Dreich

It’s dreich, a word chosen as the most popular Scottish word in a poll a few years ago – link here. Anyway, it’s usually reserved by me for November which is month which is nearly always dreich. Not May. But here we are, experiencing a dreich May and trying to make the most of it. Despite the incessant rain, there have been some moments of sunshine and I did manage to get into the garden to look for ‘wildflowers’ for ‘International Biodiversity Day‘ on Saturday. I found this little collection, all growing in the lawn and tweeted it for #SixonSaturday … Continue reading Dreich

Holes in the hedge

One of the disadvantages of lockdown is that I’ve spent too much time over the winter looking at the garden and getting depressed about the bits that really don’t look good (most of it actually at this time of year). While I blog and tweet about the lovely little spring flowers – here was yesterday’s #SixonSaturday, the lawn is a mud bath, the pond is overgrown, the raised beds are full of either deadish plants or are covered in cardboard or freezer baskets (to keep the cat off) and the hedge at the back of the garden is looking very … Continue reading Holes in the hedge

Shed clearing – musing on plastic

Last weekend we cleared out the garden shed. It was in dire need. Here are some ‘after’ pics. I couldn’t face a ‘before’ one. You’ll just have to imagine the disordered piles of plant pots, bits of useful stuff, rusty tools and endless reams of plastic sheeting that ‘might be useful one day’. When I say, ‘we cleared out the shed’, I mean that my husband decided it was time to repot some houseplants and needed to reach the pots at the back. In order to do so, he needed to take everything out of the shed, so that I … Continue reading Shed clearing – musing on plastic

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

Digging for .. vegetables

What a glorious day it’s been. A peculiar one undoubtedly, but the sun has shone and a lot of people have got out into their gardens. I spoke to neighbours across the hedges on all three sides of mine, mainly to apologise for my cats but also to share the joy of the sunshine. Fortunately none of them seem to mind the cats. I was going to sow seeds today but decided instead to make a new raised bed. Why? Not sure really, maybe it was a ‘I’ve got to do something’ feeling, or maybe just that the horrible conifers … Continue reading Digging for .. vegetables

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

First frog

Today I spotted my first frog of the season, not in the pond, but deep in a compost bin. I had been doing some spring tidying: weeding, hacking things back, looking for signs of new growth. I went to deposit some woody prunings in my very long-term woody pruning compost bin – made from an old leaking water barrel. It’s been sitting there for four or five years, not doing very much but today I noticed that it had produced some quite useable compost. I emptied some out and sieved it, producing three bucketfuls of beautiful crumbly stuff. I’m not … Continue reading First frog

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

Nesting bees

It was one of those days when you are sitting having your lunch, pondering the nature of utility and beauty and realising that your garden is not quite passing the William Morris test: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ –¬†for more see here , where I argue that the test does not apply to the garden. In the garden there are many many beautiful things but also some that are not beautiful but are useful, mostly old plastic buckets and odd bits of wire caging which keep cats … Continue reading Nesting bees

Baywatch

I’ve been on the hunt for a new bay tree since losing the last one to the dratted vine weevils I found one in a pot in my local DIY store   But being from a DIY store rather than a proper garden centre, it had not one but, I think I counted, sixteen plants crammed into this tiny pot. I hate waste , so I planted one rooted cutting in the herb bed in the front garden, where it looks a little out of place but hopefully will grow tall and strong, and the others all in individual pots. … Continue reading Baywatch