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

Advent calendar week one – a lot of weather

Here is your weekly roundup of my #wildandwonderful advent calendar, where the theme has been mostly about weather.  The week started with more of the magical frost and I chose a frosted apple leaf to celebrate the 1st of December The sun was shining on the shed behind and the ice particles were stunning. The frost melted the next day but a wander round the front garden led me to the sweetly scented viburnum: The next day was neither cold nor wet and I paid a little visit to the allotment to tackle more of the endless couch grass. I was … Continue reading Advent calendar week one – a lot of weather

Fox and a pear tree

I was down at the allotment in the rain, checking on my Brussels Sprouts. They’re looking good, so we should have enough for Christmas Dinner.  As the light was failing this beautiful creature ambled up and sat down within feet of me, waiting patiently for me to take this photograph: It’s a bit hazy as it was getting dark but I felt blessed. The weather has been dismal for the last few days but today the sun shone and an exciting parcel was delivered, much to the cats’ delight: It was the long awaited pear tree, so I planted it … Continue reading Fox and a pear tree

Creatures of the night – for Halloween

it’s Halloween so here are a couple of our alternative Halloween lanterns (an orange and a pumpkin) from a few years ago in the days when we Halloween birthdays in the house and we were very creative with our traditions – for more on these, see here But tonight our Halloween birthday people are away from home and doing their own celebrations so we’re having to find new ways of celebrating this spookiest of nights. I offer you spooky footprints in the garden: I spotted these on the cardboard covering the raised beds this morning. That looks bigger than a … Continue reading Creatures of the night – for Halloween

Apples, onions and a toad in a hole

I’ve been wondering again about getting a pear tree for the garden, to grow my tiny orchard. I already have three apples and a plum and there is a cherry in the front garden. The plums are all finished now but there are jars of whole plum jam to look forward to. The apples are looking great too.  The earliest, Sunset, has been dropping fruits for a few weeks and I picked the last four today. I hadn’t thought much about the name of these apples before but you can see from this picture why they are called ‘sunset’: The red … Continue reading Apples, onions and a toad in a hole

Not yet autumn surely

This week has had some extremes of weather and the garden and wildlife have been loving it. Following last year’s heatwave induced frog invasion, the pond has again provided a haven for these little beauties during the hot early part of the week: Generally they have been very shy this year, coming out only after dark and hiding under the pond jungle the rest of the time. But on those couple of hot days they were out sitting on the lily pads, looking awesome. The heat was followed by biblical downpours which made the pond look great but no sign … Continue reading Not yet autumn surely

London flowers

I’ve been away again and not gardening or blogging as much as I should. I was in London for a family event but I sought out some floweriness even in the big city.  As part of #30DaysWild I tried to find some wildness in the city parks and found these glorious (if not actually wild) foxgloves. There is a bee in the white one on the right, making it a little bit wild:The highlight though was my adult son’s suggestion to go and look at the roses in Regent’s Park. He’s always been a flower lover and it was entirely … Continue reading London flowers

Thirty days wild

It’s June, so it’s time for #30DaysWild – an annual event run by the Wildlife Trusts  to encourage people to get outside and enjoy nature. I try to appreciate nature every day, not just in June, but the 30 Days Wild event makes me try that little bit harder. My busy city life doesn’t usually allow me time to do some of the more adventurous things suggested by the Wildlife Trusts but I try to find some joy in nature in my garden, my allotment and in the urban landscape. While it’s easy to find wildness in the garden and allotment, … Continue reading Thirty days wild

In other newts*

…the frogs are back! We’ve missed seeing them in the pond since last summer but the sunny weather has brought them back. We spotted at least two but I am sure there are more lurking in the undergrowth. We also have newts, dozens and dozens of them. They are harder to photograph as they flit about just under the surface rather than sitting still like the frogs. Bella is intrigued by all this underwater excitement: We also have an invasion of ladybirds: I love these tiny creatures, even more so because they eat aphids. I’ve been trying to encourage them … Continue reading In other newts*

Renewal

I don’t know about you but when I go out to spend a day in the garden, things never go quite according to plan. I did make a list, mostly concerning seed sowing, but, once I got outside, my mind turned to other things. First of all, it’s been the most glorious day – cold but with a with a spring tranquility. There was lots of birdsong, daffodils still in their full glory, some contended cats, taking it in turns to enjoy the flowers with me: While admiring these lovely primroses with Bella, I took a closer look at the … Continue reading Renewal