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

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 The seedlings on my windowsill have been romping away Cucumbers, tomatoes and huge mass of out of date basil seeds which … Continue reading Seedlings and potatoes

Let the gluts begin

Been away for a wee holiday, enjoying the great outdoors, lots of walking, wildlife and dipping my toes in water, history, art, literature and gardens. But I’ll leave writing about that for another day. The main thing is coming home to find that the cats have survived and the vegetables are flourishing The allotment is groaning in onions and strawberries and there is promise of lots more to come: These are the tomatoes and cucumbers in pots in the new seed palace. There are lots more in the ground. The cucumbers are doing beautifully in the cucumber frame, although a … Continue reading Let the gluts begin

A stressful time of year

Today I had to dig up my awesome rainbow chard plants to make way for cucumbers and runner beans: Most of this sadly had to land in the compost bin, but I saved a big bucketful to live on for the next few days: We are subsisting almost entirely on rainbow chard and rhubarb at the moment which is probably not a good thing. Never-the-less I felt dreadful pulling these up when they still have some life in them. So I’ve planted out some tiny replacements in the wildlife area. These plants seem to be so robust that they might just … Continue reading A stressful time of year

Reclaiming Paradise awards 2018

As the old year rolls on and we venture into 2019, it’s award season at Reclaiming Paradise. In a year of weather extremes and personal complications, we celebrate all that is great, good or frankly unsuccessful in my garden and allotment. This year I  cracked a bone in my arm, helped my mother move house, acquired a second cat and was overcome with day job commitments. But the garden, the allotment and the blog bring me joy, and the Reclaiming Paradise awards help me to celebrate that with you. Here are the award categories: Most impressive garden developments; Most unlikely … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise awards 2018

November sunshine

Earlier this year I had some monstrous conifers removed from the back of the garden – here in mid-removal: Behind them the privet hedge is  recovering slowly but surely. This photo is from June: I had this idea that I would make a place to sit in the sun as this is the sunniest part of the garden but that plan was foiled somewhat by three things: the arm injury in early July (now almost fully recovered); life and work being even busier than usual and the amazing tomato and cucumber harvest in what I planned to be temporary new raised … Continue reading November sunshine

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

The trouble with

.. courgettes is that they grow into marrows. We’ve had a bumper crop on the allotment this year and I’ve been struggling to keep up. My allotment keeper friend is not very keen on the big guys so I said would deal with them. Only, I didn’t get along to the plot for a few days and they grew even bigger and I couldn’t carry them all with my dodgy arm. I did get several home eventually. Fortunately my house has been taken over by a bunch of enthusiastic and hungry musicians (nothing to do with the Edinburgh Festival, just … Continue reading The trouble with

Holiday with some vegetables

I’ve been away for a few days, staying in a caravan with my mother. My luggage included several holiday essentials: my swimming things,  drawing materials, a very fat book, my laptop (in case I had an urge to work or blog) and a load of allotment vegetables. We enjoyed the vegetables one evening after an invigorating dip in the cold Scottish sea:   This is allotment delight: courgette, white turnip, broad beans and new potatoes in a white sauce. The swimming things got used if not much actual swimming (what with the cold water and the not yet fully functioning … Continue reading Holiday with some vegetables

Pickle

Last night’s rain has caused the cucurbits to grow overnight I think: and we had some more rain this morning: Stotting off the patio is the only way to describe it. The sun’s out again now and we had a garden lunch: Whole cucumbers, along with yesterday’s courgette pickle and pea guacamole.  The pickle was surprisingly successful – recipe here Courgette pickle 1kg courgettes 4 tblsp salt 2 onions 1 ltr vinegar 240g sugar spices – I used a handful of home grown coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds and radish seed pods Cut the courgettes into cubes or slices  and chop … Continue reading Pickle