Winter arrived this morning, with the temperature down to 3 degrees in the seed palace. In anticipation I brought the last of the Howgate Wonder apples in yesterday. Here, with a tennis ball for scale to show their wondrousness I nipped along to the allotment this afternoon to catch some daylight and to see what was going on there. The sprouts have been one of this year’s runaway successes. There are far too many for Christmas dinner (especially if we are reduced to minimum numbers around the table) so I reckoned we’d better make a start on them now. Here’s … Continue reading Winter


I’ve not got out in the garden or the allotment much this week again. These short dark November days are eating up all my garden time so there’s not much to blog about. However, I did get out on Saturday morning to look for something for the the #SixonSaturday twitter hashtag. Everything in my garden is rather overgrown, weedy and a bit dilapidated but I found these little touches of joy. A few Benjamin Britten pink roses still flowering, nasturtiums on the shed still full of colour, the sweet peas still blooming, fuchsias all pink and purple, my lovely Howgate … Continue reading Apples

Rainy Day

It’s been pouring with rain today but we went out for a cycle ride in the morning anyway. Our destination was Starbank Park a nearby community park, which I’ve been following on twitter and on here for a while but had never visited. The cycle run, mostly along off-road cycle paths, was very bracing and it was still pouring with rain when we arrived at the park, just in time to catch the ‘glorious views’ across the sea: It wasn’t the park’s fault that everything was so grey and in the park itself there was all sorts of beauty: The … Continue reading Rainy Day

October joys

On this grim November day, here is something to cheer you. I brought in the last of the tomatoes from the seed palace to ripen inside. Aren’t they beautiful? Here are some more of the colourful things that were happening in my garden as October came to a close: Apples, rowan berries, nasturtiums and pyracantha berries, all looking very orange for Halloween. October is apple month and birthday month in this house. What with local lockdowns in Scotland we couldn’t really celebrate the birthdays properly though I did manage to deliver cakes, pumpkins (well squashes) and apples to my birthday … Continue reading October joys

Allotment rainbows

I nipped along to the allotment this morning on a mission to pick up a couple of things but with not much time to do any actual work. It’s a quiet time on the plot with mostly just keeping on top of weeds the main task. It had been a wet morning so there was nobody about and the birds were all out in force. I was struck by all the things that were flowering in our plot. So here’s our colourful #SixOnSaturday Sweet peas still blooming beautifully. They’re growing up the runner bean poles. Just as well as there … Continue reading Allotment rainbows

Juggling cats

Two years ago, on a flying visit to his grandmother, my enthusiastic son dug a new pond in her garden, much to the consternation of her cat: Not long after that, my mother decided to move to sheltered housing to be nearer family. Since it was no longer possible for her to keep a cat, Chelsea moved in with us. We’ve loved having her with us and she has brought great joy to the garden: However, she has never got on with our resident cat, Bella. We hoped they would make friends, or at least learn to tolerate each other, … Continue reading Juggling cats

Broccoli Monsters

I’ve been growing runner beans for over twenty-five years and I thought I’d got the process down to perfection – info here on how I dig my runner bean trench. I try to make the most of my raised beds, so grow various other things alongside the runner beans, mainly sweet peas, which seem to grow happily beside the beans. Every year I also plant some small plants under the runner bean wigwam. Usually Swiss Chard or something like that which can grow quietly while the runner beans are developing and then come into their own when I take the … Continue reading Broccoli Monsters

Yet more peas

I’ve been sorting out my saved pea seeds, hoping this year to not get them mixed up. I’m storing them in separate containers. In the picture above, bottom left, Duke of Albany, bottom right, Blue Prussian, top, Salmon Pink. Duke of Albany in full growth here: Blue Prussian here (with some photobombing soft fruit): And the slightly crazy Salmon Pink: These were all heritage peas which I acquired at seed swaps over the last few years so I’ll be delighted if they all grow again next year. The saved peas have been sitting on a sunny windowsill for a few … Continue reading Yet more peas


Here’s a bee on a phacelia flower to cheer your day. It’s been lovely and sunny here and I’ve been out in the garden, hacking things back, harvesting and sowing some more seeds of hope. It’s six months since I wrote my seeds of hope post, at the beginning of lockdown, when we had no idea what would happen next. Well here we are again with few clues to the future but we have to keep on keeping on and the garden will sometimes just grow things for us. For today’s #SixOnSaturday here are six things self-seeding in the garden … Continue reading Planning

… and what to do with red tomatoes

Last week I told you about my green tomato glut and what do with it. This week some of them have ripened and I have red tomatoes. Not exactly a glut but a decent crop. In the past I’ve always thought that the best thing to do with home grown tomatoes was to eat them fresh and, preferably, warm straight from the plant, but I discovered a couple of years ago, when I really did have a red tomato glut, that the best thing to do with them was to make fresh tomato soup. So I saved up this little … Continue reading … and what to do with red tomatoes