Garden joys

Two months ago I started my main seed sowing of the season: tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, peas and some flowers. I said I was ‘sowing seeds of hope‘. I didn’t know then that we would still all be in lockdown two months later, but I looked forward to a summer of vegetables. Today, I’ve sowed some more seeds but mainly I’ve been planting things out in the garden and being thankful for all that grows there. I posted six of my favourite flowers for #SixOnSaturday on Twitter Clockwise from top left: The roses are starting to come out in the garden, … Continue reading Garden joys

Digging the runner bean trench

Last summer I planted phacelia in one of my raised beds as a ‘green manure’. It has been growing slowly over the winter, providing a shady place for cats in this strange sunny spring : .. and just about to burst in flower. The problem is that I need that bed to grow runner beans which I sowed in paper tubes last week so the cats and flowers may just have to move somewhere else. The phacelia flowers are lovely though and the bees like them so I made a start on digging the trench for the runner beans, leaving … Continue reading Digging the runner bean trench

Seedlings and potatoes

This weekend the vegetable growing really got going. First of all, though, please admire this amaryllis which has been sitting on the bathroom windowsill for about ten years, doing absolutely nothing. Well that’s not entirely true. It has produced green leaves every year but no flowers for a very long time. This was the year it chose to flower. We may have to wait another ten years for the next flower but I am patient. Back to the vegetables. The seedlings on my windowsill have been romping away Cucumbers, tomatoes and huge mass of out of date basil seeds which … Continue reading Seedlings and potatoes

Digging for .. vegetables

What a glorious day it’s been. A peculiar one undoubtedly, but the sun has shone and a lot of people have got out into their gardens. I spoke to neighbours across the hedges on all three sides of mine, mainly to apologise for my cats but also to share the joy of the sunshine. Fortunately none of them seem to mind the cats. I was going to sow seeds today but decided instead to make a new raised bed. Why? Not sure really, maybe it was a ‘I’ve got to do something’ feeling, or maybe just that the horrible conifers … Continue reading Digging for .. vegetables

Strange white flowers and a rhubarb cake

Last weekend I spotted some strange white flowers among the daffodils. I looked closer and saw that they were not some exciting new spring bulbs. They were bits of plastic that had fallen off a lampshade. They had been picked up and redeployed in the garden by the transportation of a giant umbrella tree on its journey from the house out on to the patio. The reason for this mass transportation was to repot this beauty, which is nearly forty years old. I acquired it as a student and it has moved around with us ever since. Seen here from … Continue reading Strange white flowers and a rhubarb cake

Spring rocket

In another gap between weather yesterday, I did some springlike things: I harvested a huge bunch of rocket which had got out of control, started flowering and gone very woody. I reckoned the leaves were still edible though perhaps a little tough, so I whizzed them up with some garlic and olive oil and made yet more pesto. It was rather good: Then I cut back the autumn fruiting raspberries and gave them a good mulch. While doing this I observed the desire lines made by cats crossing the lawn, on a direct route from the patio to our neighbours’ … Continue reading Spring rocket

Signs of spring amidst the storms

This last week has been all about weather again but today the sun shone, there were primroses at the allotment and daffodils in the garden. Earlier in the week we braved the snow and the hail and the floods to visit Dawyck Gardens in the Borders to look at snowdrops. In the days leading up to our visit and for many days since the gardens have been closed because of wind and rain but on our chosen day they were open and we were not disappointed. Meanwhile the garden at home is very wet, though not flooded, the pond is … Continue reading Signs of spring amidst the storms

Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Probably not, but that’s what I found myself doing on this dark solstice morning.  My excuse was an accidental purchase at the local farmers’ market. I had gone along to stock up on the last minute Christmas veg and preparation for an influx of sons over the next few days. Oranges were on the list and it was only as I was paying for them that the stall holder told me they were Seville oranges, bitter and suitable only for cooking, or marmalade.  Not being the kind of person to start complaining, I duly paid for them and brought them … Continue reading Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Since my garden and allotment don’t quite supply me with vegetables all year round, the weekend started with a trip to the farmers’ market to top up the veg supply. I like the market because I can by localish organic vegetables with NO packaging. I love the way the stall holders pile up all the muddy veg and then tip it into assorted cotton bags – finally a use for these, which seem to breed in our cupboard. They do get all muddy but you can wash the bags (and the veg for that matter) and no packaging is used. … Continue reading Borscht – or a use for beetroots

Fox and a pear tree

I was down at the allotment in the rain, checking on my Brussels Sprouts. They’re looking good, so we should have enough for Christmas Dinner.  As the light was failing this beautiful creature ambled up and sat down within feet of me, waiting patiently for me to take this photograph: It’s a bit hazy as it was getting dark but I felt blessed. The weather has been dismal for the last few days but today the sun shone and an exciting parcel was delivered, much to the cats’ delight: It was the long awaited pear tree, so I planted it … Continue reading Fox and a pear tree