A wild month

And so we come to the end of June and the end of the #30DaysWild Challenge. Some people set out to do something wild every day, taking them on all sorts of adventures. My wildness has been rather urban and rather garden based. I just look for something wild every day. Here’s a summary of what I’ve seen in June. That wasn’t everything but there were a lot of bees, a lot of wildflowers and quite a lot of the cygnets and herons on Inverleith Pond. I’ve been watching these swan fluffballs since they were tiny. They’re quite big now … Continue reading A wild month

Very Hungry Caterpillars – in memory of Eric Carle

So sad to hear today of the death of Eric Carle, author and illustrator of one of the world’s most favourite children’s books ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. It was also a favourite in our house and I’ve blogged about it before, along with some of our other favourite children’s books involving gardening or wildlife. As I wrote, back in 2014, one of the things about this book is that it makes you much more sympathetic to the more destructive creatures in the garden: they have to eat after all. So RIP Eric Carle and thank you for bringing us such … Continue reading Very Hungry Caterpillars – in memory of Eric Carle

Six on Tuesday

It’s all go in the garden just now and somehow I’ve forgotten to blog about it. I missed SixonSaturday so here’s a wee update of sixish on Tuesday. These gorgeous self-seeded wallflowers are flowering in funny little corners of the front garden: 2. I got along to the allotment last week and used some spare bits of wood to create a sort of terrace for one of the beds which was threatening to overflow down the hill. Here it is in all its glory. Please excuse the weeds and note the almost complete lack of broad beans in this bed, … Continue reading Six on Tuesday

More snow pictures

Because who doesn’t love these beautiful patterns made by pigeons in the garden? They are forgiven for demolishing my broccoli, for the moment anyway. The snow was still very beautiful yesterday for #SixonSaturday. Here we have teasels, witchhazel, rhubarb, winter box, two tiny snowdrops, and foxprints on the pond: The snowdrops have been particularly, beautiful, just peeking up above the snow, here in the sunlight under the oak tree: It’s all starting to thaw now but that means that spring really is round the corner. Also, this arrived in the post yesterday: Actually not live plants, but live seeds, all … Continue reading More snow pictures

Snow and ice

Since my last snow post we’ve had more snow and ice in the garden, so there’s been no gardening happening here, just taking photos : The snow has mostly gone now but I loved watching the bird and animal tracks in the snow. The temperature fell to -7 last night which must be near a record for my garden and it was still -5 this morning when I went out to take photos. There were beautiful frost patterns on the shed window: I’ve also been feeding the birds again. I stopped feeding them a couple of years ago, when we … Continue reading Snow and ice

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

So we come to the end of 2020, a difficult year for all of us, but here at Reclaiming Paradise we like to celebrate what’s gone well (and not so well) in the garden and allotment. Every year we have some prizes and each year we add some new ones. Most Dramatic Vegetable This has been a good vegetable year. Most things have grown well and we haven’t had any unmanageable gluts. For an update on most of them, see my post on the 26 vegetables for the 2.6 challenge. Some stars have been: onions, peas (of course), marrows, cucumbers … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

Holidays: hills, wildlife, vegetables

I’ve been away for a short holiday, recharging the batteries in the English Lake District. Much as I love my garden, it was nice to get out into the wide open, climb some hills, row on a lake, look at 5000 years of history, spend some time with family, watch the wildlife and go for a very quick cold water swim: From top left: sunset over Derwent Water, a grasshopper settling on my leg, halfway up a mountain, Castlerigg Stone Circle, a very fluffy caterpillar, a lone duck, waiting for me to join it for a coldwater swim, yet more … Continue reading Holidays: hills, wildlife, vegetables

Midsummer

It’s the midsummer solstice and I was having a look round the garden to see what is growing this sunny weekend. I remembered the twenty-six vegetables which I wrote about two months ago and wondered how they are all doing. Two months on, they are (nearly) all flourishing. Here’s an update: Apples Howgate Wonder – have developed pingpong ball sized fruits. Not so many as last year but they should grow to their usual grapefruit sized wonders 2. Apples, Red Falstaff, growing well and reddening up nicely 3. Apples, Sunset, promising clusters of fruit 4. Blackcurrants, never the most prolific … Continue reading Midsummer

Teasels

Teasels have been growing in my gardens for over twenty years. We bought the first one as a small plant from a wildlife stall at a garden show when my boys were tiny. We loved the name, we loved the way they grow and we hoped the plants would attract goldfinches. That one plant grew strong and tall and scattered its seed around. I haven’t planted a teasel since but they’ve always been there, popping up in surprising places and looking magnificent. I love these plants but I’ve never seen a goldfinch eating the seeds, until today. So here’s today’s … Continue reading Teasels

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