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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Bounteous Harvest

The allotment is really getting going for the summer now. I popped in during the week to pick some flowers and check the asparagus, which is doing well, and came away with this harvest:

Harvest 1

The potatoes we planted in their pots last week are also starting to grow:

Potatoes in pots

Today, we’ve spent more time there, hoeing and tidying up, and K has planted the onions:

Onions

There’s good news on the beetroot front too – they were looking a bit fragile last week but they appear to have cheered up this week, so we’re hoping for a good crop later.

Beetroot

Ooh, and the mangetouts have their first pods, plus the flowers are fabulous!

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of rhubarb, spinach, leeks, mangetouts, asparagus and flowers (geums, forget-me-nots and cosmos):

Harvest 2

I really do feel like Lady Bountiful today with my trug, LOL!

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Mole City and Barbecue Delight

The moles are going mad at the allotment at the moment so I had to destroy a heck of a lot of hills!

Mole hills

Honestly, I’ve never seen so many – they must be having a party down there!

This week we’ve been planting more peas and netting them so they have something to grow up and we’re quite pleased with what we’ve managed to do:

There are flowers on some of the older peas, but no pods yet …

Here is the first of our week’s harvests, and also the end floral products (geums and sweet williams) in a vase:

The ‘harvest’ includes a job-lot of tulip bulbs which I will plant in the garden at home later this year – so I can get new ones for the allotment, hurrah!

Today (Sunday) has been great fun with the Allotment Working Party and barbecue. Before we got started on the grand tidy-up, K and I planted sunflower seeds and also cosmos (as they make great cut flowers).

Cosmos

This time, I remembered the rhubarb – there was loads of it! – and it makes up most of the harvest, alongside more geums, spinach and asparagus.

Harvest 2

I’ve put all the rhubarb into a rhubarb and nectarine crumble, which we are very much looking forward to during the week!

However, the main thing about today was keeping the allotments tidy, so K and I went round the perimeter, together with numerous other folks doing a variety of key jobs, in order to tidy up the undergrowth. It seems to have grown loads this spring – due to the weather we’ve been having, I’m sure – and I had to get rid of a few slugs as I went round too!

Then of course was the BBQ – which was great fun, with wonderful burgers and scrummy cake. A fabulous time was had by all, and special thanks to Helen and Pauline for arranging  a brilliant day!

Have a great Sunday, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books


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Runner beans and beetroot

 

A couple of visits to the allotment this week, now that summer is coming along. On Thursday, I hoed a few beds and took out the daffodil bulbs so K could prepare that bed for runner beans. I gave the bulbs a good wash and then put them in the sifter in the shed to dry out. When they’re drier, I’ll store them in a pot until I can plant them again later in the year.

Daffodil bulbs

Here is the first of our harvests this week: asparagus, a couple of tulips, geums and some Sweet Williams. A couple of the asparagus were too old so a bit too tough to eat, but the rest was fine.

Harvest 1

Today, I finished off the hoeing – a HUGE task in the soft fruit area! – while K put up the runner bean sticks & beans. Don’t they look lovely!

Runner beans

I also planted out two types of beetroot – one a golden one (Burpees Golden) and the other a red and white striped one (Choggia) – both of these taste just as good as the usual beetroot but don’t stain everything red, hurrah!

Beetroot

Apparently, this year, growing potatoes in pots is the new thing – so we have planted three (one per pot) and will wait to see what they do. The fun thing was that when the special pots arrived yesterday, they have a pull out centre which you can wear over your head and look like a dalek!! And, no, I DON’T have a picture of that but I have to say it was great fun, and ideal for scaring the neighbours, LOL!

Pot potatoes

I forgot to say that this week, we have had galloping moles zipping through our beds – which has caused great fun amongst the tulips, but at least makes weeding easier. The good news is that they now appear to have left our beds (the moles, not the tulips) and are heading towards the allotment gates – 7 molehills all in a row which I of course destroyed.

So here is our second harvest – and guess who forgot the rhubarb so there’ll be no crumble this week, oh no!! – which includes leeks, spinach, asparagus, geums, one daffodil and one tulip.

Harvest 2

Here are the flowers in their vase at home:

Vase

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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The over-hoer strikes again!

Gorgeous weather for spending time in the allotment this week, though the soil is quite dry to work with. The autumn raspberries are doing very well though I might well cut the tops off where they’re not producing anything at some point:

Autumn raspberries

K and I also planted a couple of types of potato – sarpo (bland taste but they’re blight-resistant) and carolus. Here they are before they actually go in:

Potatoes

Much to our delight, the rhubarb was big enough to harvest today and I made a rhubarb and apple crumble for lunch – the first rhubarb of the season and it was great! I just love the smell.

Rhubarb

Meanwhile, over in Flower World, I’m ashamed to say that I have somewhat blotted my copybook as while I was planting the last of the gladioli bulbs, I mentioned to K that I had to keep pulling some funny looking weeds out from between the early gladioli shoots. Um, apparently, these are NOT weeds, but something K planted when I was ill, called Brodiea. Oh the shame!! I will leave them well alone next time. Here they are:

Brodiaea

They’re so small and they definitely look like grass if you can see them in the above snap! Anyway, maybe it’s best if I read the labels first before pulling things out, LOL.

On the more positive side, the geums are coming along very well and there may even be something to pick next week …

Geums

Finally, here is today’s harvest, which includes tulips, Sweet Williams (the first of these!), leeks (which K is preparing to save my itchy eyes …), asparagus, spinach and the rhubarb:

Harvest

And here are the flowers at home:

Vase

Have a fabulous Sunday and enjoy this glorious weather!

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!