A day of contrasts

It’s been a day of contrasts – frost and ice first thing in the morning followed by glorious sunshine. Bella went out to check the ice on the pond, which was surrounded by frosty grass. Meanwhile, at the back of the garden the sun was shining on the first daffodils. Everything was glorious and I should have spent the day in the garden, or the allotment, or at the very least, sowing seeds indoors. Instead I made a trip to an out of town garden centre. I had a choice between going to one where I can get a bus … Continue reading A day of contrasts

Sunshine at last

I’ve been away for a week or so but returned to the garden in glorious sunshine today. The crocuses all opened up to welcome the sun. Bella got outside in the sunshine to admire the daffodils. I pruned the autumn fruiting raspberries, did a bit of weeding and harvested a tiny garden salad. Lettuce, rocket, rocket flowers and some chives – more tiny signs of spring. Later I got out to the allotment for the first time in weeks, did some more weeding, pruned some more autumn fruiting raspberries and brought home some leeks and sprouts. The plot is looking … Continue reading Sunshine at last

Tiny signs of spring

It’s been a rather damp and miserable weekend but I nipped into the garden on Saturday morning to see what was happening for #SixonSaturday – took some photos but didn’t get round to blogging until now. Anyway here’s a sign of spring, a single iris reticulata blooming away all by itself in the bed behind the raspberries. The snowdrops are looking rather lovely all round the garden. The hammamelis is still doing rather well with its spidery yellow flowers The crocuses are coming up very slowly but these two bright yellow lovelies are flowering in a pot The winter box … Continue reading Tiny signs of spring

Birds’ Eye View

This weekend has been the Big Garden Bird Watch, the weekend when everyone tries to count the birds in their gardens, and the birds go off for their holidays somewhere else. This weekend the birds in my garden had two very good excuses not to hang about: on Saturday storm Malik blew most of them away, apart from a couple of brave wood pigeons; and on Sunday this impressive beast decided to sunbathe in the garden, scaring off the birds somewhat. Sorry it’s a bit blurred. I didn’t want to get too close in case I scared it away. It … Continue reading Birds’ Eye View

Six on Saturday: snowdrops

I went outside to do my photos for #SixonSaturday and there are a few things appearing in the garden now – some on time and some far far too early. However, the main thing that is happening in the garden is snowdrops. I’m afraid I don’t know what variety they all are as they have all been transplanted from other gardens: my old house, my Mum’s old house or my late aunt’s house. I move them around a bit when they get too crowded and some just appear randomly, where they want to grow. A little clump just at the … Continue reading Six on Saturday: snowdrops

Sixty at Sixty

In 2022 I will reach the fine old age of sixty, one of those milestones in life that you imagine will never happen, but there you go. I hated reaching fifty but these last ten years have taught me many things, including that life will throw things at you in ways that you don’t expect. So Sixty is to be celebrated. I plan various ways of doing that (see end of post for details) but one is to see if I can harvest sixty different edible plants from the garden and allotment this year. It sounds like a lot but … Continue reading Sixty at Sixty

Apple and walnut scones

It was a day for using up nearly the last of the Howgate Wonder apples. I remembered making apple and walnut bread a couple of years ago – all on the blog here – and that it had been slightly unsatisfactory, my conclusion being that the recipe would be better adapted as scones. So scones it was – and gosh they were good. So revised recipe here: Apple and Walnut Scones 250g wholemeal flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g grated cheese 50g chopped walnuts 2 apples, chopped up small (or one Howgate Wonder) 3 eggs … Continue reading Apple and walnut scones

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

Christmas cooking

Dedicated vegetable growers will be able to make an entire Christmas dinner from the garden. I am dedicated but not sufficiently organised or successful to do that. However, we did manage to have Howgate Wonder apples for every meal on Christmas Day: some fruit salad for breakfast, some pieces of apple as part of a snack lunch and in both the red cabbage (a family tradition, cabbage from the farmers’ market) and the Christmas Pudding for the main feast. We also had our own Brussels sprouts, rosemary in the roast potatoes and bay leaf in the bread sauce. For Boxing … Continue reading Christmas cooking