Wednesday, December 27, 2006

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

Monday, December 25, 2006

A grey Christmas

Well, it's Christmas Day and we've just eaten of the huge harvest from our garden. Parsnips.

They were very nice parsnips, though, and with a 'food miles' footprint of around 15 feet. Next year, with the allotment in full flow, we should also be eating home grown sprouts, carrots and I may try for some Christmas new potatoes grown in a container in the unheated greenhouse. Don't think I'll bother trying for a homegrown turkey, though.

We were down at the allotment last week, where I planted out some broad beans which I started off in the greenhouse. Typically, we then had a big frost (it having been pretty warm up until then). Still, I have some more broad beans still in the green house, and will sow some more in the spring. The strawberries are looking healthy down there.

In the garden, there is a purple hellebore in flower, with big fat buds on a white hellebore. The chard 'Bright Lights' is looking good, but I still haven't harvested any. The leeks are still looking rather spring onion-like (sowed them and planted them out far too late, and they're in a bit of the garden where there are bricks not far below the surface).

For those who have rather more homegrown veg than we do, the Womens Food & Farming Union have a nice web page with seasonal fruit and veg recipes:

One pink rose flower in the front garden - we've often had roses flowering this late.

Nights are getting shorter now (but not discernably, sadly) and the birds seem to think spring has sprung. It won't be long before the heating is turned on in the greenhouse and the first few lots of seed sown (celeriac and tomotoes being amongst the first, in February). Can't wait! Until then, there's a little more digging to do on the allotment, and planning a rotation system.

We'll be off to Ness Gardens sometime over the Christmas holidays, no doubt, and will look forward to seeing the start of a new season there.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's dark...

I've been busy in the garden for the last few weekends, rather than down the allotment. Lots of chopping up of perennial material which has gone over, and raking up leaves.

I finally got around to planting the tulips this weekend, with 'Wendy Love' in the back garden and a mix of 'Recreado' (dark purple) and 'Douglas Bader' (pink). I've planted them in the space vacated by the Lavatera bush, which I dug up in a fit of tidying last weekend. I'd planted it in the wrong place, and it was all over the path. It has produced a lovely space (hence the tulips) and have just got a nice Sarcococca shrub to plant there - much slower growing and with fantastically fragant flowers over winter, next to the front door.

The dark nights (and ongoing comments about my untidiness by Mr HM) have led me to tidy up the seed packets strewn about the place and have ordered them according to date of sowing. Roll on spring, and the seed sowing time...