Earth hour and seed day

It’s big seed sowing day today and Earth Hour tonight. Earth hour involves switching off your lights for an hour to promote action on the environment.  It happens between 8.30pm and 9.30pm wherever you are in the world. We try and make it a family thing: no lights, no phones, no laptops, (no blogging or working), no computer games, etc . There can’t be a no gardening rule because that doesn’t usually involve electricity.  But we try and make it a time to do things together: play a game or just talk.  The whole point is to do it when it’ s … Continue reading Earth hour and seed day

Knit your own garden

I was in my local public library,  on the lookout for something new or a bit quirky.  As I grazed my way past the gardening books, the novels and the arts and crafts shelves, I picked up a book which qualified as gardening AND arts and crafts:  Arne and Carlos ‘Knit and Crochet Garden’. This book is a gem of nuttiness, with ideas and patterns for knitting little people to inhabit your garden, wholly unnecessary knitted covers for hand tools, knitted seed bags and florally inspired items of all kinds.  I love it. Here’s where I admit to being a closet knitter.  I … Continue reading Knit your own garden


What do you think made these holes in my lawn? and round my pond? I might have suspected the fox again or maybe the squirrels but I’ve had a bit more time at home during the day today to just sit and watch. So I caught a pair of nesting magpies, digging furiously, hauling up moss and flying off with mouthfuls of muddy grass in their beaks. So they are the culprits. I suppose I’d better just wait till they’ve finished building their nest before I try to tidy up the mess. Continue reading Holes!

Daffodils and a tulip

Apparently we should be able to see the Northern Lights in Scotland tonight but here in Edinburgh we have thick fog.  There is a faint green tinge in the sky which may or may not be the Northern Lights.  We can but imagine! In the meantime, all thoughts of spring have disappeared in the gloom.  We call it ‘haar’, ‘an east coast sea fog’, according to the Concise Scots Dictionary.  So I thought I’d have a look at my weekend photos.  I was looking for daffodils and found these in the garden: Further afield, I was visiting my mother and … Continue reading Daffodils and a tulip

Garden visitor

I came home from work yesterday to find this visitor, calmly snoozing among my raised beds.  Well that confirms my view about who stole the bird food from the Christmas bird tree and maybe it will help to keep the squirrel problem under control. In the foreground you can see my purple sprouting broccoli, complete with netting to keep the pigeons off, the plastic cloche protecting my optimistic broad beans, last year’s runner bean poles which I haven’t yet got round to taking down and some perpetual spinach which has lasted through the winter. Continue reading Garden visitor

A sprinkling of snow

What is the thing that sells the most when it snows in the UK? Apparently it used to be camera films.   I read that in a lovely little book called ‘Let it snow’ by Rosemarie Jarski (2004, Newholland Press). With digital cameras I don’t  know what the equivalent is but perhaps there is a parallel statistic about pictures posted on the internet.  Anyway, apologies to those of you still in the midst of winter, but snow is still just a little bit exciting here. It snowed on Monday.  It had all gone by the evening and everything is grey … Continue reading A sprinkling of snow

Never buy a seed label

Well I gave in on delaying the seed sowing.  All that lovely leaf mould waiting to be used was too much.  So I’ve got a few things started in the house:  spring onions, salads and some coriander seeds that are rather old but might just germinate.  I used sieved leaf mould, mixed with sand and a bit of commercial compost.  I’m assuming that there aren’t many nutrients in there but these plants will all be moved on to more exciting homes before long anyway.   It’s too cold outside but, if these germinate inside, they can move outside to the seedhouse in a couple … Continue reading Never buy a seed label

Pottering in the rain

Today is the first day of spring apparently.  So I had to get out in the garden and do some pottering in between the sleet showers. Tasks achieved today include dealing with some very sad strawberries which are planted in a fancy strawberry tower thing.  They have been very waterlogged and covered in moss so obviously need more drainage holes.  I get quite cross when people design these things without thinking about whether they’ll actually work or not. Anyway out with the hand drill and they are now full of holes. Let’s hope the strawberries like it now. I also moved the dead … Continue reading Pottering in the rain