Almost at the solstice

After the snow in my last post, we’ve had lots of ice, the temperature dropping as far as -7.7 one night and then whizzing back up to about 13 degrees yesterday. Today it has been a more sensible 4 degrees or so. The ice brought some fantastic scenes in the garden: All my water barrels froze solid and I had at least one casualty in the form of a teapot which lost its lid a few years ago and sits on my herb table in the front garden: It had frozen completely solid and cracked. I’ve brought it inside now … Continue reading Almost at the solstice

Advent calendar for 2022

There was a little frost in the garden this morning but the sun was shining through the oak tree, with its rather lovely coloured leaves. It’s been a funny month, with some warm days and a little bit of frost. Last weekend I picked a #SixonSaturday bunch of flowers to take to my mother to cheer her up. This little posy had lavender, mallow, osteospermum, a deep purple salvia, campanula and some pink pea flowers. I’d given up on them producing actual peas. It was good that they went in the posy as a dip below zero a day or … Continue reading Advent calendar for 2022

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