Blossom Season

For #SixonSaturday this week, here are six beautiful fruit blossom trees in my garden just now. Bird cherry Or at least that’s what the label said when I bought it – I’m growing it as part of my hedge rejuvenation project. Apparently it produces bitter fruits – for the birds. My theory is that the birds eat this one and not the edible cherry in the front garden but that is probably wishful thinking. Pear I know, I’ve blogged about this before but I am very excited by this tree producing its first ever flowers and, I hope, its first … Continue reading Blossom Season

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

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

A very purple SixOnSaturday

Astonishingly I’ve managed a #Sixon Saturday today – here we go – First of all in the pic above is a bunch of flowers from the garden for my Mum, all blues and purples and whites: lavender (still flowering), a deep purple salvia, white cosmos, blue phacelia. (that’s all the purples though) The sun is still reaching the back of the garden and these Shropshire Lad roses are just gorgeous. They smell as good as they look. The roses in the front garden are also still doing well. The one above is a Gertrude Jekyll. Also in the sun in … Continue reading A very purple SixOnSaturday

Halloween in the garden

Halloween comes round again and the clocks go back and the dark returns, with little glimmers of light to get us through the winter. Here’s a cheery little squash, and it is very little, with a tiny birthday candle to bring us light. Just to see how tiny this is, here is it is beside some of my apples. Oh it’s not that small you say. Well how about compared to this one: A monster Howgate Wonder of course. Here are all three together, alongside a sensibly sized Sunset apple Left to Right – Monster Howgate Wonder, average sized Sunset, … Continue reading Halloween in the garden

Autumn flowers and fruits

What with being away last weekend and a very busy time at work just now, along with the usual family stuff, I’m falling behind a lot in the garden and allotment. Still, I got out for a wee while on Saturday morning to do a bit of tidying up and snap some pictures for Six on Saturday (but not enough time to actual do a SoS post). I was struck by all the flowers still in bloom and so collected up a bunch of miscellaneous beauties to stick in a vase and take over on my weekly visit to my … Continue reading Autumn flowers and fruits

More autumn wonders

I’ve been away on a trip to Higland Perthshire – a birthday treat for my husband to traipse around various historic sights and take in some autumn mountain air. As well as history and landscape there were plants. We visited the Fortingall yew tree: 5000 years old but with tiny signs of new growth and full of tweeting birds. We went to the Loch Tay Crannog Centre, recently damaged by fire but with a vibrant visitor centre and information about prehistoric vegetables, of which there were very few it seems. Nearly everything seems to have been introduced by the Romans … Continue reading More autumn wonders

Autumn delights

It’s been a glorious autumn day, with a slight nip in the air but lovely sunshine and leaves beginning to fall from the trees. As I cycled to the allotment this afternoon, leaves blew in my face and conkers fell from trees. It felt a little scary but also quite exciting. I dread the end of summer but when autumn really comes, it brings its own joys. One of these joys is planning next year’s crop. At the allotment, I got down on my hands and knees and hauled strings of couch grass from the soil. We’ve had a bit … Continue reading Autumn delights

Apples and raspberries

It’s October which means apple season. The apples are in full flow – pictured here a couple of giant Howgate Wonders, with a sensibly sized Sunset for scale October is also birthday season at Reclaiming Paradise which means the apples are put to good use in a variety of cakes. My mother’s is the first birthday of the month, so I used these monsters to make a chocolate apple cake – recipe here . Since she was 85, candles seemed excessive, but I wanted to decorate it with something special. This handful of raspberries, fresh from the garden, seemed the … Continue reading Apples and raspberries

Weighed down with apples

The apple trees in the garden are collapsing with the weight of fruit – it looks like it’s going to be a good apple year. Well most years are but this one looks exceptional. The Howgate Wonder is looking particularly impressive. I had to prop it up with some sticks and remove a few apples to prevent the whole thing collapsing. The Red Falstaff is also looking quite prolific though not very red yet. And the Sunsets are having a good year too. The plums are coming along rather nicely, though not so overladen as the apple trees. I harvested … Continue reading Weighed down with apples