The Allotment Wife


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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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Daffodils and dianthus

A bit chilly on the allotment today, but the soil was warm enough – so I did a spot of hoeing here and there. Nothing serious though.

The daffodil shoots are really going for it now! Here there are in the early daffodil section:

daffodils-1

And here are one or two coming up in one of the other beds too:

daffodil-2

I also took a picture of the dianthus today as – though it’s not doing anything – I really LOVE the green cushion shape it makes. It’s just so comforting! I actually want to cuddle it, but I do appreciate that would look odd … Even for me.

dianthus-cushion

So, not much of a harvest today – K dug up half the lettuce, and there are sprouts for tomorrow’s lunch – with more of these to come for Christmas, hurrah!

harvest

Have a fabulous weekend, all.

Anne Brooke


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Allotment by Proxy

Have now succumbed to the nasty virus going round at work so have been ill since Sunday – and sadly unable to get to the allotment, sob … However, K went anyway and did a hoe-round and also picked more daffodils and the last of the sprouts. I hope they might last until I’m well enough to eat them!

In the meantime, here are some of the pics he kindly took for me – what a hero!

 

Have a healthy week!

Anne Brooke Books


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The magic of muck

Much excitement at the allotment today as we took a couple of wheelbarrows full of horse manure from the field next door. The owner of the horses there has kindly gathered it together for us so that’s just brilliant.

Horse manure

We spread it over two of the raised beds, but it’s amazing how much we will eventually need as it hardly covers it – but every little makes a difference, as they say.

Bed with manure

Still, the rhubarb is slowly getting bigger and now there’s another tiny sprout on the right to join it, so that’s looking hopeful. We did think about forcing it, but actually we like a longer season of rhubarb so decided against it.

Rhubarb

Meanwhile, to our surprise, a couple of small daffodils are forcing themselves up where we laid out the beginnings of a path next to the shed – I remember the lady who had the plot before telling us she’d planted daffodils there, but they didn’t show up last year. It’s really quite nice to see them!

Daffodils

Finally, we harvested two of the sprout plants and a handful of daffodils – I really do love those deep gold crowns in the middle – when they’re fully out, they’ll be stunning.

Harvest

At home, I added the new daffodils to some I’d already bought last week from the local shop. You can just see the golden centres at the front of the vase.

Vase daffodils

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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First planting of the year

Out in the allotment today and we’ve planted 15 gladioli bulbs which is our first actual planting of this year, hurrah! We’re doing succession planting for the first time ever (go us, eh!) and so we’ll plant more in 2 weeks’ time and then the last batch two weeks after that. Here they are just before we bury them in the soil:

Gladioli

This week, we also have some more daffodils as cut flowers for the house – though they’ve been a little stressed out by last night’s frost!

Daffodils

Doesn’t stop them looking pretty grand once in their vase though:

Vase

Meanwhile, the rhubarb is showing itself for the first time, though probably not enough for crumble just now, LOL:

Rhubarb

A sign of good things ahead though. And talking of good things, it looks like we might be able to get some manure from the lady who owns the horses in the field next to the allotments, so that’s brilliant news. We’ll have to bring a trolley and a bag to put it in next time we’re on site. Manure is always good!

Finally, a harvest today of those lovely daffodils, plus sprouts, which we’ve had for lunch and will also see us through another meal or two for sure.

Harvest

What with the harvest, we now have a couple of empty beds, so are having fun thinking of what we can put in them next. I do love the start of spring!

Have a fabulous Mothering Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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The daffodils are here!

Great excitement and rejoicing at the allotment today, as the first of the daffodils are finally out, hurrah! So I can truthfully say that, like last year, our cut flowers display started from February. Don’t they look lovely in the vase? 🙂

I think the tulips might be a tad bigger than last week, but it’s hard to tell and anyway far too early for them.

Tulips

Over in the soft fruit area, the autumn raspberries are forging ahead with enthusiasm.

Autumn raspberry

However, our leeks are still thin and weedy, alas – soon we will harvest one or two and see if they’re worth struggling over. I fear not!…

Leeks

The spinach is looking rather bedraggled too, but I took a handful and also the last of the beetroot:

 

This leaves us with two-and-a-half free beds, well gosh – so we will have to try to think of something to put in them. Maybe some winter lettuce? Will have to see.

Our harvest today was two sprout plants, the beetroot, spinach and the daffs:

Harvest

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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The sprouts are palely loitering*

Back at the allotment today (we gave it a miss last weekend because of the weather), and I was initially rather worried about the state of our sprouts as a lot of them looked pale and rather ill (if sprouts can get ill). However, all is not lost as all it turned out to be was the outer skin drying off, but inside they’re absolutely fine.

