Rainy Day

It’s been pouring with rain today but we went out for a cycle ride in the morning anyway. Our destination was Starbank Park a nearby community park, which I’ve been following on twitter and on here for a while but had never visited. The cycle run, mostly along off-road cycle paths, was very bracing and it was still pouring with rain when we arrived at the park, just in time to catch the ‘glorious views’ across the sea: It wasn’t the park’s fault that everything was so grey and in the park itself there was all sorts of beauty: The … Continue reading Rainy Day

Broccoli Monsters

I’ve been growing runner beans for over twenty-five years and I thought I’d got the process down to perfection – info here on how I dig my runner bean trench. I try to make the most of my raised beds, so grow various other things alongside the runner beans, mainly sweet peas, which seem to grow happily beside the beans. Every year I also plant some small plants under the runner bean wigwam. Usually Swiss Chard or something like that which can grow quietly while the runner beans are developing and then come into their own when I take the … Continue reading Broccoli Monsters

Yet more peas

I’ve been sorting out my saved pea seeds, hoping this year to not get them mixed up. I’m storing them in separate containers. In the picture above, bottom left, Duke of Albany, bottom right, Blue Prussian, top, Salmon Pink. Duke of Albany in full growth here: Blue Prussian here (with some photobombing soft fruit): And the slightly crazy Salmon Pink: These were all heritage peas which I acquired at seed swaps over the last few years so I’ll be delighted if they all grow again next year. The saved peas have been sitting on a sunny windowsill for a few … Continue reading Yet more peas

Planning

Here’s a bee on a phacelia flower to cheer your day. It’s been lovely and sunny here and I’ve been out in the garden, hacking things back, harvesting and sowing some more seeds of hope. It’s six months since I wrote my seeds of hope post, at the beginning of lockdown, when we had no idea what would happen next. Well here we are again with few clues to the future but we have to keep on keeping on and the garden will sometimes just grow things for us. For today’s #SixOnSaturday here are six things self-seeding in the garden … Continue reading Planning

Seasons

I’ve spent most of the day in the garden today, harvesting, cutting things back, attending to the overgrown lawn, and musing on the eternal verities. My main thought was the way in which gardening, and particularly growing your own fruit and vegetables, links you to the seasons. This has been the most strange year but actually the seasonal garden rituals have stayed much the same: starting with the dark days of winter, the spring bulbs, the all important spring seed sowing, the fruit blossom, the first vegetable harvest, the early summer peas and soft fruit, and now the first of … Continue reading Seasons

Seed saving

It’s been a great pea season again this year. Despite a slight mix up with varieties – see here – the Prussian Blues, the Salmon Pinks, the Norli and the Dukes of Albany have been very productive, providing us mainly with pea salad but also a couple of soups and some pea and broad bean guacamole. I used to grow just mange tout peas because I couldn’t see the point of growing whole peas. Now I know that the peas straight from the pod are so delicious they are almost like a different vegetable to the ones that come in … Continue reading Seed saving

Just like two peas in a pod

My love for growing peas crept up on me slowly. It was the flowers that caught me first and then the possibilities of pea soup, pea salad and pea and bean guacamole Last year I saved a whole lot of pea seeds to grow again I sowed them in egg boxes to avoid the mice and planted them carefully in different raise beds, with more than usually meticulous labelling to make sure I knew which was which, and prickly sticks to keep the cats off They’re all growing beautifully now. Here are the ‘Salmon Pink’ with their strange flowers, growing … Continue reading Just like two peas in a pod

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