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

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

Winter work

Last weekend I did some DIY in the garden to provide some protection for the expected storms. I noticed a crack in the door of the seed palace. The palace has done a great job protecting seedlings but this needed some attention. I got out the ancient tools and added a splint of wood to hold it all in place Since the problem had been caused by the door banging in the wind, I also added an extra hook and eye to keep the doors shut. It’s all nice and cosy now and looking after the sweet pea seedlings, which … Continue reading Winter work

Chilly day at the allotment

I made a trip to the allotment today, the first for a couple of weeks. It was a bright but chilly day and I did a little weeding while checking out the various overwintering vegetables. I was pleased to see the broccoli and sprouts still providing us with some winter vitamin C. We also have kale and leeks so shouldn’t be in too much risk of scurvy. Meanwhile the onions and garlic are pushing slowly up through the soil and there are daffodils, looking ready to burst into colour in a few weeks time. Then I spotted these lovely primroses, … Continue reading Chilly day at the allotment

New year flowers

We usually go for a good walk on New Year’s Day but visitors meant that we stayed in and chatted and played scrabble instead. I did get out in the garden to count the flowers though. Here’s what was in bloom this year. First of all the sweetly scented viburnum: Then some unseasonal beauties: a red scabious, a pink Benjamin Britten rose, a yellow wallflower and a blue campanula There were some more seasonal yellow flowers: a yellow primula in a pot and the winter jasmine just coming into flower.  And finally the tiny but powerfully scented wintersweet Apart from … Continue reading New year flowers

Winter wonderland

The temperature dropped to -4 last night, leaving a winter wonderland in the garden: This sets me up nicely for my annual wild and wonderful advent calendar. From tomorrow I’ll tweet something that strikes me as wild or wonderful every day until the 24th to get us through the sometimes tricky dark days of December. I’ll update on the blog every few days. Meanwhile I’m having a jolly time in a station waiting room, waiting for a much delayed train. Not much wild or wonderful here but frost and cat pictures on twitter and a good book are keeping me … Continue reading Winter wonderland

Apples and ice

This weekend has seen the first hard frost, with ice on the pond: and lovely frost on the Broccoli I thought I’d better harvest the last of the apples before it gets any colder – Yes these are the phenomenal Howgate Wonders again – I picked 30 on Saturday morning and we’ve had about 6 or 7 already this year so this is a bumper year. They are the most delicious apples, eaten fresh or cooked. They’re a little too big to eat as eating apples but lovely to share between two or three over breakfast. Here they are with … Continue reading Apples and ice

Big garden no bird watch

Today was the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch day. I’ve counting the birds in my garden at the end of January for over twenty years and have found that the birds vary enormously from one year to the next. One of the variables has been the change in garden. My old garden attracted the usual sparrows and blue tits, blackbirds and robins but also starlings.  In this garden, where I’ve now been counting birds for nearly ten years, there is a wider variety, including magpies and wrens, but I’ve never seen a starling.  The other variables include the weather, the … Continue reading Big garden no bird watch

Solstice soup

Today’s the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year but the one where we can start looking again for light and the promise of spring. It’s rained for most of the day but I went into the garden in the rain and hauled out masses of overgrown stuff from round the pond. The frogs like the overgrown weeds but I know that there are spring bulbs underneath it all and so worth hauling some of it out. It felt quite therapeutic.  I was called away from this task by a horde of musicians who have returned to take over … Continue reading Solstice soup

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