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

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

Six from a frosty allotment

I nipped along to the allotment today to see if Storm Arwen had done any damage (it hadn’t). So here are #SixOnSaturday from the allotment. This year’s very impressive runner beans were still standing, if looking a little the worse for wear, so I cut down all the bean tendrils for the compost bin: The sweet peas are still hanging on in there, so I left the wigwam up to provide them with a bit of support. Didn’t manage to get an in focus photo though (I blame my frozen fingers). I found a desiccated bean and brought it home … Continue reading Six from a frosty allotment

Every one a winner

I’ve fallen a wee bit behind with the blog but here is an update from last week’s allotment show. It was a joy to take part after last year’s was cancelled. It threatened to rain but in the end the sun shone. I arrived in good time in the morning to rush round the plot and harvest my vegetables, piling them up outside the shed so that I could choose and polish any prospective winners. Here was my initial harvest: raspberries, apples, ruby chard, courgettes, potatoes, sweet peas and a huge bucket of runner beans. You can also see my … Continue reading Every one a winner

Midsummer colours

Today has been hot and sunny and everything was full of colour. I stopped to admire this glorious climbing rose ‘Shropshire Lad’, which has established well along my hedge at the back of the garden. It smells of Turkish Delight and has beautiful flowers: The first nasturtium flowers of the season went in a salad, along with my red tinged lettuce At the allotment today, I planted out the last of my rainbow chard seedlings and spotted their glorious pink roots: It was almost too difficult to plant these in the soil they were so lovely. It was a good … Continue reading Midsummer colours

Snakes in the grass

This time last year I brought my ‘Great Piece of Turf‘ reusable coffee mug home from my office. I don’t suppose many people have weeds on their coffee mugs but there you go. I’m a great fan of Dürer and I bought this mug when I had the chance to visit the original painting in Vienna a few years ago. It hasn’t been used much this year as even when local coffee shops have been open they’ve been very reluctant to accept reusable cups. So today I took it for a little outing to the allotment, complete with coffee. It … Continue reading Snakes in the grass

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

So we come to the end of 2020, a difficult year for all of us, but here at Reclaiming Paradise we like to celebrate what’s gone well (and not so well) in the garden and allotment. Every year we have some prizes and each year we add some new ones. Most Dramatic Vegetable This has been a good vegetable year. Most things have grown well and we haven’t had any unmanageable gluts. For an update on most of them, see my post on the 26 vegetables for the 2.6 challenge. Some stars have been: onions, peas (of course), marrows, cucumbers … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

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

Winter arrived this morning, with the temperature down to 3 degrees in the seed palace. In anticipation I brought the last of the Howgate Wonder apples in yesterday. Here, with a tennis ball for scale to show their wondrousness I nipped along to the allotment this afternoon to catch some daylight and to see what was going on there. The sprouts have been one of this year’s runaway successes. There are far too many for Christmas dinner (especially if we are reduced to minimum numbers around the table) so I reckoned we’d better make a start on them now. Here’s … Continue reading Winter

October joys

On this grim November day, here is something to cheer you. I brought in the last of the tomatoes from the seed palace to ripen inside. Aren’t they beautiful? Here are some more of the colourful things that were happening in my garden as October came to a close: Apples, rowan berries, nasturtiums and pyracantha berries, all looking very orange for Halloween. October is apple month and birthday month in this house. What with local lockdowns in Scotland we couldn’t really celebrate the birthdays properly though I did manage to deliver cakes, pumpkins (well squashes) and apples to my birthday … Continue reading October joys