Happy Christmas

Here we are at Christmas Eve and the Advent Calendar is complete, finishing off with a festive robin and the traditional Christmas pudding, fully alight! In my search for all things wild and wonderful, I discovered that a hedgeful of sparrows has moved into my neighbours’ hedge, providing us with festive tweeting whenever we open in the kitchen door – a true joy. Finally, today I harvested the sprouts from the allotment, a little nibbled by some of our allotment guests but still quite juicy and edible. So we’re all set for Christmas, with a few more family members than … Continue reading Happy Christmas

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

Christmas Eve

So we come to the end of the #wildandwonderful #advent calendar with a trip to the allotment to harvest the sprouts. It was a sharp, frosty day this morning and the allotment was looking lovely: The leeks are looking good, there’s some kale looking impressive in the frost, marigolds hanging on into the winter, sprouts ready to harvest, a tiny onion shoot giving us hope for next year and the sweet peas still flowering even after last night’s frost. On the 22nd I noticed more evidence of the fox in the garden. It had left prints on the cardboard in … Continue reading Christmas Eve

Winter solstice – the light will come back

I write this as the light disappears from the sky on the winter solstice. In a dark week, it is good to know that the light will now return. This week’s advent calendar reflects some of what’s been happening. I forgot to take any photos on the 14th but on the 15th we got out early and caught the sunrise over Edinburgh. The photo at the top was taken at 9am. Here’s another one a few minutes earlier: On the 16th none of us got outside, including Bella who has been spooked by a fox in the garden. We’ve seen … Continue reading Winter solstice – the light will come back

Dreich

It’s been a bit of a dreich week. Here’s a Wild and Wonderful Advent Calendar update to cheer us all through these December days: Day 7: I got out for quite a long walk into town (when it wasn’t too dreich) and heard a woodpecker in these trees. Day 8: out for a walk along the river which had been impressively flooded. It looks more worrying than it was in practice. The path goes alongside this, not through it, but it was pretty muddy and we were pleased to be wearing walking boots. Day 9: I didn’t get outside in … Continue reading Dreich

December: four seasons in one week

It’s been a bit bleak here for the last few days but today the sun shone and I got out in the garden and along to the allotment for the first time in weeks. The wintersweet flowers are starting to open in the front garden (photo above). I did a bit of weeding and general tidying up. I was astonished to find the spring bulbs peeking up through the soil, under the weeds: I covered them up with some leaf mould mulch, since I had removed their cosy weed covering. Down at the allotment the weeds were doing well too … Continue reading December: four seasons in one week

Happy Christmas

As the light disappeared on Christmas Eve, I made a festive trip to the wheelie bins in the front garden, just in time to catch this glorious sunset: Meanwhile the last few days of my advent calendar have featured trees against a grey sky, filled with twittering birds, Another sunset, framing the sundial in Inverleith Park , The simple pleasures of a pot of hyacinths in my mother’s flat My annual Christmas Eve trip to the allotment to harvest sprouts Which have been rather good this year so will do more than one meal. And, alongside the sunset in my … Continue reading Happy Christmas