End of November – bah humbug

The thirtieth of November has crept up on me. I’m not one for celebrating St Andrews Night, a relatively new invention, but all joy to those who wish to do so.  This is the night when I usually have a mad dash to make an advent calendar. This annual creative endeavour is an example of necessity being the mother of invention, started about 15 years ago when I discovered late on the thirtieth that we hadn’t organised an advent calender for our two then very small boys. So I made one and have been doing so most years ever since … Continue reading End of November – bah humbug


When we first moved to this house, the front garden was bare: a paved over parking place for up to three cars.  Since then, I’ve dug most of it up and planted bulbs, roses, herbs and a couple of small trees.  But in those early days when all was bleak, we needed something to grow up the bike shed (much more useful than a car park for a no-car, cycling family) and provide a little height.  Taking advice from the family collective, I bought a rose – Benjamin Britten to keep the musicians happy: It has done rather well and … Continue reading Sweet

Onions in the snow

Everyone else in the garden blogging and tweeting world seems to have started sowing their seeds.  Well not here. It’s far too soon, too cold, too dark but I thought I should at least have a look at my seed tin and start to think about this year’s vegetables. In it I found the usual packets of last year’s seed which is probably still viable, a few empty packets, a few that are so old that they haven’t got a hope and half a packet of autumn onion sets.  Oops, these should have been planted about three months ago.  Well … Continue reading Onions in the snow

Summer garden/Winter garden

I took part enthusiastically in the twitter #summergarden thing over the weekend.  The idea was to post photos of your garden in the summer to cheer everyone up. I don’t know if these were the exact photos I posted but you get the idea: It was lovely.  I saw some people complaining but I find it hard to object to flowers at any time of year really.  Everything was a bit grey otherwise but last night we had proper snow and everything turned magical: I sneaked out about 11pm to take these while the snow was still falling.  Bella was not … Continue reading Summer garden/Winter garden

Season’s Greetings

Happy Christmas to all my readers.  It is seasonally warm, windy and wet today. These icy glories are from a couple of weeks ago when we had some proper winter frost. These beauties were on my garden shed. For those who have been following the advent calendar, here is the final, opened, store cupboard with all its joys available to see. In the last few days we have had crystal lemon cucumbers, nasturtium salad, green tomato marmalade and, of course, appearing on Christmas Eve, the Christmas Pudding (made with garden apples and therefore qualifying for participation in the advent calendar) … Continue reading Season’s Greetings

Cheering things in November

I was looking out at the garden this morning, surveying the overgrown things, the dying off plants and the general mess and had an ‘isn’t November awful’ moment. So I went out into the front garden which still gets sun at this time of year to see what might cheer me up. These things did Rowan berries against the blue sky Cotoneaster berries and leaves in full technicolour and I can’t replicate the scent of this viburnum – it only has a couple of flowers but if you get up close they are overpowering. That was my little trip into … Continue reading Cheering things in November


I took this photo yesterday but the light in the sky was so lovely, it represents the season rather better than the rain and gloom today. We should have had a special dinner to celebrate the Solstice but it was one of those ‘see what’s in the fridge and cook it’ days. So we had green soup: cabbage, courgette, leek and some ageing sprouts.  I know it doesn’t sound in the least bit tempting but it was rather good.  In more celebratory mode, we had the last marrow last night: The last of a wondrous crop this year.  This one had … Continue reading Solstice

After the frost

We’ve had beautiful frost this week. Bella has enjoyed playing in this winter wonderland Today, it has all gone and I’ve been clearing up the debris left behind.  The frost has finished off the nasturtiums and the fuchsia and nearly finished the sweet peas.  It has revealed a landscape of dead leaves, weeds and overgrown grass .  I tried to clear some stuff out of the pond but discovered there was still a layer of ice below the surface  But the broccoli and Swiss chard is still in fine form, despite the deep freezing and I know there a lots … Continue reading After the frost


Parts of the country have been hit by storms, but here in Scotland, we’ve had a glorious November weekend: sunshine and a hard frost.  I’ve been visiting my mother and her garden sparkled like an early Christmas card: I helped clear up some leaves – they were frozen to the gravel, which made for an interesting and surprisingly pleasant garden task: and I was rewarded with yet more apples.  My mother’s tree has been overflowing this year so some had to come home with me: Time to get the apple cookery books out again: Continue reading Frost

Winter garden

There’s dark corner of the garden that never gets any sun.  I keep my compost bins there but I also think of it as my winter garden.  It is right beside the house and so the first thing that we see when we look out at this bleak time of year.  I keep this is as my special place for plants that flower in January and February.  Sometimes you have to look quite closely to see them: But here is where you will find primroses, a lovely hellebore,  a hamamelis, a camellia in bud but not yet in flower: and lots … Continue reading Winter garden