Containers and cabbages

My last post on November gloom was more depressing than I intended but the garden is still rather uninspiring today, apart from the birds.  The bird feeders  are covered in sparrows and tits, with the occasional fat pigeon clumping around underneath, trying to catch the bits that fall out.  I’ve added chilli powder to the bird food but suspect it hasn’t kept the squirrels away.  So I’ll stick with the chilli powder for the moment. Away from the garden itself I thought I’d have a look at some of the quirky garden books on my bookshelf. The first is New … Continue reading Containers and cabbages

November gloom

November is always a grim time in the garden.  It is dark and cold but not yet cold enough to be proper winter.  The last of the vegetable and flowers seem to drag on but have lost the shine of the autumn  season.  There are probably things to be doing in the garden but time is against me this month.  So what to write about?  I thought I’d have a look at my November entries in my garden diary to see how previous years have looked through the November gloom. I started a proper garden diary when we moved to … Continue reading November gloom

Overheard in a garden shop

I was in London for a work related visit and thought I had better pay a visit to Kew Gardens.  I didn’t have very long to spend admiring the plants but here are a few thoughts.   I couldn’t resist this sign: Gardeners were hard at work cutting things back on the pergolas that surround the vegetable gardens.  Why was I in the vegetable gardens when there were 300 acres of rolling grassland, specialist planting and hothouses to look at?  Well I always prefer looking at vegetables and Kew has some impressive specimens even in November: I walked along the Thames … Continue reading Overheard in a garden shop

Crab apple update

Just an update on the crab apples.  After the not so successful crab apple syrup I thought I’d better have a go at making more traditional crab apple jelly.  I boiled the apples as directed and then put them in a jelly bag. The instructions say to hang the jelly bag up overnight over a bowl to collect the juice.  The books are less useful in explaining how to do this.  We came up with idea of hanging the bag from a rack inside the oven with a bowl underneath. Lovely isn’t it? Surprisingly, this worked and we ended up … Continue reading Crab apple update

Turnip lanterns .. and a squash

So Halloween has just passed and pumpkins have been appearing on windowsills and shops everywhere.  Of course pumpkin carving is a relatively new tradition in Scotland. When I was growing up we used to carve turnips at Halloween.  We carry on this tradition in our house with a set of pumpkins and various other vegetables at Halloween to celebrate our rush of October birthdays.  This year we had a couple of fairly small pumpkins, a turnip and a thing which grew in the garden which might have been a squash. Here is the turnip.  It looked a bit like an elephant … Continue reading Turnip lanterns .. and a squash