Harvest

Here they are above with one lone beetroot and a handful of spinach. When I got home, it took me 50 minutes (gosh!) to peel, wash and prepare all of the sprouts from the three plants and we now have two bowlfuls of them. It’s interesting as last week we had a portion of shop-bought frozen sprouts with dinner, and honestly they were totally bland – I could hardly taste a thing. So the fresh and home-grown sprouts win hands down.

We also hoed round the allotment though there weren’t many weeds due to frost earlier in the week, and K put down a lot of chicken pellet manure across all the raised beds. We like to give everything a serious boost and it’s great stuff.

In the daffodil bed (well, one of them), the buds are so nearly there. I did think one or two might even be out as we had daffodils in bloom in the house last February, but our luck wasn’t quite in this week. There’s always next week though!

Daffodils

Meanwhile, the autumn raspberries have a few leaves on them. We’re leaving most of them unpruned this year, as per my stepfather’s method of cultivating them, and will see how they turn out. He swears by letting them grow on – which is of course utterly against Monty Don’s advice – so we’ll have to see who is right!

Autumn Raspberries

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

Anne Brooke Books

(*Almost a Keats quote but not quite!…)


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Daffodils and sprouts

A lovely sunny day at the allotment this morning – though the wind was still very chilly. The daffodils are coming on, though they’re not quite in flower as yet – too exposed even in this sunshine.

Daffodils

And it’s now obvious that I didn’t quite clear all the daffodils from my new spinach area as look what’s sprung up …

Spinach and daffodil

Oh well, that daffodil is going to be quite lonely, I think. Anyway, the tulips might just be a tad taller as well, though it’s very hard to say! Maybe they’ve even shrunk!…

Tulips

Meanwhile, the autumn raspberries actually have leaves on them, which is a great deal earlier than when they started coming into leaf last year, from memory. Does that mean they might turn into summer raspberries? Who can tell …

Autumn raspberries

The leeks are, as ever, their usual thin and elegant selves. Not sure how we can get our leeks to be bold and bulky, though I’m hoping these slimline ones will taste okay. They did last year, so there’s probably hope.

Leeks

Naturally for this time of year, there’s nothing happening on the rhubarb patch, though the mulch from last week looks rather nice, to my mind, so I took a photo anyway. There’s one rhubarb leaf which is a good sign – though it may be left over from last year!

Rhubarb

And our trusty harvest is as usual the sprouts. We’re getting to the less exciting plants now, with fewer produce, so have harvested two in order to make it worthwhile. The leaves are just too chewed for eating now, which is a shame.

Sprout harvest

Finally, a quick hoe round and we were done. There was a fair sprinkling of our fellow allotmenteers around today too, which was lovely – spring is definitely on the way!

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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Minimal mulch

No deep frosts this week so we hoed round the plot today, though actually there weren’t that many weeds. K also mulched the asparagus bed …

Asparagus bed

… and the rhubarb patch …

Rhubarb patch

Okay, nothing much happening in either area at the moment but, believe me, it’s all happening underneath – I hope!

Meanwhile, the blackcurrants are still doing well for the time of year, and even have buds on, which is quite exciting:

The flower beds aren’t doing that badly either – some of the daffodil shoots actually have buds on them too (gosh!), and the leeks are looking okayish too – though the mystery of how to thicken them up still escapes us …

Even the tulips are that tiny bit bigger – could it be a very early spring, LOL?

Tulips

Finally, a harvest of sprouts for this week, though we haven’t kept the leaves as they were pretty well chewed. Sprouts have been delicious for Sunday lunch though, and there are some left over for tomorrow too.

Harvest

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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The Wintry Allotment

Our first snowfall came today – which for me was horrific as I utterly HATE snow. It’s the work of the devil, don’t you know. LOL! Anyway, thankfully for us in the south-east of the UK it hasn’t lasted long – or not hereabouts anyway, so K and I still visited the allotment just to see how it was doing.

And it’s all very wintry – as you can see! Here is the overall view:

And here are a couple of close-ups of the beds:

 

I wasn’t expecting to be able to do any hoeing as I thought the soil would be too hard, but in actual fact it was all fairly soft, so we managed a fair weed round – not that there was that many weeds anyway.

K also brought down two bags of compost from home – but we’ll wait until the snow has gone until we actually mulch anything. There was a slight problem with our little trolley – which isn’t that great as it is – as one of the wheels came off, but luckily it was after he’d deposited the compost, so hopefully it’s mendable.

And once more we’ve harvested the sprouts, hurrah:

Harvest

Have a great week, everyone, and happy gardening!

Anne Brooke Books
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