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

Autumn joys

I’ve been away at the weekend, visiting my mother.  We went to the wildlife reserve at Caerlaverock, in search of migrating geese.  The geese migrate to Svalbard in the summer and come back to Scotland in the winter.  We were a little too early, though I did see my first skein of geese in the sky, a sight and sound I always find uplifting.  While we watched for geese, we also enjoyed the other wildlife, including these bees gorging on a sedum plant: I was so impressed that I succumbed to buying a sedum in the garden centre.  Otherwise I … Continue reading Autumn joys

More than pots on the patio

Following on from my post on pots of flowers in my mother’s garden, here are some results from my trip to the garden centre: But just in case you thought my mother’s garden was all patio and pots, she also has a humungous apple tree, just coming into blossom now: with promise of lots to come in the autumn, if last year is anything to go by. Only she could have strawberries growing in the steps: The garden is full of birds, including a blackbird nest hiding in an overgrown shrub in a wall: You probably can’t see the bird, but I … Continue reading More than pots on the patio

Christmas dinner and a Boxing Day Treat

There were no garden sprouts for Christmas dinner this year. I’m not sure why. I think I forgot to grow any.  Never mind though.  We had the appropriately named broccoli ‘Rudolph’ instead.  This broccoli has been magnificent this year, especially in the late November frost.  I didn’t realise it would be so productive in December.  I suppose the clue is in the name. And for Boxing Day, we had this: We didn’t eat it.  But this glorious beast wandered into our garden on Boxing Day morning.  I’ve no idea where it came from, or where it went.  Pheasants don’t usually … Continue reading Christmas dinner and a Boxing Day Treat

On the endless reuse of Christmas trees

Here’s an Advent Calendar update for 5th, 6th and 7th December:   Snowdrops – my favourite flowers, just lurking below the surface and ready to cheer us in the New Year. Hellebore – also for cheering in the dark days of January Bird Christmas Tree – this is a long story but I’ve blogged about it before:  here Happy Christmas and here and also here Bird tree again .  Basically it is an old abandoned Christmas tree which I’ve decorated with bird food and festive greenery for the last couple of years.  The big question is what to do with it this year.  There … Continue reading On the endless reuse of Christmas trees

Cakes and family

This week has been the kind that you wish you could rewind and start again. What should have been a lovely family celebration turned into something quite different with the news of the tragic sudden loss of a dear cousin. When I heard, I went into the garden, looking for something that would give the world meaning again.  I looked at the late summer flowers, the autumn fruits, the bees and the spiders. Nothing made sense and then a flock of wild geese flew overhead.  Migrating birds have an effect that I can’t describe. A sense of purpose perhaps or maybe … Continue reading Cakes and family