I really love to get outside this time of year, the cutting back can be done, and unlike the summer months, it isn’t a mammoth task to keep on top of. The bird feeders are always in need of a top-up and there are only a few weeds to keep at bay, enough pottering to give you some fresh air without getting frost bite, ( I hate the cold). With …Read More
It might seem weird, writing about salads as we career headlong into the darkest days of the year. But trust me, there’s plenty to be munching on, if you know where to look and what to grow. And crisp winter salads are sometimes the best of all – the perfect ‘detox’ antidote to too much stodgy food and the inevitable boozy excesses of the season.
What with the chaos of starting …Read More
I missed it. Dahlias frazzled and a thick layer of ice in the water butts were the only clues as I wrenched myself out of the house and hurried to the allotment into the watery light of a hazy November Sunday afternoon. Jack Frost had well and truly paid a visit.
Despite the devastation, I was glad. Why? Well, frost is very useful to us gardeners, for a number of reasons. …Read More
I love a crisp cold winter’s morning as much as the next person. But there really is something uplifting about seeing the first signs of spring! The mighty winter aconites are now out in force around the wooded areas of South Lincolnshire, kicking off the year in style with a flash of brilliant yellow and it shouldn’t be too long until the dots of white, orange and purple join them.
The cute …Read More
Although beds and borders are quiet at this time of year, close your eyes and listen for a moment and a whole different dimension to the garden will open up. Birdsong, well known for cheering people up, is especially noticeable at the moment, as hedges and evergreen trees especially are alive with the sound of birds, both year-round residents and winter migrants who head from colder climates to our (relatively) …Read More
Mistletoe is a strange and mysterious plant. Growing high off the ground with no roots and remaining stubbornly green throughout the whole winter, its white berries shine out against a backdrop of sombre greys and browns. No wonder it had such an effect on our ancestors, giving rise to an abundance of myth and legend. It’s one of the few plants whose folklore nearly everyone knows – a kiss under …Read More
We have looked at the trials and tribulations of the Poinsettia recently and all that is needed to keep one happy and most importantly alive! This blog looks at the easier options for Christmas house plants. One of my favourites is the Cyclamen which we will get on too shortly, as first off we will go to the easy-peasy, look after it with your eyes closed, Christmas Cactus!
Keep the soil …Read More
A robin is always such a welcome sight during the festive season. Not only do they add a splash of colour to the garden, they also bring song. I would like to share a poem with you, this is my favourite poem for this time of year.
by William Allinghamn (1800′s)
Goodbye, goodbye to Summer!
For Summer’s nearly done;
The garden smiling faintly,
Cool breezes in the sun;
Our Thrushes now are silent,
Our Swallows flown away-
But …Read More
What a fun afternoon we have just had! Isaac, my very capable assistant and I made a real treat for the garden birds. Following the RSPB website, we mixed together seeds, nuts, raisins and good old fashioned lard! In a mixing bowl we softened the lard and added the nuts, we gave it a good stir and added the seeds and raisins. Once it was all mixed together we spooned the mixture …Read More
Back in the summer, a friend of mine served me some delicious pink elderflower cordial. When I asked what she’d put in it, she replied “nothing – it’s from my red elder!” I could scarcely believe my eyes until she showed me a beautiful shrub in her garden, 6ft tall and covered in rich purply-red leaves. I put the red-leafed elderberry on my wish list and promptly forgot about it.
Digging …Read More