Clover and craws’ taes

There are days in a Scottish summer when you can walk barefoot on the grass and the scent of clover will fill you with joy. These summer days transport me back to a childhood of windswept islands and summer wildflowers. This is why I  grow clover, bog cotton and craws’ taes in my suburban city garden. In remembrance of summers past and with thanks to the people who made them possible. Continue reading Clover and craws’ taes

Frozen sweetcorn

It was a choice between the sweetcorn and the melons.  Something had to go out to the seedhouse when the windowsill overflowed last week.  So the sweetcorn went out to join the Brussels sprouts and lettuce seedlings. In the seedhouse the temperature has varied from 40º C during the day to -2º C at night. Maybe there’s a clue there – sprouts, sweetcorn, subzero temperatures – not words that go together really. Well the picture tells the story.  The sweetcorn didn’t like it.  The lettuce and the sprouts are fine, the broad beans and radishes and other sensible cold climate … Continue reading Frozen sweetcorn

Overflowing seedlings

I haven’t done much actual gardening this weekend but have been enjoying my seedlings, crowding out the windowsill: Here I have three varieties of tomato: San Marzano, Tigerella and Ailsa Craig, two of cucumber: Crystal Lemon and a green one (can’t find the packet so not sure which variety), aubergines, peppers, sweetcorn and the optimistic melons. All doing fine so far. The chillis in the plastic tub are also coming along nicely. But everything will have to wait a few weeks before I can risk putting them outside – even in the seed house. We’ve had the most glorious weather over … Continue reading Overflowing seedlings

Daffodils and a tulip

Apparently we should be able to see the Northern Lights in Scotland tonight but here in Edinburgh we have thick fog.  There is a faint green tinge in the sky which may or may not be the Northern Lights.  We can but imagine! In the meantime, all thoughts of spring have disappeared in the gloom.  We call it ‘haar’, ‘an east coast sea fog’, according to the Concise Scots Dictionary.  So I thought I’d have a look at my weekend photos.  I was looking for daffodils and found these in the garden: Further afield, I was visiting my mother and … Continue reading Daffodils and a tulip

A sprinkling of snow

What is the thing that sells the most when it snows in the UK? Apparently it used to be camera films.   I read that in a lovely little book called ‘Let it snow’ by Rosemarie Jarski (2004, Newholland Press). With digital cameras I don’t  know what the equivalent is but perhaps there is a parallel statistic about pictures posted on the internet.  Anyway, apologies to those of you still in the midst of winter, but snow is still just a little bit exciting here. It snowed on Monday.  It had all gone by the evening and everything is grey … Continue reading A sprinkling of snow

Shetland in February

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog and in the garden this last week.  My excuse being a mad  trip to Shetland with a motley collection of extended family.  We had all seasons in three days – rain, hail, snow, sun, wind – and there’s not much gardening to be done at this time of year.  But we found a community garden at Hillswick, with boats, baths, wellies and toilets all planted up with plants: …….. and a bee hotel. I’ll need to go back in the summer to see it all in bloom and the bees buzzing. Oh … Continue reading Shetland in February

Free seeds – bargain or challenge?

Free seeds always seem a wonderful bargain but they can also be a bit of a challenge.  These ones came as a result of a work trip to London – no, I don’t work for a seed marketing company – let me explain.  Blogging has fallen away a bit this last week as I was away over the weekend, travelling to London by train.  It’s a long journey but one of the joys of travelling by train is the chance to read.  Usually I have a pile of work or novels to get through but my long haul home was too late in … Continue reading Free seeds – bargain or challenge?

Street flowers at the solstice

I’ve been out looking for street plants to post for the Loose and Leafy street plant collection.  A little wander round the streets near my house produced this magnificent ornamental grass growing in the roadside: Then I found these campanula growing on a wall beside the pavement: .. and these little flowers – not sure what they are, growing in the wall of our local primary school: Then I thought I would see what was growing in the paving in my front garden. I found this little wallflower coming up beside a pot: .. and finally, a yellow poppy in … Continue reading Street flowers at the solstice

November gloom

November is always a grim time in the garden.  It is dark and cold but not yet cold enough to be proper winter.  The last of the vegetable and flowers seem to drag on but have lost the shine of the autumn  season.  There are probably things to be doing in the garden but time is against me this month.  So what to write about?  I thought I’d have a look at my November entries in my garden diary to see how previous years have looked through the November gloom. I started a proper garden diary when we moved to … Continue reading November gloom