When autumn leaves start to fall

It has taken me a wee while to write this post but it is with great sadness that I am writing in memory of our beautiful Chelsea, who arrived in our lives in November 2014, as the autumn leaves were falling. We found her in a cat rescue and fell in love with her astonishing colouring and her friendly nature. To begin with she lived with my mother, providing companionship as my mother adapted to living on her own after my father died. Chelsea was always an outdoor cat, never happier than chasing leaves and exploring my mother’s increasingly neglected … Continue reading When autumn leaves start to fall

Six on Tuesday

It’s all go in the garden just now and somehow I’ve forgotten to blog about it. I missed SixonSaturday so here’s a wee update of sixish on Tuesday. These gorgeous self-seeded wallflowers are flowering in funny little corners of the front garden: 2. I got along to the allotment last week and used some spare bits of wood to create a sort of terrace for one of the beds which was threatening to overflow down the hill. Here it is in all its glory. Please excuse the weeds and note the almost complete lack of broad beans in this bed, … Continue reading Six on Tuesday

Some Easter Baking

I was pleased to be able to see my Mum on Easter Day. She has difficulty remembering about lockdown rules and was expecting a big family party ‘You will bring some baking won’t you?’ Sadly most of the family are unable to travel because of the current lockdown in Scotland so it was a very small gathering. However, challenge accepted. I made a pie (vegetarian – no bunnies were harmed). And some biscuits – also no bunnies harmed etc And an ‘Allotment Cake’ which I forgot to photograph (photo is from one I made a few years ago) Allotment Cake … Continue reading Some Easter Baking

Juggling cats

Two years ago, on a flying visit to his grandmother, my enthusiastic son dug a new pond in her garden, much to the consternation of her cat: Not long after that, my mother decided to move to sheltered housing to be nearer family. Since it was no longer possible for her to keep a cat, Chelsea moved in with us. We’ve loved having her with us and she has brought great joy to the garden: However, she has never got on with our resident cat, Bella. We hoped they would make friends, or at least learn to tolerate each other, … Continue reading Juggling cats

Seasons

I’ve spent most of the day in the garden today, harvesting, cutting things back, attending to the overgrown lawn, and musing on the eternal verities. My main thought was the way in which gardening, and particularly growing your own fruit and vegetables, links you to the seasons. This has been the most strange year but actually the seasonal garden rituals have stayed much the same: starting with the dark days of winter, the spring bulbs, the all important spring seed sowing, the fruit blossom, the first vegetable harvest, the early summer peas and soft fruit, and now the first of … Continue reading Seasons

Ice cream in the rain

As our traditional Scottish summer continues to provide the rainy backdrop to my holidays at home from working at home, I bring you ice cream. I had cycled over to my mother’s for my weekly visit, laden with my usual supply of home baking and soft fruit from the garden. It was raining but lockdown has got me back on my bike again and it is the only sensible way for me to get to her flat these days. I’ve discovered a mostly off road or quiet road cycle route which gets me there in twenty minutes. It’s a busy … Continue reading Ice cream in the rain

A tale of two sewing machines

You’ll be wondering what this has to do with gardens. It does, be patient. This is the first sewing machine: It’s a hand powered Singer, nearly a hundred years old and belonged to my grandmother. We looked it up online and the model suggests it was made in 1923 and it still works perfectly well. To be honest I can’t imagine my grandmother ever using it. She wasn’t the domesticated type, though she was certainly a gardener and I love that I still have her annotated gardening book – for more on this see here Anyway, the sewing machine passed … Continue reading A tale of two sewing machines

Counting bees

For yesterday’s #SixonSaturday I was counting bees, or at least counting the flowers that the bees like in my garden. I found my six: foxglove, sage, chives, comfrey, yellow poppies, cotoneaster but there were more: raspberries, wild roses, rocket, red campion, clover, nearly all self-seeded and thrown around the garden. The sage and the raspberries and the chives grow where I planted them, providing us with food and flowers and more bees I sowed the rocket last spring and it lasted valiantly over the winter, growing tough and woody, now flowering with abandon and attracting bees The others, although chosen … Continue reading Counting bees

Support systems

For today’s #SixOnSaturday theme I took a closer look at the pea tendrils, clinging to a variety of rustic poles in my vegetable plot: As you know, I love pea plants, for their flowers and, of course for their peas, but it’s always worth taking a closer look at their clever support systems: beautiful tendrils clinging to the nearest twig. I use rather rustic poles to hold my peas up, cuttings from other parts of the garden mainly. and the peas wind their way round these as they reach for the sky. Note the bottom right picture though, where a … Continue reading Support systems

Store cupboard cake

Warning! There is not much about gardening in this post but there is cake. Everyone else has just discovered gardening and growing their own vegetables. I’m delighted and I really hope they stick with it. I should have spent the whole day in the garden too but it’s bitingly cold. I did sow some seeds and check up on my recently sprouted seedlings The peas have emerged in the egg boxes, but it is too cold to plant them out so I’ll leave them for another week or two. I also sowed tomatoes and cucumbers in the house and resowed … Continue reading Store cupboard cake