I’ve been reading

It’s a cold, wet and windy day so after lunch I’ll be settling down to sofa fly with a good book, along with a cup of tea and a couple of shortbread biscuits.

The ClocksI always read several books at any one time which have recently included a classic Agatha Christie story as my local library has been getting new copies of some of her books.  A few weeks ago I read the sixth Hercule Poirot story The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) and yesterday I borrowed The Clocks (1963) which is the thirty-fourth in the series.


On my Kobo Mini eReader I’ve been reading Hercule Poirot:the Complete Short Stories, which comprises all fifty one of them in chronological order.  I’ve found these to be ideal bed-time reading.

Happy reading, and have a good week!

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A good morning

Bonus potatoes

It was damp and dull early on but the sun had appeared by nine o’clock so I spent a couple of hours on the plot. The ground was soggy but I decided to dig  where the frosted potato foliage  was to see what I could find.   It was worth doing as I dug up the best part of a week’s worth of Red Duke of York and Charlotte potatoes.



Robin on a fennel stem



I wasn’t surprised to see the robin appear as I was doing that.  Here it is perched on a nearby fennel stem.  It’s getting ever bolder and several times it was little more than arm’s length away.




Frosted nasturtiums


I then cleared away all the frosted, and now mushy, nasturtium foliage which I added to the compost heap. As I hand-forked over the areas I noticed plenty of seeds lying on the ground  some of which should germinate and grow to provide another good show next year.


Have a good weekend!

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I wasn’t surprised…

to find that the plot was looking rather forlorn this morning following  rain/sleet and strong winds yesterday morning and the first hard frost last night. The water in the pond was frozen and various plants had flopped.

Robin by the sweet corn stems


As with my past few visits no sooner had I arrived and the robin appeared, and is now coming quite close at times.  Here it is finding insects around the sweet corn stems.



It looks like being a mostly dry, and thankfully warmer, week so I’m hoping to have a dig around where the potatoes Red Duke Of York are to see what I find.

Have a good week!

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The season’s end

A last yellow pot marigoldEarlier this week saw some very unsettled weather with heavy rain and high winds. Yesterday morning was calm and clear so I took a look round the plot to make sure that all was okay, which it was thankfully.

The forecast is for much colder weather from Saturday onwards with low temperatures , feeling like 0 degrees C in the strong wind, and maybe even some sleet.

I guess that really will finish off the remaining flowers and herald the season’s end.

Have a good weekend!

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Next year’s vegetable seeds

The week before last I ordered all my next year’s vegetable seeds from MoreVeg.  I always buy from them as they do small quantities at reasonable prices.  I’ll be mostly growing what I usually do, but hoping to grow less but better.

I’ll be growing some climbing French bean Cobra rather than the dwarf ones, and on the windowsill at home I’ll be trying a couple of pots of tomato Tiny Tim.

Hopefully the broad beans Karmazyn won’t succumb to blackfly as they did this year, and the carrots Royal Chantenay will surprise me and do well.

I was in two minds about growing some beetroot but I will and have bought the variety Babybeat which only grow to around golf ball size,  ideal for cooking and eating.

After I’d ordered these seeds and decided that I would grow more red onions than I have previously I found that the horticultural society trading shed won’t be selling onion sets Red Baron.  What I’ll do instead is buy a packet of onion Red Brunswick seeds to sow direct and see how they do.  If they don’t germinate I’ll plant some more white onion Sturon sets, which I also grow and are my usual choice.

I’ll be ordering my flower seeds in the new year once I’ve received and looked through the Chiltern Seeds 2016 catalogue.  One item I’ll be ordering is cosmos bipinnatus Velouette which I really like the look of, and should go well with the white ones.

First signs of daffodilsIt’s been been unsettled weather with plenty of rain, and windy at times, but still noticeably mild so I wasn’t that surprised to see that these daffodil leaves have  appeared when I looked round this morning.

Have a good week!


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Looking round the plot

last Sunday morning I have to say that following a miserable wet Saturday it’s now all starting to look rather forlorn and  a bit soggy.

Nerine bowdenii


Although it’s been surprising mild, and still no frost, the rain and wind some days has certainly taken it’s toll on most of the remaining flowers.  Despite that a few plants are still doing okay. There’s the pot of nerine bowdenii with their exotic looking flowers.




Rose 'Pretty Lady, Nov'15




The rose Pretty Lady continues to bloom nearly six months after it started back in May.





An orange 'Flighty's favourite'



And of course there are still some pot marigolds Flighty’s favourites like this orange one.





Have a good weekend!

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Tree Following November 2015 – both trees

Both Liz’s Stewartia and the fig tree show little of interest this month so it’s another combined post.

Liz's Stewartia Nov'15 -1


Liz’s Stewartia  is now past it’s glory days of summer with just a few leaves still hanging on.  Interest now centres on trees behind it with the fringe tree’s (chionanthus virginicus) green leaves and a kousa dogwood with dark red ones.




Liz's Stewartia Nov'15 - 2Growing all around the foot of the Stewartia is creeping Charlie (glechoma hederacea),  and at the front are some self-seeded feverfew, geranium Biokova and a few chrysanthemum Sheffield.

Thanks to Mike for letting me guest post this year, it’s been fun.  Thanks also to Pat who has taken over hosting Tree Following from Lucy (details and links below).



Fig tree Nov'15


The fig tree shed all it’s leaves shortly after I took last month’s pictures, along with the unripe fruit.  The leaves in this picture are on the grapevine that I mentioned last month.

What is noticeable is how grey the bark is and that there’s new green growth at the tips of the branches.



See Pat’s Tree Following post for details of what this is all about,  and this one for links to other Tree Following posts for this month.

Lastly many thanks to Lucy for hosting Tree Following up to now.

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