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

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

Weeds – or tiny joys in the garden

I posted six photos on Twitter for SixOnSaturday this morning: all things that needed to be done in the garden today: There was weeding to be done: dandelions blooming and fading in among the flowers, daffodils needing to be deadheaded, a wild rose rambling under the paving stones and reappearing in the thyme, a massive dock growing amidst the aqueligia, tomatoes getting a bit weedy and needing bigger pots and more light and potatoes coming up through the cardboard, requiring a bit of extra compost to protect them from late frosts. So only six pictures but a lot of work … Continue reading Weeds – or tiny joys in the garden

Joining the six on Saturday crew

My Saturdays are usually taken up with ‘stuff’ so I don’t usually do #SixOnSaturday , the weekly garden bloggers’ ritual – for more see here – But we are living in unusual times, and I’ve got the Easter public holiday weekend away from the day job for the first time in living memory. The reason for this is very boring but it means I woke up this morning without the usual Saturday list of stuff and have time instead just to enjoy the flowers, so here they are. Here’s a camellia in full bloom. This plant was a gift from … Continue reading Joining the six on Saturday crew

Sowing seeds of hope

We are living in strange times. Plans are being cancelled, people are worried. Yesterday, I tried to keep a focus on the future by sowing seeds. Here are some I sowed earlier, some mixed salad leaves, in a pot in the seed palace, just germinated but ready to grow into something exciting in a few weeks: Yesterday I made a start on the more delicate seeds, sowing tomato seeds in a little propagator indoors. I’ve started with two varieties: Tigerella and San Marzano. I have some others in packets but I’ll sow a few at a time to see what … Continue reading Sowing seeds of hope

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

New year flowers

We usually go for a good walk on New Year’s Day but visitors meant that we stayed in and chatted and played scrabble instead. I did get out in the garden to count the flowers though. Here’s what was in bloom this year. First of all the sweetly scented viburnum: Then some unseasonal beauties: a red scabious, a pink Benjamin Britten rose, a yellow wallflower and a blue campanula There were some more seasonal yellow flowers: a yellow primula in a pot and the winter jasmine just coming into flower.  And finally the tiny but powerfully scented wintersweet Apart from … Continue reading New year flowers

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2019

And so the year turns again. As we move towards the 2020s, we look back at the high and low points of 2019 in the garden and allotment with the annual Reclaiming Paradise Awards. Most successful vegetable My garden and allotment are all about vegetables and this year has seen a great crop. Among the successes have been: Swiss chard, peas and beans, potatoes, tomatoes, marrows, courgettes, cucumbers, sprouts: The peas come a close runner up, but the winners for 2019 are the onions, overwintered in the garden and on the allotment, followed by a second summer crop on the … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2019

Happy Christmas

As the light disappeared on Christmas Eve, I made a festive trip to the wheelie bins in the front garden, just in time to catch this glorious sunset: Meanwhile the last few days of my advent calendar have featured trees against a grey sky, filled with twittering birds, Another sunset, framing the sundial in Inverleith Park , The simple pleasures of a pot of hyacinths in my mother’s flat My annual Christmas Eve trip to the allotment to harvest sprouts Which have been rather good this year so will do more than one meal. And, alongside the sunset in my … Continue reading Happy Christmas

Autumn light

It’s just after 5pm and light is leaving the sky, the inevitable effect of the clocks going back and the beginning of the dark months of winter. But we’ve been blessed with a glorious autumn day and I’ve spent most of it in the garden and allotment. I cut back my runner beans which seemed to be finished for the year, leaving the sweet peas which clamber up between the beans. They should survive until the first hard frost: I also cleared out the cucumber bed. The cucumbers have been awesome but have now stopped growing. I raked over the … Continue reading Autumn light