Rainy Saturday

It’s been the most dreich day here in Edinburgh, with heavy rain and strong winds. Huge puddles appeared on the lawn, with the newly emerging snowdrops drowning in the rain So definitely not a gardening day but one to use up the very last of the apples. Last week I was weeding round the raspberry canes and found a little pile of windfall cooking apples from my neighbour’s tree. They seemed to have survived the winter and had not yet been eaten by local wildlife so today seemed like a good day to use them up along with the last … Continue reading Rainy Saturday

Twelfth night

It’s twelfth night, the festive season is officially over and for many a return to work, school etc. I don’t return to the day job till tomorrow, having taken an extra day to take my mother to a non-urgent hospital appointment. This was tedious for both of us but mum and I made the most of our journey on the bus, watching the beautiful light in the sky, then came back to my house in the subsequent rain for coffee, Christmas cake, cats, scrabble and the very last of last season’s tomatoes* This little beauty was the last of the … Continue reading Twelfth night

New year flowers

We usually go for a good walk on New Year’s Day but visitors meant that we stayed in and chatted and played scrabble instead. I did get out in the garden to count the flowers though. Here’s what was in bloom this year. First of all the sweetly scented viburnum: Then some unseasonal beauties: a red scabious, a pink Benjamin Britten rose, a yellow wallflower and a blue campanula There were some more seasonal yellow flowers: a yellow primula in a pot and the winter jasmine just coming into flower.  And finally the tiny but powerfully scented wintersweet Apart from … Continue reading New year flowers

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2019

And so the year turns again. As we move towards the 2020s, we look back at the high and low points of 2019 in the garden and allotment with the annual Reclaiming Paradise Awards. Most successful vegetable My garden and allotment are all about vegetables and this year has seen a great crop. Among the successes have been: Swiss chard, peas and beans, potatoes, tomatoes, marrows, courgettes, cucumbers, sprouts: The peas come a close runner up, but the winners for 2019 are the onions, overwintered in the garden and on the allotment, followed by a second summer crop on the … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2019

Happy Christmas

As the light disappeared on Christmas Eve, I made a festive trip to the wheelie bins in the front garden, just in time to catch this glorious sunset: Meanwhile the last few days of my advent calendar have featured trees against a grey sky, filled with twittering birds, Another sunset, framing the sundial in Inverleith Park , The simple pleasures of a pot of hyacinths in my mother’s flat My annual Christmas Eve trip to the allotment to harvest sprouts Which have been rather good this year so will do more than one meal. And, alongside the sunset in my … Continue reading Happy Christmas

Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Probably not, but that’s what I found myself doing on this dark solstice morning.  My excuse was an accidental purchase at the local farmers’ market. I had gone along to stock up on the last minute Christmas veg and preparation for an influx of sons over the next few days. Oranges were on the list and it was only as I was paying for them that the stall holder told me they were Seville oranges, bitter and suitable only for cooking, or marmalade.  Not being the kind of person to start complaining, I duly paid for them and brought them … Continue reading Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Since my garden and allotment don’t quite supply me with vegetables all year round, the weekend started with a trip to the farmers’ market to top up the veg supply. I like the market because I can by localish organic vegetables with NO packaging. I love the way the stall holders pile up all the muddy veg and then tip it into assorted cotton bags – finally a use for these, which seem to breed in our cupboard. They do get all muddy but you can wash the bags (and the veg for that matter) and no packaging is used. … Continue reading Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Advent calendar week one – a lot of weather

Here is your weekly roundup of my #wildandwonderful advent calendar, where the theme has been mostly about weather.  The week started with more of the magical frost and I chose a frosted apple leaf to celebrate the 1st of December The sun was shining on the shed behind and the ice particles were stunning. The frost melted the next day but a wander round the front garden led me to the sweetly scented viburnum: The next day was neither cold nor wet and I paid a little visit to the allotment to tackle more of the endless couch grass. I was … Continue reading Advent calendar week one – a lot of weather

Winter wonderland

The temperature dropped to -4 last night, leaving a winter wonderland in the garden: This sets me up nicely for my annual wild and wonderful advent calendar. From tomorrow I’ll tweet something that strikes me as wild or wonderful every day until the 24th to get us through the sometimes tricky dark days of December. I’ll update on the blog every few days. Meanwhile I’m having a jolly time in a station waiting room, waiting for a much delayed train. Not much wild or wonderful here but frost and cat pictures on twitter and a good book are keeping me … Continue reading Winter wonderland

Fox and a pear tree

I was down at the allotment in the rain, checking on my Brussels Sprouts. They’re looking good, so we should have enough for Christmas Dinner.  As the light was failing this beautiful creature ambled up and sat down within feet of me, waiting patiently for me to take this photograph: It’s a bit hazy as it was getting dark but I felt blessed. The weather has been dismal for the last few days but today the sun shone and an exciting parcel was delivered, much to the cats’ delight: It was the long awaited pear tree, so I planted it … Continue reading Fox and a pear tree