The Allotment Wife


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Raspberry Riot

Did a quick hoe-round at the allotment today, though the snow yesterday and the day before appears to have beaten the weeds down, hurrah! There is exciting news about the daffodils as they’re now starting to form actual flower buds, well gosh:

daffodils

The rhubarb is also looking very pretty, and we’re hoping it might gain some friends at some point!

rhubarb

Our main job of today though has been starting to cut down the autumn raspberry canes to the ground. They’re really easy to cut with secateurs though they’re so long that you have to be a bit careful that you don’t take your eye out when you’re disposing of them! Also heavy duty gloves are vital … We’ve done just under half the bed so will carry on next week. It’ll certainly make it a lot easier to weed. The canes we cut down today will be added to our garden waste bin at home – thank goodness we remembered to bring one of our green bags.

cutting-down-the-autumn-raspberries

autumn-raspberry-canes

A very small harvest today – just sprouts! – and there haven’t been so many of these as we harvested last year. Though, to be fair, we didn’t plant as many either!

harvest

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke

 

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The Allotment Working Party & BBQ

This Sunday, we’ve had the allotment working party and BBQ which has been hard work and great fun, all wrapped up together. We’ve thoroughly tided the plots and surrounding areas, and it’s looking good. K helped with the digging at various areas, and I tided round the perimeter and sorted some of the weeds out. Then it was time to party, hurrah! Great burgers, a fabulous cinnamon cake and wonderful company, so a pretty perfect day, all in all.

BBQ 1 BBQ2

Just after the party, we found out (thank you, HP!) that there were some plants going spare from one of the plot, so we grabbed a marrow and a courgette, and I have high hopes for these:

Marrow and courgette

During the week, we’ve also worked pretty hard too. K put up the fruit cage round the blackcurrants and redcurrants – though we’re leaving the autumn raspberries to fend for themselves, as the area is really too big. Here is the beginning of the cage, and its final state too:

Fruit cage beginnings Fruit cage

The rhubarb is back in full force (pun not deliberate!) and I have made a rhubarb crumble, and also a rhubarb and orange cake, which is really delicious, I must say – though tricky to cut as it’s quite moist.

RhubarbRhubarb and orange cake

I’ve also taken out some of the tulips for storing, and added in cosmos and asters for cutting, plus something else with a strange name that I can’t remember(!):

Cosmos, asters etc

There have also been a couple of harvests this week. The first is leeks, rhubarb and sweet williams:

Harvest 1

And the second harvest (today) is sweet williams, foxgloves, lilies, beetroot and one sweet pea (hurrah!):

Harvest 2

Here is the sweet pea in situ, and I’m thrilled they’ve started to flower so soon:

Sweetpeas

As a result of all these flowers, I’ve made up two vases this week, plus a number of bowls with flower heads of sweet williams and alliums. The first vase is sweet williams, foxgloves and one (ah bless!) geum:

Foxgloves, sweet williams and geum

And the second flower harvest is sweet williams and lilies:

Sweet williams and lilies

It’s been funny this week as someone on Facebook queried the fact that I was transporting foxgloves from the allotment to home, and of course they’re poisonous. I handle with care, naturally, but I’ve not noticed any increased heart rate or any other problems at all. However, in view of the fact that in the garden at home we grow monkshood and ricinus (the poisonous Castor Oil Plant), a few foxgloves here or there are probably not going to add any more danger to our gardening lives!

Happy Sunday, all!

Anne Brooke


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More mulching and a brassica clear-out

I think we’ve done good work on the allotment today. Mulching was our main aim so we’ve put on 5 more bags and done the main chunk of the soft fruit beds, plus around the more mature bushes where the weeds were worst. I think it looks quite respectable now:

Soft fruit bed 1 Soft fruit bed 2 Soft fruit bed 3 Soft fruit bed 4 Soft fruit bed 5

I also did a quick hoe round the rest of the plot and the raised beds, but there wasn’t a lot to do, to be honest. K and I then cleared out the brassica bed, and put the remains of the plants onto the compost heap, so there’s more green stuff on there now which is good. We’ll leave the hoops in the brassica bed for now, as we may as well. Not sure yet what we’re going to replace the brassicas with, but we’ll think of something!

Brassica Bed 1 Brassica Bed 2

Meanwhile, in the raised beds, the narcissi are coming up, though sadly the stocks I planted with them seem to have died a death. No idea why. All the stocks I put in at home have all died too, so I really don’t know what to do about them. Will they come back again? Are they just resting? Who knows … If I don’t see anything else there by February I’ll probably crack and get something else to go in there, but will have to see.

Narcissi 1

However, the sweet williams are going great guns, hurrah! So hope to have lots of lovely flowers to cut from them later on.

Sweet Williams

Finally, today’s harvest of leeks and winter lettuce is small, but perfectly formed. Ideal for Sunday lunch, hurrah!

Leeks and winter lettuce

Anne Brooke Books
Dryathlon 2015: Please give generously to Cancer Research UK during January!