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

Apples and raspberries

It’s October which means apple season. The apples are in full flow – pictured here a couple of giant Howgate Wonders, with a sensibly sized Sunset for scale October is also birthday season at Reclaiming Paradise which means the apples are put to good use in a variety of cakes. My mother’s is the first birthday of the month, so I used these monsters to make a chocolate apple cake – recipe here . Since she was 85, candles seemed excessive, but I wanted to decorate it with something special. This handful of raspberries, fresh from the garden, seemed the … Continue reading Apples and raspberries

Bursting with colour

I was taking photos in the garden for a couple of Twitter hashtags: #SixonSaturday and #GardensHour. I had far too many photos for these, so decided to upload them here instead. So, just to cheer you up in case you have the Monday blues, here is burst of colourful flowers, fruit and vegetables from my garden. First of all here are some flowers in the rain And here are some multi-coloured vegetables: rainbow chard, purple peas, nasturtium flowers, tomatoes beginning to ripen, plums, multi-coloured lettuces, broccoli, more almost ripe tomatoes And finally, some glorious autumn berries. The rosehips and rowans … Continue reading Bursting with colour

Weighed down with apples

The apple trees in the garden are collapsing with the weight of fruit – it looks like it’s going to be a good apple year. Well most years are but this one looks exceptional. The Howgate Wonder is looking particularly impressive. I had to prop it up with some sticks and remove a few apples to prevent the whole thing collapsing. The Red Falstaff is also looking quite prolific though not very red yet. And the Sunsets are having a good year too. The plums are coming along rather nicely, though not so overladen as the apple trees. I harvested … Continue reading Weighed down with apples

In praise of peas

It’s time for the annual pea admiration festival. For this week’s #SixonSaturday I’ll tell you about my six (so far) favourite peas. This undervalued vegetable is nice enough though a little boring when it comes out of packet in the freezer. When you grow your own in the garden though, it grows fast, climbs quickly, produces magnificent flowers and tastes devine – almost a different vegetable. I discovered growing peas almost by accident. I had always grown mange tout and thought they were pretty ok – usually I grow ‘Norli’ which provides a sturdy if unexciting little pea Until I … Continue reading In praise of peas

Welcome harvest

I’ve been away for a little while, catching up with family, swimming in lakes and stretching my legs rather more than I intended. It was nice to get away from some of the everyday stresses but it was also nice to get home to see what was happening in the garden. Here are some of the joys I came back to: peas – green and purple, broad beans, raspberries and a few strawberries, lettuce and the last of the redcurrants. Quite a feast. The red currants have been a bit of a disappointment this year as the best of them … Continue reading Welcome harvest

July garden: foxes and thunderstorms

Falling behind with blogging again but here’s some of what’s been going on in the garden: Lots of flowers all coming out just now. Strawberries and raspberries at their best – and good enough to make some rather yummy strawberry scones to share with my sons who managed to be here at the same time for the first time in many months. Vegetables coming along slowly. Here are some of the peas and the first cucumber: We had an impressive thunderstorm and extensive flooding at the weekend. All fine in my garden but the roads round about turned into rivers. … Continue reading July garden: foxes and thunderstorms

Midsummer colours

Today has been hot and sunny and everything was full of colour. I stopped to admire this glorious climbing rose ‘Shropshire Lad’, which has established well along my hedge at the back of the garden. It smells of Turkish Delight and has beautiful flowers: The first nasturtium flowers of the season went in a salad, along with my red tinged lettuce At the allotment today, I planted out the last of my rainbow chard seedlings and spotted their glorious pink roots: It was almost too difficult to plant these in the soil they were so lovely. It was a good … Continue reading Midsummer colours

Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Once again I failed to do a #SixonSaturday post but I did submit these rather lovely foxgloves via twitter. These are all growing along the back hedge and the new fence at the side of the garden, some transplanted from the raspberry bed during a weeding session back in January – for more see here – they have come out rather well, I think. I had wondered about doing a six for my six varieties of peas, but didn’t quite get round to it. So here they are for you, rather late on Sunday instead: I’ve already forgotten which one … Continue reading Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Halfway through 30 Days Wild

I’m a bit behind with blogging this week but I thought I’d catch up by celebrating the wonder of June and the tiny joys of #30DaysWild. This campaign encourages people to get outside and enjoy the wildness around them. For some, that means getting out into the countryside or down to the beach and exploring the wildness. For me it is nearly always urban and this year, like last year, it has been largely confined to wildness in my garden and the streets round about. But there is no shortage of wild joys to be found even in quite a … Continue reading Halfway through 30 Days Wild