A Really Mild Autumn

We won’t be the only people commenting on how mild the autumn has been so far.  It has been pretty grey and wet, but the temperatures have held up to a remarkable degree.  This has meant that some plants have kept going for much longer than usual like this Dahlia in the back garden.

Dahlia 11 November

Dahlia 11 November

It might be nice to have autumn treats like this, but we’ve also got our fingers crossed for some properly cold winter weather to make sure that plants that should go dormant do and that there is some attrition amongst the various pests that take a fancy to our allotment crops.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our readers.

Merry Christmas

Lynn’s home-made wreath features Christmas Box (Sarcococca confusa), holly and the trimmings off the bottom of the Christmas tree.

Dinner will feature many of our own vegetables – roast potatoes and parsnips (the former sitting under the duck to soak up the fat), steamed sprouts and carrots and stir-fried beetroot with red cabbage.  No photos of the vegetables, as getting on with the cooking is today’s priority.


Back in February we promised to post a picture of the wisteria once it was in full flower.  It may not be quite in full flower, but applying the rule of only using photos taken in sunshine (unless it is to show snow or some other severe weather) here is how it looked this morning.

Wisteria 23 May 2013


Well after a two year wait, we can finally start harvesting from our asparagus bed in the back garden as the spears have started to appear.

Asparagus 25 April 2012

It is quite noticeable how much thicker and stronger the spears are this year than they were for the first couple of years of growth, so the patient wait does seem to be the sensible thing to do.


It Isn’t Spring Yet, But…

There will be plenty of cold (and probably wet) weather to get through, before spring is safely here, but a couple of rather more pleasant days recently have left the garden looking as though it is starting to wake up.

In particular the emergence in the last couple of days of some crocuses/croci (choose your preferred plural) provides a real promise of things to come.

Harbingers of Spring

The rhubarb is also starting to come through and while we don’t force it, we do use a cloche to give it a little bit of protection once it has started to grow away.

Rhubarb 17 Feb 2013

Inspired by a bit of sunshine we completed the winter prune of our Wisteria.  This is now relatively mature (we planted it 15 or so years ago, but it was already showing flowers when we bought it) and we have largely got a framework, with which we are happy.

Wisteria Feb 2013

 The photo below shows what it looked like four summers ago and later this year we’ll give you a sight of how it has developed since then.

Wisteria May 2009

There is the promise of some decent weather early next week, but probably more cold to come after that so let’s hope that these early signs aren’t a false dawn.

Getting to Grips with the Garden

There has been a distinct lack of news from our garden this year.  Largely this has been because there has been little to report, especially on the ornamental side.

To be honest, after some early season tidying up, we rather lost impetus as the weather deteriorated.  Mark’s work on kitchen gardening over the summer and our joint efforts on the allotment took priority and the cold wet weather soon dampened enthusiasm for shrubs and flowers.  On the fruit and vegetable front, the asparagus bed has developed and next year we should start to harvest, so there will definitely be a posting then.  Our small cabbage bed has done well with both Minicole and Kalibos cabbages in store to see us through the early part of the winter and we have had plenty of leeks.  The rhubarb did very well and as well as eating lots of freshly cooked crumbles, jars of rhubarb jam made their way into the cupboard and rhubarb pies into the freezer.  We had mixed success with container growing – potatoes and carrots did quite well, but the more exotic crops, chilli peppers and aubergines struggled with the lack of light and warmth, as did the tomatoes.

Re-using the re-cycling tub

The autumn has seen renewed efforts in the garden, especially in the back garden where we have put some serious effort into tidying up the beds, including moving a couple of the more overgrown shrubs.  We should now have a fairly solid framework for next year and have plans to grow more annuals to splash drifts of colour amongst the borders.

One pleasant autumn afternoon provided a powerful catalyst.  Making a small improvement in one corner suddenly provided the incentive to get the rest of the garden up to the standard of the bit that had been done.  The energy provided by making a visible difference in one place inspired the latest musing.