Broccoli cycle

This is the time of year when the full circle of the broccoli life cycle becomes clear. You may remember last year’s broccoli, which completely took over the runner bean bed. The runner beans are long gone and so are most of the broccoli plants but this one is still valiantly standing and still producing succulent purple florets. We had these lightly steamed in a garden salad. They were rather good. The other remaining plant has finally gone to seed and has some lovely yellow flowers. Soon I’ll have to dig these up to make room for the next crop, … Continue reading Broccoli cycle

Six on the first day of May

After a long hard winter, suddenly it’s the first of May and it’s still a bit nippy outside. However, today is also Saturday so in this post I’ll try and summarise what I found on this May morning in six themes for #SixOnSaturday Seedlings on my windowsill – green cucumbers doing rather well, all sorts of tomatoes growing nicely and, in the photo on the right, four new seedlings of the giant tomato Costuluto Fiorentino, which I thought had failed to germinate this year. Actually, make that five, I’ve just noticed a tiny seedling in the pot behind as well. … Continue reading Six on the first day of May

Tiny shoots

Today for #SixOnSaturday, I’ve been out in the garden, down on my hands and knees, looking for tiny signs of growth. The February Gold mini-daffodils are fully out now 2. And I noticed, while photographing these, that there are some snakeshead fritillaries about to come into flower. I had forgotten that they were there so it was well worth getting down close to the daffodils to see them. There are still lots of snowdrops too, a few photobombing here 3. In the front garden, a single full sized daffodil has appeared. I have lots more to come and I will … Continue reading Tiny shoots

Spring is in the air

How can it be a week since we had four inches of snow in the garden? Today we had lunch outside and hung out a washing, which nearly dried before it got dark and I sowed some seeds (just a few tiny lettuce and spinach seeds in the seed house) and I walked to the allotment wearing ordinary shoes instead of boots and I didn’t have to wear a a woolly hat and we harvested the last of the Brussels sprouts. Spring is definitely coming Meanwhile I have plotted my revenge against the pigeons. There are signs of new growth … Continue reading Spring is in the air

December: four seasons in one week

It’s been a bit bleak here for the last few days but today the sun shone and I got out in the garden and along to the allotment for the first time in weeks. The wintersweet flowers are starting to open in the front garden (photo above). I did a bit of weeding and general tidying up. I was astonished to find the spring bulbs peeking up through the soil, under the weeds: I covered them up with some leaf mould mulch, since I had removed their cosy weed covering. Down at the allotment the weeds were doing well too … Continue reading December: four seasons in one week

Broccoli Monsters

I’ve been growing runner beans for over twenty-five years and I thought I’d got the process down to perfection – info here on how I dig my runner bean trench. I try to make the most of my raised beds, so grow various other things alongside the runner beans, mainly sweet peas, which seem to grow happily beside the beans. Every year I also plant some small plants under the runner bean wigwam. Usually Swiss Chard or something like that which can grow quietly while the runner beans are developing and then come into their own when I take the … Continue reading Broccoli Monsters

Late summer promise

It poured with rain in the night and I wandered round the garden this morning to see what was happening in the vegetable beds, accompanied by my furry assistant. I had a sense that the season was turning. The potatoes and soft fruit are nearly finished and I was beginning to worry if anything would take their place. A closer look showed the promise of late summer joys. So here’s what I found for today’s #SixOnSaturday. First, in my runner bean bed, where the sweet peas have been blooming for a few weeks, the runner beans are beginning to form … Continue reading Late summer promise

February joys

Its’ been a cold and miserable day: a day for doing indoors worklike things, but I nipped out to the garden this afternoon to see what was in flower now that February is upon us. Here’s what I found: the sweetly smelling winter box Dozens of snowdrops A mahonia just coming into full bloom The hellebore has started flowering The witchhazel is still in full bloom As is the viburnum, which is throwing its scent all the way down the street In vegetable news, there was a small handful of purple sprouting broccoli And rhubarb coming up beautifully February is … Continue reading February joys

Chilly day at the allotment

I made a trip to the allotment today, the first for a couple of weeks. It was a bright but chilly day and I did a little weeding while checking out the various overwintering vegetables. I was pleased to see the broccoli and sprouts still providing us with some winter vitamin C. We also have kale and leeks so shouldn’t be in too much risk of scurvy. Meanwhile the onions and garlic are pushing slowly up through the soil and there are daffodils, looking ready to burst into colour in a few weeks time. Then I spotted these lovely primroses, … Continue reading Chilly day at the allotment

Bouquet of vegetables

We are on a little adventure away from home, among other things, to celebrate an old friend’s retirement.  She showed us all the cards and bunches of flowers that she was given to mark the occasion.  All very lovely, but the most touching was a bouquet of vegetable flowers from a young relative: The ‘bouquet’ includes broccoli flowers, fennel, marigolds and a lettuce. Who could ask for more? Well, apparently there were also a dozen eggs from the same smallholding but they don’t quite count as flowers. There may be more travellers’ tales to come but I’ll leave you with … Continue reading Bouquet of vegetables