Happy Christmas

Here we are at Christmas Eve and the Advent Calendar is complete, finishing off with a festive robin and the traditional Christmas pudding, fully alight! In my search for all things wild and wonderful, I discovered that a hedgeful of sparrows has moved into my neighbours’ hedge, providing us with festive tweeting whenever we open in the kitchen door – a true joy. Finally, today I harvested the sprouts from the allotment, a little nibbled by some of our allotment guests but still quite juicy and edible. So we’re all set for Christmas, with a few more family members than … Continue reading Happy Christmas

Preparations

I like to leave my festive preparations as late as possible but I have my own little ways of celebrating a non-religious Advent. A light dusting of snow at the weekend has got me in the festive mood. So you’ll be delighted to know that the only things necessary for festivities in this household are now done. Sprouts – which start as tiny seeds in the spring – are coming along nicely at the allotment. Christmas pudding – complete with an apple from the garden – made and maturing nicely in time for Christmas Day. First snow of the season … Continue reading Preparations

Six from a frosty allotment

I nipped along to the allotment today to see if Storm Arwen had done any damage (it hadn’t). So here are #SixOnSaturday from the allotment. This year’s very impressive runner beans were still standing, if looking a little the worse for wear, so I cut down all the bean tendrils for the compost bin: The sweet peas are still hanging on in there, so I left the wigwam up to provide them with a bit of support. Didn’t manage to get an in focus photo though (I blame my frozen fingers). I found a desiccated bean and brought it home … Continue reading Six from a frosty allotment

Christmas Eve

So we come to the end of the #wildandwonderful #advent calendar with a trip to the allotment to harvest the sprouts. It was a sharp, frosty day this morning and the allotment was looking lovely: The leeks are looking good, there’s some kale looking impressive in the frost, marigolds hanging on into the winter, sprouts ready to harvest, a tiny onion shoot giving us hope for next year and the sweet peas still flowering even after last night’s frost. On the 22nd I noticed more evidence of the fox in the garden. It had left prints on the cardboard in … Continue reading Christmas Eve

Winter

Winter arrived this morning, with the temperature down to 3 degrees in the seed palace. In anticipation I brought the last of the Howgate Wonder apples in yesterday. Here, with a tennis ball for scale to show their wondrousness I nipped along to the allotment this afternoon to catch some daylight and to see what was going on there. The sprouts have been one of this year’s runaway successes. There are far too many for Christmas dinner (especially if we are reduced to minimum numbers around the table) so I reckoned we’d better make a start on them now. Here’s … Continue reading Winter

Six from the allotment

I made it along to the allotment last week, for the first time in a while. We’ve been trying to social distance there and my allotment partner had been doing all the work this spring. I had a day off from working from home so made a trip to the allotment to do my share, complete with gloves and hand sanitizer for dealing with the gate. Here’s what was happening there. There was a friendly robin, sitting in the apple tree and hopping round my feet. It was excited by all the digging, finding food in the freshly dug soil. … Continue reading Six from the allotment

Happy Christmas

As the light disappeared on Christmas Eve, I made a festive trip to the wheelie bins in the front garden, just in time to catch this glorious sunset: Meanwhile the last few days of my advent calendar have featured trees against a grey sky, filled with twittering birds, Another sunset, framing the sundial in Inverleith Park , The simple pleasures of a pot of hyacinths in my mother’s flat My annual Christmas Eve trip to the allotment to harvest sprouts Which have been rather good this year so will do more than one meal. And, alongside the sunset in my … Continue reading Happy Christmas

Harvest

Today was a big harvest day at the allotment. There’s a real nip in the air and temperatures of two degrees forecast for next week. So we decided to harvest all the allotment tomatoes before they succumb to the cold. They are still very green but abundant and luscious nevertheless. We picked about 3 kilos, mostly San Marzano. We also harvested the squashes, a ton of runner beans, potatoes, apples and some more raspberriesThere’s still lots to come,  including more runner beans and sweet peas The Christmas sprouts are coming along nicely: Otherwise the plot is beginning to settle down … Continue reading Harvest

Christmas at the allotment

Family commitments caused me to fall a little behind with the advent calendar but here are the last three photos. On the 22nd of December I spotted this Wintersweet’s tiny flowers in the sunshine. This shrub has only every flowered once, last year, when it produced one flower. This year it seems to have finally matured Only two flowers in this photo but there are at least a dozen on the plant. On the 23rd I spent the whole day doing my ‘annual’ housework and didn’t get out until after dark, so the photo for that day was rather enigmatic. … Continue reading Christmas at the allotment

Advent Calendar Days 15-20

Today I’ve been at home in daylight and even done some gardening.  I forgot to take any photos in the garden  but here’s a wee update on the wild and wonderful Advent Calendar this week. On Saturday the 15th, snow and hail and all sorts of wintriness was forecast. I spent the day delivering mince pies to my mother and helping her to eat them, while sorting out her Christmas card list. By the time I got round to thinking about the advent calendar, it was dark and it was hailing. So here is a picture of the pond in … Continue reading Advent Calendar Days 15-20