Six from the allotment

I made it along to the allotment last week, for the first time in a while. We’ve been trying to social distance there and my allotment partner had been doing all the work this spring. I had a day off from working from home so made a trip to the allotment to do my share, complete with gloves and hand sanitizer for dealing with the gate. Here’s what was happening there. There was a friendly robin, sitting in the apple tree and hopping round my feet. It was excited by all the digging, finding food in the freshly dug soil. … Continue reading Six from the allotment

Winter work

Last weekend I did some DIY in the garden to provide some protection for the expected storms. I noticed a crack in the door of the seed palace. The palace has done a great job protecting seedlings but this needed some attention. I got out the ancient tools and added a splint of wood to hold it all in place Since the problem had been caused by the door banging in the wind, I also added an extra hook and eye to keep the doors shut. It’s all nice and cosy now and looking after the sweet pea seedlings, which … Continue reading Winter work

Harvest

Today was a big harvest day at the allotment. There’s a real nip in the air and temperatures of two degrees forecast for next week. So we decided to harvest all the allotment tomatoes before they succumb to the cold. They are still very green but abundant and luscious nevertheless. We picked about 3 kilos, mostly San Marzano. We also harvested the squashes, a ton of runner beans, potatoes, apples and some more raspberriesThere’s still lots to come,  including more runner beans and sweet peas The Christmas sprouts are coming along nicely: Otherwise the plot is beginning to settle down … Continue reading Harvest

Big garden no bird watch

Today was the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch day. I’ve counting the birds in my garden at the end of January for over twenty years and have found that the birds vary enormously from one year to the next. One of the variables has been the change in garden. My old garden attracted the usual sparrows and blue tits, blackbirds and robins but also starlings.  In this garden, where I’ve now been counting birds for nearly ten years, there is a wider variety, including magpies and wrens, but I’ve never seen a starling.  The other variables include the weather, the … Continue reading Big garden no bird watch

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

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

Hedging my bets

The privet hedge at the front of the house has been having a growth spurt. I gave it a ritual hack back this afternoon but I had to stop when a nervous sparrow flitted in and out several times. It seems to have a nest in there so I stopped cutting, refilled the bird bath and left it in peace. Meanwhile the privet hedge at the back of the garden is just beginning to rejuvenate after the removal of the conifers which blocked the light from it, but it’s going to be a little slow: I’ve showed it the picture … Continue reading Hedging my bets

Pigeon 1: Broccoli 0

  Remember that lovely new raised bed that I made a couple of weeks ago? Well I put it in place round last year’s broccoli patch, in the process, removing the netting that was keeping the pigeons off. The broccoli has been coming back to life in the last couple of weeks, so I was reluctant to dig it out. But Ms or Mr pigeon spotted the lack of netting and moved in, munching their way through all the remaining florets: Hint taken: time to dig up the broccoli and prepare the bed for this year’s runner beans. For how … Continue reading Pigeon 1: Broccoli 0