On this first day of British Summer Time, we have had hail but also some sunshine and it’s still light! At last we’ve made it through the dark months and have long spring and summer evenings to look forward to. Meanwhile my freezer is looking rather bare, having used the last of the frozen rhubarb for breakfast this morning and the last of the frozen apple in a chocolate apple cake – recipe here – for a family birthday. However this year’s rhubarb is now in full production so I’ll be able to start filling the freezer again! The spring … Continue reading Freezing

Daffodils in the snow

We’ve had a bit of snow and ice here but nothing lying for long. Here are the tete a tete daffodils appearing with still some snow lying. The garden is looking a little battered but the spring bulbs provide cheer. There’s still lots of snowdrops, daffodils coming in waves, crocuses in odd places and even some hyacinths planted out from last year, looking as if they’re going to flower I forgot to take any photos of the large daffodils apart from the fallen over ones which I brought into the house. I was pleased to be able to take some … Continue reading Daffodils in the snow


Here we are a month on from my last post and spring is really on its way. February disappeared in a mist of good and less good stuff – a little holiday, a birthday, some family worries, catching up with friends and family. No gardening got done but the garden got on all by itself, producing daffodils and crocuses and all the springlike things: The snowdrops are still doing really well too. It’s all magic really. I’ve made this year’s first green soup. We were away for a few days in the middle of the month and I came back … Continue reading March

Coming to life

The garden is a bit bleak at this time of year and every time I look at it I see all the things that are looking dead or overgrown or just a complete mess. It’s hard to remember what it looks like in high summer with all the vegetables in full production. It’s too early to sow any seeds but I did do this year’s seed order today. Then I went into the garden to a little bit of tidying up. It was frosty this morning and the soil was very cold even for doing a bit of light weeding. … Continue reading Coming to life

Big Garden Bird Watch

in which there will be very few birds and certainly no photos. The Big garden bird Watch weekend is the one when all the birds fly off somewhere else for the day, leaving many of us feeling like failures in this national celebration of all things birdy. It helps if you have multiple bird feeders to attract them . I don’t feed the birds in the back garden because Bella might eat them, and, in the past it has attracted squirrels which are cute but have caused expensive damage to our house. I do put a little bit of food … Continue reading Big Garden Bird Watch

Brightening the January gloom

I get all excited when we pass the winter solstice and the New Year and it’s January and there’s a whole new gardening year ahead. Then it stays dark and it rains for the first fortnight and January suddenly seems almost as miserable as November. However, I forced myself into the garden today for #SixonSaturday and found tiny points of light as some brief sunlight shone on the emerging snowdrops and other little winter flowers: These certainly helped to lift the spirits and bring some cheer. They’re not so useful on dark January afternoons and evenings though so I had … Continue reading Brightening the January gloom

Redcurrant chutney

What could be more festive than redcurrant chutney? I made this back in the summer from a redcurrant glut and put it in the back of the cupboard to save for Christmas. We opened it a few weeks ago to begin our festive celebrations. It tasted so good I was pleased that we had several jars to see us over the season and into the ‘using up the Christmas cheese’ phase in January. As well as being nice and red and festive it also tastes amazing. Here it is without the cheese: I found a recipe written in my ancestral … Continue reading Redcurrant chutney

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2022

As we approach the end of 2022 and venture into the wilds of 2023, this post celebrates all that has been joyful, exciting or downright disappointing in my garden and allotment this year. This year my main achievement was my challenge to harvest sixty different vegetables, fruit, herbs, or edible flowers or weeds in the garden and allotment. In fact, my list reached sixty nine. This was an interesting challenge for me and I didn’t do anything very different from usual other than try some new varieties of veg that I’d grown before and make sure I recorded every new … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2022