The Allotment Wife


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Ring out the old, ring in the new!

The last allotment post for 2016 and indeed the last day of 2016 – what a rollercoaster year it’s been, LOL.

On the allotment front, we’re pleased to see that the January daffodils are well on their way:

daffodils-1

And the later (Feb) daffodils are also starting to sprout, hurrah!

daffodils-2

daffodils-3

We’ve also taken the opportunity to replace our old and rubbish  (green & purple) secateurs with shiny new red ones that actually cut – which should make things a heck of a lot easier …

secateurs-new-and-old

Whilst there, K dug out the potato bed (see harvest pic!) and I weeded the beds and fruit area, as well as the areas of pathway. This was made a far easier job by the lack of frost this morning, phew …

Here is today’s harvest, which consists of the last of the winter lettuce, potatoes and sprouts, together with a couple of gladioli bulbs we missed and which we’re bringing home for storage.

harvest

Have a fabulous new year, everyone!

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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Mole City and Gladioli Galore

Not much may be happening with what you can see at the allotment, but there’s plenty of mole activity, as you can see! There’s a mole Christmas party going on under the earth, I can tell you! What are the little chappies up to?!?

mole-city

Still, there’s good new on the early daffodils as there are now more shoots showing, so that’s hopeful for the January flower:

daffodil-shoots

And the first of the currant bushes is already in bud too, though K remembers it was early last year as well:

currant-shoots

Our main job this week though was taking the gladioli bulbs so we can dry them out and reuse them next year (hurrah!). They’re really easy to get out – much easier than tulips or dahlias are, though it helps that the allotment soil is just so brilliant and much better than at home. What I didn’t realise before we started to dig them up was that they produce lots of tiny ‘babies’ next to the main bulb which is just so cute. The trouble is that they all fall off very easily so next year we might have a veritable forest of really tiny gladioli, LOL!

Here they are uprooted:

gladioli-bulbs-1

gladioli-bulbs-2

And here they are in the shed, where we hope they’ll dry off. There were too many for the box we had so I just stuffed them on top!

gladioli-bulbs-3

The Brussels sprouts are still doing their thing:

brussels-sprouts

And the harvest is small (sprouts and lettuce) but perfectly formed!

harvest

Have a fabulous weekend!

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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Tulips Galore

It’s the turn of the first tulips on the allotment this week to shine: here they are from bed to vase:

Tulips 2 TulipsTulips 3

I will have to get a shallower round-bottomed vase at some point fairly soon, as these tulips are quite short, but the ones coming up next to them look as if they will be even shorter – and I don’t want to drown them! The vase above actually came with an Interflora delivery a while back – we didn’t much like it so put the flowers in question in another vase. Now, however, it’s come into its own as it’s perfect for tulips, even though it’s an odd colour.

The Asiatic lilies are coming up well too, and I’ve sprayed Ultimate Bug Killer on them and the tulips too, plus K put slug pellets down, so we can try to avoid the nasties … Last week, I had to throw away three daffodils as they’d been chewed so badly, which was a shame.

Asiatic lilies

Meanwhile, in terms of veggies, the autumn raspberries and especially the rhubarb are coming on well:

Autumn raspberriesRhubarb

Some of the rhubarb we planted last year is also coming up, though we won’t be able to harvest it until next year. I’m rather worried about the asparagus bed though – not a single sign of life there at all, and surely the season for asparagus is May. What have I done to the poor things??? I really don’t know, but it’s a worry, as I love asparagus and was really looking forward to having a crop, sob! Oh well.

Anyway, in better news, the spinach and the winter lettuce look good:

SpinachWinter lettuce

K harvested some lettuce for the week’s meals, and we also did a hoe round, though we hand-weeded the autumn raspberries as best we could. Plans for the week are potting up the runner beans and seeing what might need planting from our stock.

Anne Brooke Books


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The onset of Spring

Earlier in the week, I harvested quite a few daffodils from the allotment, plus three or four more this weekend. Here they are from allotment to vase!

Daffodils at allotment 1 Daffodils at allotment 2

Daffodils at home

Such happy flowers, I always think. Meanwhile, the tulips and astilbe are on their way, with the tulips now having buds, which is great:

Astilbe Tulips

Anyway, today, while I hoed round, K added chicken pellet manure to the bed where we plan to plant the beans, as they’re hungry critters, we’re told. We also have plans to trail some sweet peas up the side of the shed, but we need taller poles than were in the garden centre this morning, so will need to get them later.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb, spinach and winter lettuce are doing well:

Rhubarb Spinach Winter lettuce

And in the fruit area, the autumn raspberries and blackcurrant are coming along. Yesterday, my stepfather told me that he never cuts back his autumn raspberries but just gets rid of the dead wood and leaves them. So next year we might experiment with half cut back and half not, and see how things go.

Autumn raspberries Blackcurrant

Happy Easter to you all!

Anne Brooke Books


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A rhubarb mountain

I picked another three daffodils during the week, one of them one of the larger variety, and they do look good in their vase in the dining room. This weekend, K is busy building the stage set for the village play so I went down to the allotment on my own this morning, and have spent about an hour and a half hoeing the beds and hand-weeding the autumn raspberries. The soft fruit area is doing pretty well, with blackcurrants and raspberries coming along.

Blackcurrants Raspberries

Meanwhile, the rhubarb is going for it and actually has leaves – so it’s a mountain! Well, almost, anyway …

Rhubarb

I also harvested some more winter lettuce which we can have during the week.

Winter Lettuce

The really exciting news – for a flower girl like me – is that there are more Asiatic lilies showing themselves now, and even one lone and very red-looking Astilbe, goodness me indeed!

Asiatic lilies Astilbe

I also met the Allotment treasurer and had a very fine chat about allotments, raspberries and the joys of travel, which was great fun!

Anne Brooke Books