December: four seasons in one week

It’s been a bit bleak here for the last few days but today the sun shone and I got out in the garden and along to the allotment for the first time in weeks. The wintersweet flowers are starting to open in the front garden (photo above). I did a bit of weeding and general tidying up. I was astonished to find the spring bulbs peeking up through the soil, under the weeds: I covered them up with some leaf mould mulch, since I had removed their cosy weed covering. Down at the allotment the weeds were doing well too … Continue reading December: four seasons in one week

26 vegetables – update

Seven months ago I used the fundraiser “26 challenge” to see if I could find 26 fruit and vegetable plants in the garden. See the results here and an update at midsummer here . I though you might like to see how my 26 vegetables got on as winter sets in. Here as they were in April and at their harvest peak. Apples Howgate Wonder have been wondrous as always – about 14 apples I think, which is not the biggest crop but they’ve been just as big as usual. 2. Apples Red Falstaff have been quite prolific – the … Continue reading 26 vegetables – update

Late summer promise

It poured with rain in the night and I wandered round the garden this morning to see what was happening in the vegetable beds, accompanied by my furry assistant. I had a sense that the season was turning. The potatoes and soft fruit are nearly finished and I was beginning to worry if anything would take their place. A closer look showed the promise of late summer joys. So here’s what I found for today’s #SixOnSaturday. First, in my runner bean bed, where the sweet peas have been blooming for a few weeks, the runner beans are beginning to form … Continue reading Late summer promise


I have a fig tree in a pot, given to us for our silver wedding by a much loved and much missed cousin. Every year I worry that the winter will finish it off, but every year it has survived: It even made it through the snow this year, when we had more snow than I can ever remember in Edinburgh. I think it may be the twiggy things you can see in this picture: But this summer, what with heatwaves and such, it has not only survived but is producing actual figs: How exciting is that? I’m not holding … Continue reading Fig


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

Raspberry cycle

Yesterday I pruned the raspberries, cutting the fruited canes right down to the ground. They’ve been great this year.  Just as the summer raspberries finished, the autumn ones are about to get going: and the bees love them too: I always quake a bit at the thought of ‘autumn’ fruiting anything when we’re still holding out for some summer.  Hard to imagine that they looked like this in the springThe gardening cycle continues and helps to keep everything else in perspective. Continue reading Raspberry cycle


Long summer evenings, light at ten pm. Scotland at its most glorious. What better to do than go out and cut the grass – or mow the lawn – but that’s always seemed a bit posh: So here is it with the trusty vintage lawnmower, and a border of autumn fruiting raspberries, with some self-seeded aquilegia and a lot of daisies, lowering the tone, while adding character. I suppose this is what I dreamed of when I bought that lawnmower all those years ago. We used to say that it was our first piece of baby equipment. Most people rush … Continue reading Lawn?

Respect the work of the gardeners

It’s summer holiday time. Regular readers will notice that I’ve been off the blog for a couple of weeks.  Well I’ve been away and here are a couple of garden related photos from my trip.  I rather liked this wicker compost bin in the garden of a castle in Switzerland: .. and this sign seemed much more appropriate than ‘keep off the grass’ or ‘don’t touch the flowers’: One of the best things about going on holiday is coming home to see the garden flourishing. Nothing seems to have succumbed to drought or slugs this year and, so far,  I haven’t spotted … Continue reading Respect the work of the gardeners