Thursday, December 28, 2017

Done and dusted

                 Another year closing with a light dusting of snow

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Allotment birdsong, May - October.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Forward planning

                   Boxing Day Seed Sale: 20 packets @ 30p each

Monday, December 25, 2017

Season's Eatings

Horseradish root: grate and blend with white wine vinegar and cream
       Sage: add onion, breadcrumbs and an egg for baked fritters.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Rogue Brussels

Timely harvest, but not quite as firm and uniform as shop bought brussels. Not sure where they came from - never sowed any.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Scrub that

Hard to compete with the uniformly straight and washed supermarket ones - time to get busy with a brush and some wire wool.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Borago Officinalis

Borage, aka Starflower, flowering in the last few weeks of the year.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Jasminum nudiflorum

    Winter jasmine providing a bit of colour at the end of the year.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Rage against the dying of the light

One final bunch of nasturtiums and even a late sunflower, before the temperature dips too low. The cabbages, chard and lettuce cope a bit better with the cold, as does celery, parsley and spinach, so there's still some food to harvest. Carrots and parsnips become sweeter after a frost, so there's an underground carbohydrate store too.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Unripened on the vine

The last of the outdoor tomatoes ripened indoors. 

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Shroom Season

Mushrooms have been so ubiquitous this year (probably due to a warm, wet August) that there's even a plotline about magic mushrooms in The Archers at the moment. These unidentified ones appeared overnight, next to an old tree stump and quickly disintegrated, only to be replaced by another crop a few days later.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Late veg box

                A final colourful harvest before the frosts arrive.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nest lining

Globe artichoke flowers keep on giving long after the blooms have faded. Softer than a shaving brush, the bristles make good material for building nests.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cage fighters

The late sown kale's coming on but needs protection from hungry pigeons. Some late spinach refuses to grow; it might be a summer variety that notices the dwindling daylight hours.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Colour bed

Some autumn colour in the flower bed; the antirrhinums (snapdragons) are random in height and colour, the cosmos is hanging on and the rudbeckia is uniformly marmalade. Un unhappy dahlia dislikes the heavy soil and would probably rather be in a pot.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blooming late

The sweet peas are still producing flowers this late in the year (one plant's only just getting going) but the late ones will remain unpicked, hopefully to provide seed for next year.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Jam, the freezer

                        The autumn raspberries keep on coming.

Friday, October 06, 2017

And finally

The Jerusalem artichokes finally flower after reaching ten feet. Not as impressive as sunflowers, but similar and related (Helianthus) hence the name 'Jerusalem', which may be a mishearing of the Italian for sunflower, 'Girasole'. The edible tubers below ground taste nutty and give you wind; an autumnal ritual usual only observed once. If left unharvested they spread and can become invasive. Their value as a natural screen is somewhat diminished by their habit of growing too tall and requiring support and tying-up.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Nicotiana alata

Lime green flowers and a lovely smell in the evenings from this tobacco plant. The slightly bristly leaves repel any predators.

Monday, October 02, 2017

The present's orange

Nasturtiums, almost the identical shade of orange as the pumpkins.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Month of the pumpkin

Into October and the month of the pumpkin. Some of these have a bit of marrow about them. They're not huge either, so no good for lanterns, but smaller ones often taste better.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cox's collection

Time to harvest the Cox's apples before they drop in the gales or get pecked or nicked. They could probably do with a bit longer on the tree as the seeds don't rattle when you shake them.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Coriandrum sativum

                          Coriander in flower, seeds to follow.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Seedy business

                   Time to harvest sunflower seeds for next year.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Super spuds

Harvested the last of the Désirée potatoes and let them dry in the sun for a few hours before storing them in a paper sack - despite it being more difficult to buy paper sacks than it is to buy Désirée potatoes.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lovely lettuce

Satisfying to be able to harvest a near daily supply of lettuce for a lunchtime sandwich. It's getting a bit chilly at night so protection under cloches is a good idea from now on and also reduces the chance of slug and bird damage.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Phantastic Mr Phlox

                          Still phlowering late into the year.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Whopping windfalls

Whopping windfall apples after recent storms make up for wind damaged sunflowers and a late night tussle with a clump of ten foot jerusalem artichokes which needed tying up.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Rambling on

These climbing/rambling roses responded well to pruning back and are producing a second flush of flowers.

Saturday, September 09, 2017


There really is nothing like fresh sweetcorn, eaten within an hour of picking. Could never go back to tinned sweetcorn and even cobs bought in the shops are at least a few days old and taste nothing like the fresh stuff. Not such a great harvest this year - incomplete pollination - but still about a dozen cobs for immediate consumption, to give away or shove in the freezer. Also aways save one to dry out as backup seed for next year. None lost to badgers this year, but signs that birds or mice had been nibbling.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Perpetual parsley

Really handy to have a constant supply of parsley, which, like so many crops, has done well this year. On the other hand, several sowings of coriander failed to establish, being very attractive to molluscs.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Dry pod

These borlotti beans are best eaten fresh, not the whole pod, like runner beans and very early broad beans, but green and plump (despite the colour of the pod) like late broad beans.

           A good store of dried beans to use as seed for next year.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Cows (Grant Acid Mix) Edit

Now that the nights are drawing in, there will be more of this sort of thing. (Full music track here. ) Thanks Grant!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Late leeks

These late leek seedlings will need feeding over the coming months to provide food during the winter and perhaps flowering heads for insects next summer.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Done and dusted

The end of August and summer's done and dusted. It's all about seeds now, as everything tries frantically to produce seed for next year, while a few predators; mice, humans and pigeons included, try to consume or store them.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cactus pots

The cactus dahlias are producing explosions of fire to herald the arrival of autumn, though they prefer pots to open ground.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

No buzz marmalade

These Rudbeckia Hirta 'Marmalade' produce loads of long-lasting flowers from June until the first frosts, but it's puzzling that the seeds were 'selected by the RSPB to attract wildlife', as nothing's buzzed anywhere near them all summer.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sunny delight

Birds and rodents find fresh sunflower seeds irresistible, so after a few hours drying in the sun, these seed heads will be secreted away in the seed bank for next year.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Go Wild In The Jungle

     Everything brimming over, frantic to flower and produce seeds.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mu Mu land


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017