There will be peas

Today has been the big pea planting day. Following last week’s runaway success with following the #SixOnSaturday gang I’ve had another go. So there will be six peas, or six pea related stories. Here goes. You’ll remember that a few weeks ago I experimented with sowing peas in egg boxes (of course you do, but if not you can find out more here). Well, that seems to have worked really well, as lots of different peas have germinated beautifully this way. Here are the ‘Salmon Pink’ peas, growing happily in their egg box 2. And here is how they look … Continue reading There will be peas

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

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

Spring rocket

In another gap between weather yesterday, I did some springlike things: I harvested a huge bunch of rocket which had got out of control, started flowering and gone very woody. I reckoned the leaves were still edible though perhaps a little tough, so I whizzed them up with some garlic and olive oil and made yet more pesto. It was rather good: Then I cut back the autumn fruiting raspberries and gave them a good mulch. While doing this I observed the desire lines made by cats crossing the lawn, on a direct route from the patio to our neighbours’ … Continue reading Spring rocket

Winter work

Last weekend I did some DIY in the garden to provide some protection for the expected storms. I noticed a crack in the door of the seed palace. The palace has done a great job protecting seedlings but this needed some attention. I got out the ancient tools and added a splint of wood to hold it all in place Since the problem had been caused by the door banging in the wind, I also added an extra hook and eye to keep the doors shut. It’s all nice and cosy now and looking after the sweet pea seedlings, which … Continue reading Winter work

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

Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Probably not, but that’s what I found myself doing on this dark solstice morning.  My excuse was an accidental purchase at the local farmers’ market. I had gone along to stock up on the last minute Christmas veg and preparation for an influx of sons over the next few days. Oranges were on the list and it was only as I was paying for them that the stall holder told me they were Seville oranges, bitter and suitable only for cooking, or marmalade.  Not being the kind of person to start complaining, I duly paid for them and brought them … Continue reading Solstice marmalade – a new tradition?

Lost and found

I am sure we have a poltergeist in the house. Not the kind that screams and throws things at the walls but the kind that moves things about. As I’ve explained before on this blog, I’m mainly a vegetable gardener but I can’t resist sweet peas (or daffodils, roses or snowdrops). So I have a huge tin, a repurposed old fashioned tool box, in which I keep my vegetable seeds: and a much smaller and sedate little tin for my flower seeds – pictured at the top of this post.  One day in early summer I was happily sowing flower … Continue reading Lost and found

The year’s turning

Plums are dripping off the trees, apples are falling on the ground. Tomatoes are beginning to ripen and we are drowning in marrows Autumn has arrived. For the first time in over twenty years there are only two of us in the house to share in all this bounty. My older son has finished his studies,  for the moment, and moved on to do voluntary work, while my younger son starts a new course away from home next week. We miss their youthful enthusiasm, mess, music and musical friends. There are still some musicians around, popping in from time to … Continue reading The year’s turning

Paradise reclaimed

This blog takes its name from Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi. My front garden is a reclaimed car park where previous residents parked their cars in front of the house. For more on this story, see my about page. Instead of parking cars, I grow plants and welcome the wildlife. Today I did a big tidy up in the front garden, updated the labels in my herb garden and revelled in the plants and creatures that would not have been there had I been parking cars instead: I also found this frog in the back garden, lurking in the … Continue reading Paradise reclaimed