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

Allotment wildlife

I had a little post-work wander down the allotment this evening. It’s been very dry, although a little cold and we were worried that the newly planted brassicas and peas might have succumbed to drought, or beasts of some kind. I am pleased to report that they have all survived, so far. They are well protected from rabbits and pigeons, and maybe slugs: I gave them a good soak and hope they will hang on until they are a bit bigger and able to withstand whatever they need to withstand. There are two purple Brussels sprouts and four purple sprouting … Continue reading Allotment wildlife

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


Today has been a pretty bleak start to a few days away from work, in which I hoped to get lots of gardening done.  But everything in the garden is saying ‘no, wait! It’s too cold’.  So I stayed inside and got on with repotting my tomatoes and cucumbers: As usual, there are too many tomatoes, three varieties this year: San Marzano, Tigerella and Ailsa Craig.  I sowed two types of cucumber: a green one and the ever-lovely yellow Chrystal Apple.  Of course I didn’t label them, thinking ‘It’ll be fine, I’ll know what they are when the fruits form’. … Continue reading Seedlings


We had a short committee meeting at the allotment today.  It was a glorious day but far too early to do any planting.  So we did a little planning and I dug up some couch grass. I had taken along my ancient wellies and some well-worn gardening gloves.  I also have my own key now so I think that’s me officially plotting. I don’t want to let this allotment excitement lead to neglecting the garden though, so yesterday I went out in the rain and tidied up some overgrown stuff and sorted out the broccoli a bit.  Pigeons have been feasting … Continue reading Official

Post holiday rituals

I don’t know what other people do when they come home from holidays after a couple of weeks away – make a cup of tea , open any post, unpack, put a washing on have a large gin? For me it’s straight forward: greet and feed the cat, check that there are no obvious signs of burglary, leaking roofs or other disasters, greet and feed the cat again, water the neglected houseplants, greet and feed the cat again, go into the garden and see what has happened to the vegetables, taking the cat along too.   I wasn’t sure what … Continue reading Post holiday rituals

Raised Beds

I came back from my trip to my mother’s garden, complete with her share of the seed potatoes we bought back in January. Since I don’t think she will be able to plant them, I’ve brought them home to plant in a pot in my garden.  Added to mine, that makes 10 whole potato plants:They all seem to have chitted rather nicely, so I’ve planted hers in a pot and mine in the ground.  Planting the potatoes meant digging over the raised beds and also getting some of the broad beans in.  While I was doing this I dug over the … Continue reading Raised Beds

Swimming in the garden

I got into the garden for a little while at the weekend but not as much as I’d hoped. It was very very wet on Friday night and I could have gone for a swim in the garden: but instead I set off on my bike to the local swimming pool:   no – that’s just the cycle path but I did see a blackbird swimming in it and it was great fun to cycle through. On my return to the garden, I moved some compost between the compost bins, pruned the roses and planted out a couple of birthday … Continue reading Swimming in the garden

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

After the frost

We’ve had beautiful frost this week. Bella has enjoyed playing in this winter wonderland Today, it has all gone and I’ve been clearing up the debris left behind.  The frost has finished off the nasturtiums and the fuchsia and nearly finished the sweet peas.  It has revealed a landscape of dead leaves, weeds and overgrown grass .  I tried to clear some stuff out of the pond but discovered there was still a layer of ice below the surface  But the broccoli and Swiss chard is still in fine form, despite the deep freezing and I know there a lots … Continue reading After the frost