First harvest of the year

This New Year has been milder than ever, according to the weather people. It’s certainly been quite balmy here so I’ve been out in the garden, surveying the raised beds and doing a bit of weeding. The worst bit of the garden was probably the patio – a functional place where we can eat outside and a place to store random pots rather than a thing of beauty in my garden. It was even more messy than usual though so I got out my ancestral kneeler and old kitchen knife and got to work. Between the cracks in the paving … Continue reading First harvest of the year

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2021

We come to the end of another year. What is there to say about 2021? Too much really but here on Reclaiming Paradise it is time to celebrate all that has been good, surprising or downright disappointing in the garden and allotment. Wonderful weather The winter brought some wonderful frost, snow and ice The cowometer came back into use – for a view of its highest reading since records began, see here We also had impressive thunderstorms and flooding in July (no photos) but the award goes to the ice on the pond in February which enabled Bella to perfect … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2021

Solstice

I usually try and capture the light on the shortest day of the year. Yesterday I wasn’t convinced there was any, there certainly wasn’t any sunshine. I lit this candle at breakfast time as the ‘sun was rising’ but the sun hid behind fog and clouds all day. Oh well, at least it’s getting lighter now in theory and the sun will no doubt emerge some time over the holiday period. Advent calendar update: we’ve had Bella, sprouts, redcurrants, tomatoes, pink peas and some festive holly I’ve fallen behind a bit with the small moments of wildness and wonder, but … Continue reading Solstice

Moments of light: multiple gardening and wildlife advent calendars

This year I set myself the challenge of two advent calendars: the hand drawn one, which is jollying along nicely, and finding something wild and wonderful in my surroundings every day. Here are some highlights: sprouts, red tinged lettuce, seedlings, peas, rhubarb, ladybird runner beans, snowdrops, strawberry and roses. On the wild and wonderful theme, we’ve had: trees in daylight and lit up at night at the Botanic Gardens, a heron by the river, wintersweet coming into bloom, a beautiful slug shown to me by my neighbour’s grandson and finally getting the Christmas cake baked. I have also been joining … Continue reading Moments of light: multiple gardening and wildlife advent calendars

Onions and an advent update

This week has turned out to be rather oniony, the result of two impulse onion buys which were probably a mistake. The first lot of onions were actually flowers – alliums – but onions really. They were an impulse buy from my local garden centre, which was selling off all sorts of boxes of overpriced and overpackaged bulbs at 70% off. I bought these because I felt sorry for them and was worried they would just be dumped if nobody bought them. So I’ve filled a big pot with flowering onions and another one with tulips – something to look … Continue reading Onions and an advent update

Preparations

I like to leave my festive preparations as late as possible but I have my own little ways of celebrating a non-religious Advent. A light dusting of snow at the weekend has got me in the festive mood. So you’ll be delighted to know that the only things necessary for festivities in this household are now done. Sprouts – which start as tiny seeds in the spring – are coming along nicely at the allotment. Christmas pudding – complete with an apple from the garden – made and maturing nicely in time for Christmas Day. First snow of the season … Continue reading Preparations

Mostly moss

I’ve been doing some autumnal hacking stuff back in the garden and I can conclude that the main crop at the moment is moss. In the picture above you can see how it has almost completely covered our ancient stone cat, leaving it looking rather fluffy but not very stony. Meanwhile there is moss all round the pond and quite a lot in the pond as well. The pond has basically become a bog and I’m wondering if I might be able to grow my own peat bog there, doing my little bit for global warming. Maybe it will become … Continue reading Mostly moss

Halloween in the garden

Halloween comes round again and the clocks go back and the dark returns, with little glimmers of light to get us through the winter. Here’s a cheery little squash, and it is very little, with a tiny birthday candle to bring us light. Just to see how tiny this is, here is it is beside some of my apples. Oh it’s not that small you say. Well how about compared to this one: A monster Howgate Wonder of course. Here are all three together, alongside a sensibly sized Sunset apple Left to Right – Monster Howgate Wonder, average sized Sunset, … Continue reading Halloween in the garden

Autumn flowers and fruits

What with being away last weekend and a very busy time at work just now, along with the usual family stuff, I’m falling behind a lot in the garden and allotment. Still, I got out for a wee while on Saturday morning to do a bit of tidying up and snap some pictures for Six on Saturday (but not enough time to actual do a SoS post). I was struck by all the flowers still in bloom and so collected up a bunch of miscellaneous beauties to stick in a vase and take over on my weekly visit to my … Continue reading Autumn flowers and fruits

Autumn delights

It’s been a glorious autumn day, with a slight nip in the air but lovely sunshine and leaves beginning to fall from the trees. As I cycled to the allotment this afternoon, leaves blew in my face and conkers fell from trees. It felt a little scary but also quite exciting. I dread the end of summer but when autumn really comes, it brings its own joys. One of these joys is planning next year’s crop. At the allotment, I got down on my hands and knees and hauled strings of couch grass from the soil. We’ve had a bit … Continue reading Autumn delights