed the netting from it. The sprouts have certainly done us proud. The rhubarb’s not quite there yet though, as you can see below – maybe next week, eh, LOL!

rhubarb

Today’s harvest is sprouts and those daffodils. We’ll use the sprouts tonight – or some of them anyway – as we have friends round for dinner. They can admire the daffodils too, I hope!

harvest-2

Here are the flowers at home – they’re so pretty, and I love them. Hope the next tranche turns up soon!

vase

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

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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Frost devastation

Well, the sharp frosts we’ve had in the mornings this week have certainly ripped through the allotment – no gentle fading into winter here! Here are the poor dahlias:

dahlias

And the marigolds are a goner …

marigolds

As is the Peruvian Ground Apple (Yakon) …

peruvian-ground-apple

Oh dear me! We’ve cut down all the dead things, except the yakon as its harvest is still growing under the soil and we don’t need to dig it up until later. I don’t think the loss of the leaves will do much harm at this stage.

On a happier note, no matter how delicate the lettuce looks, it’s a tough trooper and the frosts mean nothing to it, as you can see!

lettuce

The leeks continue to grow (slowly!) …

leeks

Although maybe the rhubarb isn’t too sure about the weather:

rhubarb

Never mind, you can’t keep a good rhubarb down!

I also planted 100 tulips in a spare bed (where the beetroot used to be – see below) – and this time I’ve gone for the scattergun approach (as beloved of Monty Don) rather than the straight lines I usually favour. It certainly makes planting less dull, and hopeful they’ll be a nice display for the spring:

tulip-planting

Once done, K mulched them and then put netting on top to stop the squirrels digging them all up again. Funny how squirrels go for tulips, but leave daffodils alone. Anyway, we’ve used the old sunflower stems to weigh the netting down and hope that will keep them safe:

tulip-netting

Here is the vegetable harvest, which consists of some good old lettuce and the rest of the beetroot which we can wash, dry and store at home:

vegetable-harvest

Only chrysanthemums to harvest in terms of flowers this week:

flower-harvest

And here they are in the vase:

vase

Have a great week, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books
Lori Olding Children’s Author


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Yacon Revisited

Another couple of visits to the allotment this week and all seems to be ticking along fairly nicely. K has now planted up the Brussels sprouts (type: Revenge! Which is a name that always makes me laugh but they’re great sprouts) in the netting and we’ve sprayed them liberally with slug doom.

Brussel sprouts Revenge

The beetroot is also doing great things and even producing a crop – though we’ll leave it a while as we don’t need it right now.

Beetroot

The mangetouts are also going well, and just look at those runner beans – I love the red flowers, which we definitely didn’t expect as we thought they were white!

Mangetouts

The potatoes are also looking good, and we found another yacon (Peruvian ground apple) at Wisley today, so have planted that up too. A shame that the one from last year didn’t seem to survive but we’ll try again with this one – or maybe they’re annuals? I’m not sure.

PotatoesYacon

Meanwhile, things are really pleasing on the flower front too. The cosmos are slowly getting larger and the dahlias are on their way:

CosmosDahlias

I’m also happy with the lilies, and the sweet peas are progressing so we’ve had to add a layer for them to climb up. This time, K has made an arch, which I think looks great.

Lilies

Sweetpeas 1Sweetpeas 2

We’ve also bought more cut flowers where we were at Wisley and planted them up – they are dianthus (I just LOVE that smell of cloves – it’s amazing!), penstemon and asters:

New cut flowers

Here are the two harvests from this week, which include lilies, sweet peas, sweet williams,  cosmos, asparagus, mangetouts and rhubarb.

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Here are the vases at home (which include the dianthus though they weren’t yet on the allotment when I cut them!):

Finally, I decided to make oasis flower arrangements with the rest of the sweet williams so here they are:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne Brooke Books