Coming to life

The garden is a bit bleak at this time of year and every time I look at it I see all the things that are looking dead or overgrown or just a complete mess. It’s hard to remember what it looks like in high summer with all the vegetables in full production. It’s too early to sow any seeds but I did do this year’s seed order today. Then I went into the garden to a little bit of tidying up. It was frosty this morning and the soil was very cold even for doing a bit of light weeding. … Continue reading Coming to life

Big Garden Bird Watch

in which there will be very few birds and certainly no photos. The Big garden bird Watch weekend is the one when all the birds fly off somewhere else for the day, leaving many of us feeling like failures in this national celebration of all things birdy. It helps if you have multiple bird feeders to attract them . I don’t feed the birds in the back garden because Bella might eat them, and, in the past it has attracted squirrels which are cute but have caused expensive damage to our house. I do put a little bit of food … Continue reading Big Garden Bird Watch

Brightening the January gloom

I get all excited when we pass the winter solstice and the New Year and it’s January and there’s a whole new gardening year ahead. Then it stays dark and it rains for the first fortnight and January suddenly seems almost as miserable as November. However, I forced myself into the garden today for #SixonSaturday and found tiny points of light as some brief sunlight shone on the emerging snowdrops and other little winter flowers: These certainly helped to lift the spirits and bring some cheer. They’re not so useful on dark January afternoons and evenings though so I had … Continue reading Brightening the January gloom

Redcurrant chutney

What could be more festive than redcurrant chutney? I made this back in the summer from a redcurrant glut and put it in the back of the cupboard to save for Christmas. We opened it a few weeks ago to begin our festive celebrations. It tasted so good I was pleased that we had several jars to see us over the season and into the ‘using up the Christmas cheese’ phase in January. As well as being nice and red and festive it also tastes amazing. Here it is without the cheese: I found a recipe written in my ancestral … Continue reading Redcurrant chutney

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2022

As we approach the end of 2022 and venture into the wilds of 2023, this post celebrates all that has been joyful, exciting or downright disappointing in my garden and allotment this year. This year my main achievement was my challenge to harvest sixty different vegetables, fruit, herbs, or edible flowers or weeds in the garden and allotment. In fact, my list reached sixty nine. This was an interesting challenge for me and I didn’t do anything very different from usual other than try some new varieties of veg that I’d grown before and make sure I recorded every new … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2022

Almost at the solstice

After the snow in my last post, we’ve had lots of ice, the temperature dropping as far as -7.7 one night and then whizzing back up to about 13 degrees yesterday. Today it has been a more sensible 4 degrees or so. The ice brought some fantastic scenes in the garden: All my water barrels froze solid and I had at least one casualty in the form of a teapot which lost its lid a few years ago and sits on my herb table in the front garden: It had frozen completely solid and cracked. I’ve brought it inside now … Continue reading Almost at the solstice

Advent calendar for 2022

There was a little frost in the garden this morning but the sun was shining through the oak tree, with its rather lovely coloured leaves. It’s been a funny month, with some warm days and a little bit of frost. Last weekend I picked a #SixonSaturday bunch of flowers to take to my mother to cheer her up. This little posy had lavender, mallow, osteospermum, a deep purple salvia, campanula and some pink pea flowers. I’d given up on them producing actual peas. It was good that they went in the posy as a dip below zero a day or … Continue reading Advent calendar for 2022