The Allotment Wife


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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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A broken spade and daffodils galore

Have had a painful arm this week (frozen/impacted shoulder), so today was the first chance I’ve had to get to the allotment – thank goodness for anti-inflammatory pills! We wanted to plant our new collection of 100 assorted daffodil bulbs, plus the ones left over from last year, for cut flowers in the spring. K started to dig out the potato bed and then this happened!

Broken spade

Oh dear me. And it was a relatively new spade too! However, at least he still had the fork to use, but honestly those potatoes must be tougher than we thought …

Anyway, we’ve planted all the daffodil bulbs and put netting or branches across them to protect them from the squirrels. Here are therefore some very exciting pictures of bare earth where the daffodils are hiding …

Daffodils 1 Daffodils 2

Not much to look at now, but come next spring they will be a glorious ocean of yellow – we hope. Anyway, I have found a way to do a decent hoe whilst only using one arm, mostly, so have tidied up the allotment as best possible. In the meantime, K rediscovered our Autumn Raspberry – All Gold – which we bought earlier this year and promptly forgot about, so he staked it up so it looks a bit less messy.

Autumn Raspberry All Gold

We believe the main crop of Autumn Raspberries are Autumn Gold, which is why the leaves are slightly different.

The flowers continue to bloom too, which is great. Here are dahlias, cosmos, chrysanthemums and a late sunflower:

Chrysanthemums Cosmos Dahlias Sunflower

And here they are as part of our harvest, which also includes potatoes, one courgette, and Autumn Gold raspberries:

Harvest

Once at home, the flowers look amazing:

Vases

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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