Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Solstice!

Nearly Christmas, whoop de do. Plenty to eat from the plot - carrots, kale, leeks, Chinese mustard, scorenza, apples and sprouts too now that they've had some frost on them. What more could I ask for.


It's that time of year again:


It's the first time I've grown this root - it might not look very appetising but tastes alright actually, and makes a useful addition to the winter crops. The skin is black but the flesh inside is white - you cook it in the skins then peel them off before eating. It's also a perennial so any bits of root I snap off will grow again next year, which is handy. Makes a change from carrots and parsnips too.

The Cabin

Not much gardening to do at this time of year so over the past few weeks I've been faffing about building this - in between the showers and frosts. In the best allotment tradition the door and window are recycled; the timber is a mix of recycled and new. I'm calling it the cabin so as not to confuse it with the shed. Just so as you know.

Corner posts in, floor down and making a start on the frame...

...frame finished...

...job done.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


It's been ridiculously mild this month; still no frost. The birds are twittering away happily whilst feasting on my windfalls and there are still bees and butterflies around.

The plot is providing plenty of fresh carrots, leeks, greens and apples and pears.

I've made a start on the digging and extended the plot at the top end by turning over some more of the grass.

No really it's November


I'm glad I didn't cut down the tomatoes as the warm weather has meant they've continued to ripen.

Chinese mustard

It's the first time I've grown this - the variety is "Green in Snow" - and it's turning out to be a useful green for this time of the year. It can be eaten raw when it has a spicy taste, stir fried or boiled like spinach. Chinese greens need sowing after midsummer or they bolt and go to seed - I sowed these at the beginning of August. It'll be interesting to see if it really is green in the snow.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


What a difference a week makes - 28 degrees last weekend, today it's a decidedly chilly 10, and soggy with it. Still plenty to eat from the plot - cabbages, kale, rocket, Chinese mustard, carrots; chillies and the last tomatoes from the greenhouse, spuds and garlic from store, peas from the freezer.

Lots of apples and pears to share too, and luscious blackberries to go with them.

Not exactly gardening weather today so plenty of time to play with photos:

Maincrop spuds

Dug these up last weekend to store for the winter.


Hot stuff:


Still plenty of colour for picking to brighten up the house:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

September light

Beautiful light out on the plot at this time of year:

Fewer butterflies around like this speckled wood...

...and this red admiral disguised against the soil:

I've no idea what these two are up to:

Still a few bees around:

And a nice gothic looking spider:

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank holiday weekend

Say what you like about the banks, at least they give us an extra day off work. Is that right? I'm trying to practice acceptance and forgiveness so my critical faculties may be a bit below par. Whatever, still plenty to eat from the plot - beans, cabbages, carrots, courgettes, spuds, tomatoes and tons of fruit - blackberries, raspberries, apples, plums and grapes now too.

In the flower department the meadow mixes are going over a bit but the sweet peas are still flowering and the dahlias, evening primrose, carnations and verbena bonariensis are coming on strong.


The dry spell we had until recently means the courgettes are suffering with mildew but they're still cropping nicely:


Late summer flowers

Dahlias and sweet peas:

Second pickings

It's always satisfying to get two crops of the same piece of ground. I sowed this row of late summer cabbages where I'd cropped the early peas.

Apples, rosehips and blackberries

Signs that autumn isn't far away.

Out in the country

I'm hardly a big fan of intensive arable farming but it at least it makes for some pretty pattens in the landscape at this time of year, especially under a blue sky and little fluffy clouds. The harvest is in and they're busy plowing and harrowing ready for sowing the next crop.