The joys of home – six on Saturday

Earlier in the week I blogged about the joys of tomatoes and my envy at my friends’ ability to grow them so easily in the south of France. Today’s #SixOnSaturday celebrates what’s growing in my Scottish garden today. Peas – these are Prussian Blue – or at least I think they are. They are from saved seed and I seem to have got the varieties mixed up a bit. Anyway, they taste great. 2. Overwintered broad beans – Aquadulce Claudia I think . They’ve been superb this year. These are the last of a massive crop. I’ve also had a … Continue reading The joys of home – six on Saturday


I took this photo yesterday but the light in the sky was so lovely, it represents the season rather better than the rain and gloom today. We should have had a special dinner to celebrate the Solstice but it was one of those ‘see what’s in the fridge and cook it’ days. So we had green soup: cabbage, courgette, leek and some ageing sprouts.  I know it doesn’t sound in the least bit tempting but it was rather good.  In more celebratory mode, we had the last marrow last night: The last of a wondrous crop this year.  This one had … Continue reading Solstice


The tomatoes are ripening very slowly.  I’m still holding out for some red ones before it gets too cold for them outside. Blight has been a real issue this year and the green ones that I harvested last week are not really ripening inside. So they have all been turned into ‘Autumn chutney’: basically green tomato and apple chutney, with added courgettes. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when I have an abundant green tomato harvest, but I’m always hopeful. While I was checking up on the tomatoes, I thought it was time to cut back all the finished pea and … Continue reading Lacemakers


Just as the Scottish schools went back last week, the weather turned warm and sunny. Then Friday and Saturday were cold and wet, so an assistant gardener went camping with his friends. Today is hot and sunny.  Such is a Scottish summer: unfair, but today was a good opportunity to get the resulting wet sleeping bags and socks washed and out on the line.  But this is not a housework blog.  Any wander through the garden leads me to check on the vegetables. This combination of sun and rain is delighting the runner beans and courgettes.  Here’s what I picked on the … Continue reading Contrast

Lazy Saturday

There’s nothing better than going away for a couple of days and coming home to discover it’s still the weekend. But a lazy one so far: Bella is making the most of the sunshine, so I brought all my baby tomatoes, aubergines, chillies and cucumbers out to join her in the sun: They seem to be very slow to get going this year and it’s still too cold at night to put them in the seed house so they are languishing a bit in the house.  I’m confident they’ll start growing properly eventually. In the meantime there is promise of … Continue reading Lazy Saturday

More spring purples

.. and reds and yellows: Yesterday I got on with the big task of pricking out seedlings. I seem to have an awful lot of purple sprouting broccoli and rainbow chard. So that’s next year’s multicoloured spring sorted. I also sowed all my runner bean seeds in paper tubes, ready to be planted out once the cold weather really has gone: and dug my runner bean trench – see last year’s post on how to do that. This year there were no musical scores in the trench but there were some other bits of writing drafts which I’m delighted to … Continue reading More spring purples

More mud and some spring flowers

Saturday morning – time to finally get some of that spring stuff going – and what is it doing out there? Sleeting heavily on the swamp, turning everything into mud.  Yesterday we had lovely frost   But we also had roofers attempting to mend an awkward leak- so there was scaffolding all round the rhubarb.   I have to say they were very careful and didn’t damage any plants, though they managed to knock down and break a hanging strawberry basket while manipulating their ladders.  The strawberry plants are fine but the pot needs to be replaced. But today there is … Continue reading More mud and some spring flowers

On mud and not gardening

It’s been another no gardening weekend – away all day on Saturday and on Sunday the weather was foul foul foul – cold, wet, windy.  I’ve been reading everyone else’s blogs and you all seem to be sowing and planning and digging and doing stuff while nothing much at all is happening here. So I thought I’d better organise my seeds for the coming year. My first task was to sort out what was left from last year – so I got out my trusty seed box: It seems I’ve got quite a lot left over from last year and … Continue reading On mud and not gardening

Goodbye to 2015

Here’s a review of my garden year January In which we said goodbye to our beautiful Robbie, aged 15, and enjoyed the first snowdrops February When I visited Shetland and was impressed by a bath garden, I sowed some broad beans under a cloche, I spotted some self-seeded lavender coming up through paving stones and I finally replaced the leaking water barrel with an old dustbin. March The daffodils appeared, and so did some mysterious holes in the lawn. I sowed my first seeds and enjoyed some lovely violas. April The magpies made even bigger holes in the lawn, we … Continue reading Goodbye to 2015

In the swamp

The garden is a swamp today.  It has rained solidly for several days and there is little to inspire out there. Everything is inches deep in water, the water barrels are overflowing, the cat would like some welly boots to get across the garden. So today I’ve had an indoors sort of day, getting on with the festive baking.  Christmas cake and Christmas pudding now done.  Once I’ve made these, I always reckon we can get through Christmas somehow and live on pudding and cake for the whole festive season if necessary. The only garden produce that went into them was one … Continue reading In the swamp