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

Onion soup

Despite being June, it’s definitely soup weather. I’ve already made several of my classic green soups, mainly using Swiss chard, herbs and assorted bought vegetables but this week I’ve also been experimenting with onion soup. I’ve got a bit of an onion glut. The autumn planted allotment onions are absolute stunners. Here they are back in early May: Since then they have grown even bigger and more beautiful and have been the subject of much admiration by passing allotmenteers. Meanwhile the overwintering red onions in the garden have also done really well, even though they were planted in the dark, … Continue reading Onion soup

Cottage garden

Warm sunshine, pouring rain, warm sunshine again – it’s party time for the weeds in my garden and allotment. This morning I tackled the weeds in the front garden, which if you’ve been paying attention, is a former paved over car parking space, converted to what can only be described as a ‘cottage garden’.  In other words it is full of herbs, lovely flowers, interesting wildlife and a lot of weeds. The weeds creep under the paving and up through the bricks unnoticed until I go out and get down on my hands and knees and haul them out. While … Continue reading Cottage garden

Juggling rainbows

It’s May and should  be the time to get lots of things going in the garden but the last week has been too nippy for me to dare put very much outside or even out to the seed palace.  The tomatoes are taking over the windowsill inside and I haven’t yet sown any courgettes, marrows or runner beans. I could get going with digging my runner bean trench but the raised bed identified for the beans is still full of onions which are not quite ready to harvest. That’s the trouble with rotating vegetables round a few raised beds. However, … Continue reading Juggling rainbows

Foraging

Last weekend I was away,  staying in a caravan, having a long lie while reading in a sleeping bag and listening to birdsong, then waking myself up by paddling in freezing sea. Here is a photo of fabulous gorse bushes with a wonderful coconut scent It was all lovely but there was no gardening or allotment activity. So far, there has not been much this weekend either. I found myself at the seaside again, though much closer to home, wandering along Portobello Promenade in the icy wind and not at all tempted to paddle, despite the sunshine. In the morning, … Continue reading Foraging