Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Probably not, but that’s what I found myself doing on this dark solstice morning.  My excuse was an accidental purchase at the local farmers’ market. I had gone along to stock up on the last minute Christmas veg and preparation for an influx of sons over the next few days. Oranges were on the list and it was only as I was paying for them that the stall holder told me they were Seville oranges, bitter and suitable only for cooking, or marmalade.  Not being the kind of person to start complaining, I duly paid for them and brought them … Continue reading Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Since my garden and allotment don’t quite supply me with vegetables all year round, the weekend started with a trip to the farmers’ market to top up the veg supply. I like the market because I can by localish organic vegetables with NO packaging. I love the way the stall holders pile up all the muddy veg and then tip it into assorted cotton bags – finally a use for these, which seem to breed in our cupboard. They do get all muddy but you can wash the bags (and the veg for that matter) and no packaging is used. … Continue reading Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Advent calendar week one – a lot of weather

Here is your weekly roundup of my #wildandwonderful advent calendar, where the theme has been mostly about weather.  The week started with more of the magical frost and I chose a frosted apple leaf to celebrate the 1st of December The sun was shining on the shed behind and the ice particles were stunning. The frost melted the next day but a wander round the front garden led me to the sweetly scented viburnum: The next day was neither cold nor wet and I paid a little visit to the allotment to tackle more of the endless couch grass. I was … Continue reading Advent calendar week one – a lot of weather

Winter wonderland

The temperature dropped to -4 last night, leaving a winter wonderland in the garden: This sets me up nicely for my annual wild and wonderful advent calendar. From tomorrow I’ll tweet something that strikes me as wild or wonderful every day until the 24th to get us through the sometimes tricky dark days of December. I’ll update on the blog every few days. Meanwhile I’m having a jolly time in a station waiting room, waiting for a much delayed train. Not much wild or wonderful here but frost and cat pictures on twitter and a good book are keeping me … Continue reading Winter wonderland

Christmas at the allotment

Family commitments caused me to fall a little behind with the advent calendar but here are the last three photos. On the 22nd of December I spotted this Wintersweet’s tiny flowers in the sunshine. This shrub has only every flowered once, last year, when it produced one flower. This year it seems to have finally matured Only two flowers in this photo but there are at least a dozen on the plant. On the 23rd I spent the whole day doing my ‘annual’ housework and didn’t get out until after dark, so the photo for that day was rather enigmatic. … Continue reading Christmas at the allotment

Advent Calendar Days 15-20

Today I’ve been at home in daylight and even done some gardening.  I forgot to take any photos in the garden  but here’s a wee update on the wild and wonderful Advent Calendar this week. On Saturday the 15th, snow and hail and all sorts of wintriness was forecast. I spent the day delivering mince pies to my mother and helping her to eat them, while sorting out her Christmas card list. By the time I got round to thinking about the advent calendar, it was dark and it was hailing. So here is a picture of the pond in … Continue reading Advent Calendar Days 15-20

Advent calendar update

It’s been a bit of a long week but keeping my eyes open for snatches of winter joy has helped me get through. So here’s an update: Day 8 – I was walking along the street, not feeling very festive, when I heard workmen singing Christmas carols as they worked. This prompted me to photograph some festive holly: Day 9 – tiny signs of spring. Snowdrops peeking through the soil outside my mother’s new flat Day 10 – frosted oak leaf lying among the frosted clover in my lawn Day 11 Chelsea sitting under a broccoli plant Day 12 Lovely … Continue reading Advent calendar update

Wild and wonderful advent calendar

The first week of my wild and wonderful advent calendar has gone rather well. I set out to tweet something that struck me as wild or wonderful every day. This has forced me to go outside at least for a few minutes in the morning or in the middle of the day when there was still some light and to try and notice the world around me. Some days this is easy but others I have to really pay attention. So for your enjoyment, here is the first week of wildness and wonder: Day 1 – the Viburnum in the … Continue reading Wild and wonderful advent calendar

End of November – bah humbug

The thirtieth of November has crept up on me. I’m not one for celebrating St Andrews Night, a relatively new invention, but all joy to those who wish to do so.  This is the night when I usually have a mad dash to make an advent calendar. This annual creative endeavour is an example of necessity being the mother of invention, started about 15 years ago when I discovered late on the thirtieth that we hadn’t organised an advent calender for our two then very small boys. So I made one and have been doing so most years ever since … Continue reading End of November – bah humbug

Season’s Greetings

Happy Christmas to all my readers.  It is seasonally warm, windy and wet today. These icy glories are from a couple of weeks ago when we had some proper winter frost. These beauties were on my garden shed. For those who have been following the advent calendar, here is the final, opened, store cupboard with all its joys available to see. In the last few days we have had crystal lemon cucumbers, nasturtium salad, green tomato marmalade and, of course, appearing on Christmas Eve, the Christmas Pudding (made with garden apples and therefore qualifying for participation in the advent calendar) … Continue reading Season’s Greetings