A little domestic wildness

It’s June so it’s time for #30DaysWild , the campaign run by the Wildlife Trusts to get everyone to spot a little bit of wildness every day in June. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and most years I treasure the chance to stop for a few minutes before or after work or over lunch to notice the wildness in the city around me. This year it’s a little different, with the wildness restricted to my daily walks or my own garden. Working from home, I can nip out with a cup of coffee or over lunch … Continue reading A little domestic wildness

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

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

Daffodils and rhubarb update

There have been a couple of cold but beautifully sunny days here and so I have been in the garden and able to do a little spring tidying. A few years ago I told you about my unusual combination of daffodils and rhubarb in a small dark corner near the house. It’s a strange combination but one that has worked for a good few years – for more on this , see here. The daffodils used to be able to compete with the rhubarb but this year the rhubarb has taken over. I seem to have the earliest rhubarb on … Continue reading Daffodils and rhubarb update

Rainy Saturday

It’s been the most dreich day here in Edinburgh, with heavy rain and strong winds. Huge puddles appeared on the lawn, with the newly emerging snowdrops drowning in the rain So definitely not a gardening day but one to use up the very last of the apples. Last week I was weeding round the raspberry canes and found a little pile of windfall cooking apples from my neighbour’s tree. They seemed to have survived the winter and had not yet been eaten by local wildlife so today seemed like a good day to use them up along with the last … Continue reading Rainy Saturday

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

Fruit smoothie cake

I had another glut problem this morning. Not plums or marrows but bananas.  I don’t usually buy bananas, thinking that it is better generally to use up my own gluts first.  So someone else had stockpiled them in the knowledge that the younger generation often snatches them for on-the-go breakfasts, late night munchies and sophisticated peanut butter, banana and anything going in the fridge toasties.  The young people have gone away though, leaving me with a pile of blackening, squishy fruit that had begun to disintegrate in the fruit bowl. I hate waste so what to do with this? I … Continue reading Fruit smoothie cake

Autumn raspberries

Autumn raspberries are a delight. They start to ripen in early August when you want to shout at them to slow down – it’s not autumn yet. Then they keep on coming, handfuls at a time in my garden and in small bucketfulls at the allotment. I harvested these at the allotment at the weekend and hid them away in the freezer to be brought out in the depths of winter. But they are best eaten fresh, or mixed with other fruit in summer puddings or cakes. Another fruit that they mix well with are apples and this is where … Continue reading Autumn raspberries

A new redcurrant recipe

I harvested most of the redcurrants today. They have been fabulous this year in the garden but not at the allotment. Another of the strange differences in microclimate between my two growing spaces. I remembered making some less than successful redcurrant relish last year but couldn’t remember where I found the recipe – just checked, it was a link on the blog – here , but I didn’t think of looking on my own blog! Instead I ploughed through my various recipe books, failing to find a suitable recipe, and so decided to adapt one for red pepper relish instead. Let’s hope … Continue reading A new redcurrant recipe