Midsummer

It’s the midsummer solstice and I was having a look round the garden to see what is growing this sunny weekend. I remembered the twenty-six vegetables which I wrote about two months ago and wondered how they are all doing. Two months on, they are (nearly) all flourishing. Here’s an update: Apples Howgate Wonder – have developed pingpong ball sized fruits. Not so many as last year but they should grow to their usual grapefruit sized wonders 2. Apples, Red Falstaff, growing well and reddening up nicely 3. Apples, Sunset, promising clusters of fruit 4. Blackcurrants, never the most prolific … Continue reading Midsummer

Teasels

Teasels have been growing in my gardens for over twenty years. We bought the first one as a small plant from a wildlife stall at a garden show when my boys were tiny. We loved the name, we loved the way they grow and we hoped the plants would attract goldfinches. That one plant grew strong and tall and scattered its seed around. I haven’t planted a teasel since but they’ve always been there, popping up in surprising places and looking magnificent. I love these plants but I’ve never seen a goldfinch eating the seeds, until today. So here’s today’s … Continue reading Teasels

A little domestic wildness

It’s June so it’s time for #30DaysWild , the campaign run by the Wildlife Trusts to get everyone to spot a little bit of wildness every day in June. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and most years I treasure the chance to stop for a few minutes before or after work or over lunch to notice the wildness in the city around me. This year it’s a little different, with the wildness restricted to my daily walks or my own garden. Working from home, I can nip out with a cup of coffee or over lunch … Continue reading A little domestic wildness

Counting bees

For yesterday’s #SixonSaturday I was counting bees, or at least counting the flowers that the bees like in my garden. I found my six: foxglove, sage, chives, comfrey, yellow poppies, cotoneaster but there were more: raspberries, wild roses, rocket, red campion, clover, nearly all self-seeded and thrown around the garden. The sage and the raspberries and the chives grow where I planted them, providing us with food and flowers and more bees I sowed the rocket last spring and it lasted valiantly over the winter, growing tough and woody, now flowering with abandon and attracting bees The others, although chosen … Continue reading Counting bees

Garden joys

Two months ago I started my main seed sowing of the season: tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, peas and some flowers. I said I was ‘sowing seeds of hope‘. I didn’t know then that we would still all be in lockdown two months later, but I looked forward to a summer of vegetables. Today, I’ve sowed some more seeds but mainly I’ve been planting things out in the garden and being thankful for all that grows there. I posted six of my favourite flowers for #SixOnSaturday on Twitter Clockwise from top left: The roses are starting to come out in the garden, … Continue reading Garden joys

Twenty- six vegetables

We’ve been wondering about doing something to support the #2.6challenge with various ideas about 26 thises and 2.6 thats to raise money for struggling charities. ‘I bet I’ve got 26 different vegetables growing in the garden right now’, I boasted. Reader, I do (if you include fruit). I pondered the best way to list them and decided on alphabetical order. 1. Apples – Howgate Wonder – just coming into bud – for more about these beauties see here 2. Apples – Red Falstaff – flowers just opening 3. Apples – Sunset – in full bloom 4. Blackcurrants – tiny buds … Continue reading Twenty- six vegetables

Joining the six on Saturday crew

My Saturdays are usually taken up with ‘stuff’ so I don’t usually do #SixOnSaturday , the weekly garden bloggers’ ritual – for more see here – But we are living in unusual times, and I’ve got the Easter public holiday weekend away from the day job for the first time in living memory. The reason for this is very boring but it means I woke up this morning without the usual Saturday list of stuff and have time instead just to enjoy the flowers, so here they are. Here’s a camellia in full bloom. This plant was a gift from … Continue reading Joining the six on Saturday crew

Sowing seeds of hope

We are living in strange times. Plans are being cancelled, people are worried. Yesterday, I tried to keep a focus on the future by sowing seeds. Here are some I sowed earlier, some mixed salad leaves, in a pot in the seed palace, just germinated but ready to grow into something exciting in a few weeks: Yesterday I made a start on the more delicate seeds, sowing tomato seeds in a little propagator indoors. I’ve started with two varieties: Tigerella and San Marzano. I have some others in packets but I’ll sow a few at a time to see what … Continue reading Sowing seeds of hope

Signs of spring amidst the storms

This last week has been all about weather again but today the sun shone, there were primroses at the allotment and daffodils in the garden. Earlier in the week we braved the snow and the hail and the floods to visit Dawyck Gardens in the Borders to look at snowdrops. In the days leading up to our visit and for many days since the gardens have been closed because of wind and rain but on our chosen day they were open and we were not disappointed. Meanwhile the garden at home is very wet, though not flooded, the pond is … Continue reading Signs of spring amidst the storms

February joys

Its’ been a cold and miserable day: a day for doing indoors worklike things, but I nipped out to the garden this afternoon to see what was in flower now that February is upon us. Here’s what I found: the sweetly smelling winter box Dozens of snowdrops A mahonia just coming into full bloom The hellebore has started flowering The witchhazel is still in full bloom As is the viburnum, which is throwing its scent all the way down the street In vegetable news, there was a small handful of purple sprouting broccoli And rhubarb coming up beautifully February is … Continue reading February joys