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

Autumn light

It’s just after 5pm and light is leaving the sky, the inevitable effect of the clocks going back and the beginning of the dark months of winter. But we’ve been blessed with a glorious autumn day and I’ve spent most of it in the garden and allotment. I cut back my runner beans which seemed to be finished for the year, leaving the sweet peas which clamber up between the beans. They should survive until the first hard frost: I also cleared out the cucumber bed. The cucumbers have been awesome but have now stopped growing. I raked over the … Continue reading Autumn light

Autumn tidying

Today was a tidying up in the garden sort of day. I cleared all the tomato plants from the raised beds . The tomatoes have been pretty good this year but some had succumbed to blight. The green ones should ripen indoors and I’ve left a few in the seed house as well These are all Tigerella which are very beautiful when they are still green. I sowed broad beans and phacelia in the tomato beds in the hope that it isn’t too late. I also sowed some late lettuce, replacing the seeds that I’d sown about a month ago … Continue reading Autumn tidying

Autumn tidying

Today was a garden day, it seemed like the first in months. The garden has been doing its best producing wonderful fruit and vegetables, especially plums, apples and tomatoes but, what with the allotment, and the musicians, various other family and work things, a wee trip to Norway and the small matter of the cracked bone in my arm, it is beginning to look seriously neglected.  So today I dug over one of the tomato beds, filled it with garden compost and sowed some broad beans. That sounds like it should have taken, maybe half an hour? But it took much … Continue reading Autumn tidying


I’ve been away helping my mother in her garden again. She’s in the process of moving house and the garden needed a little tidying up. One of the things that was needed was to sweep up some of the autumn leaves that have started to accumulate at her front door. There are only a few so far and it was easy to do, with the aid of my father’s trusty leaf grabbers. Dad was always one for gadgets and these grabbers were probably his favourite garden tools. He used them every autumn in his battle with the leaves. In their … Continue reading Leaves

Autumn pleasures

It’s been a long week and it’s only Thursday.  Work is a little trying, extended family issues are rather energy-consuming and there are still musicians all over the house, overflowing into every room.  Don’t get me wrong, the musicians are delightful, just a little all encompassing. Anyway, coming home from work and feeling rather grumpy, I was trying to get into the garden to do some therapeutic composting of some paperwork, when I found a musician kneeling on a large sheet of paper covered in musical hieroglyphs and blocking my exit to the garden. Despite my joy at their presence … Continue reading Autumn pleasures


I cleared the courgette and marrow bed this afternoon.  They have been fantastic this year but all good things come to an end. I put down some compost in the raised bed and raked it over: This of course created a perfect cat playground so I made an emergency visit to my local DIY store to buy broad bean seeds and pick up some cardboard boxes: and noticed that some of them had faces: Back to to the raised bed, I laid out all the cardboard, cut a few more holes, and sowed broad beans in half of them: and … Continue reading Cardboard

Harvesting in the dark

I’ve come home in the dark these last few evenings and the clocks haven’t even gone back yet.  So I had to forage in the dark for some salad, a torch in one hand, a plastic container in the other, and a black cat trying to trip me up in the dark.  Bella thought it was great fun.  I found all this lettuce, spinach, oriental saladini, nasturtium flowers and radish seed pods: Add a few tomatoes that have been slowly ripening inside and it almost compensates for the dark nights:   Continue reading Harvesting in the dark

Frog in the strawberry patch

After my pessimistic blog about growing tomatoes in Scotland, we’ve had two days of glorious autumn sunshine.  Today I’ve been in the garden, clearing up and playing with Bella.  She took particular pleasure in a piece of string which had been holding up my peas: Then I tackled the strawberry bed.  It has done well this year but it was getting rather weedy and there were lots of runners with lovely baby strawberry plants attached.  I pulled back all the Bella-deterring brushwood and got to work.  A tiny frog leapt past, and then a big one appeared I took a … Continue reading Frog in the strawberry patch

Conker season – not just for the young

The wind is howling, the leaves are falling, October has arrived.  Last night I stood in the garden and marveled at the stunning sunset : Inspired by this natural beauty, I wandered a little on my way to work this morning, taking in some trees and the local park to see how October was treating us.  I passed lots of sticks and twigs and conkers on the pavement. I picked one up and held it in my hand as I walked along and I remembered our adventures with two hundred conkers when my sons were smaller than they are now.  You’ll … Continue reading Conker season – not just for the young