Seedlings and potatoes

This weekend the vegetable growing really got going. First of all, though, please admire this amaryllis which has been sitting on the bathroom windowsill for about ten years, doing absolutely nothing. Well that’s not entirely true. It has produced green leaves every year but no flowers for a very long time. This was the year it chose to flower. We may have to wait another ten years for the next flower but I am patient. Back to the vegetables. The seedlings on my windowsill have been romping away Cucumbers, tomatoes and huge mass of out of date basil seeds which … Continue reading Seedlings and potatoes

Store cupboard cake

Warning! There is not much about gardening in this post but there is cake. Everyone else has just discovered gardening and growing their own vegetables. I’m delighted and I really hope they stick with it. I should have spent the whole day in the garden too but it’s bitingly cold. I did sow some seeds and check up on my recently sprouted seedlings The peas have emerged in the egg boxes, but it is too cold to plant them out so I’ll leave them for another week or two. I also sowed tomatoes and cucumbers in the house and resowed … Continue reading Store cupboard cake

Digging for .. vegetables

What a glorious day it’s been. A peculiar one undoubtedly, but the sun has shone and a lot of people have got out into their gardens. I spoke to neighbours across the hedges on all three sides of mine, mainly to apologise for my cats but also to share the joy of the sunshine. Fortunately none of them seem to mind the cats. I was going to sow seeds today but decided instead to make a new raised bed. Why? Not sure really, maybe it was a ‘I’ve got to do something’ feeling, or maybe just that the horrible conifers … Continue reading Digging for .. vegetables

Strange white flowers and a rhubarb cake

Last weekend I spotted some strange white flowers among the daffodils. I looked closer and saw that they were not some exciting new spring bulbs. They were bits of plastic that had fallen off a lampshade. They had been picked up and redeployed in the garden by the transportation of a giant umbrella tree on its journey from the house out on to the patio. The reason for this mass transportation was to repot this beauty, which is nearly forty years old. I acquired it as a student and it has moved around with us ever since. Seen here from … Continue reading Strange white flowers and a rhubarb cake

Sowing seeds of hope

We are living in strange times. Plans are being cancelled, people are worried. Yesterday, I tried to keep a focus on the future by sowing seeds. Here are some I sowed earlier, some mixed salad leaves, in a pot in the seed palace, just germinated but ready to grow into something exciting in a few weeks: Yesterday I made a start on the more delicate seeds, sowing tomato seeds in a little propagator indoors. I’ve started with two varieties: Tigerella and San Marzano. I have some others in packets but I’ll sow a few at a time to see what … Continue reading Sowing seeds of hope

First frog

Today I spotted my first frog of the season, not in the pond, but deep in a compost bin. I had been doing some spring tidying: weeding, hacking things back, looking for signs of new growth. I went to deposit some woody prunings in my very long-term woody pruning compost bin – made from an old leaking water barrel. It’s been sitting there for four or five years, not doing very much but today I noticed that it had produced some quite useable compost. I emptied some out and sieved it, producing three bucketfuls of beautiful crumbly stuff. I’m not … Continue reading First frog

Spring rocket

In another gap between weather yesterday, I did some springlike things: I harvested a huge bunch of rocket which had got out of control, started flowering and gone very woody. I reckoned the leaves were still edible though perhaps a little tough, so I whizzed them up with some garlic and olive oil and made yet more pesto. It was rather good: Then I cut back the autumn fruiting raspberries and gave them a good mulch. While doing this I observed the desire lines made by cats crossing the lawn, on a direct route from the patio to our neighbours’ … Continue reading Spring rocket

Daffodils and rhubarb update

There have been a couple of cold but beautifully sunny days here and so I have been in the garden and able to do a little spring tidying. A few years ago I told you about my unusual combination of daffodils and rhubarb in a small dark corner near the house. It’s a strange combination but one that has worked for a good few years – for more on this , see here. The daffodils used to be able to compete with the rhubarb but this year the rhubarb has taken over. I seem to have the earliest rhubarb on … Continue reading Daffodils and rhubarb update

Signs of spring amidst the storms

This last week has been all about weather again but today the sun shone, there were primroses at the allotment and daffodils in the garden. Earlier in the week we braved the snow and the hail and the floods to visit Dawyck Gardens in the Borders to look at snowdrops. In the days leading up to our visit and for many days since the gardens have been closed because of wind and rain but on our chosen day they were open and we were not disappointed. Meanwhile the garden at home is very wet, though not flooded, the pond is … Continue reading Signs of spring amidst the storms

Winter work

Last weekend I did some DIY in the garden to provide some protection for the expected storms. I noticed a crack in the door of the seed palace. The palace has done a great job protecting seedlings but this needed some attention. I got out the ancient tools and added a splint of wood to hold it all in place Since the problem had been caused by the door banging in the wind, I also added an extra hook and eye to keep the doors shut. It’s all nice and cosy now and looking after the sweet pea seedlings, which … Continue reading Winter work