Feathered friends


The robin has been around most days that I’ve been plotting usually arriving with a whirr of wings and a flash of red to perch either in the blackberry bush or, as seen here, the blackthorn.  Doing some forking over or hoeing means that he generally gets a few worms.





I always check the ponds and nearby water tank to make sure that they haven’t iced over and are topped up.  I do that so birds can drink from them.

Crows, as seen here, and pigeons drink from the latter.






I’ll be looking round the allotments later on before going to the horticultural society trading shed where I’m almost sure to see a robin.  This picture was taken when I was there a few weeks ago.  He’s on the path just outside the doorway waiting for some meal worms.




At home during the week I briefly saw a pied wagtail a couple of times which is an unusual sighting there so I hope to see it again to get a better look.

Have a good week!

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The plot was sparkling frosty…

yesterday morning and I found the ponds frozen making it a cold end to the month.

The rose Pretty Lady I showed a week ago looked like this.


The sedum flower heads were completely white when I arrived, and like this later on when the sun had started melting the frost.


oca-tubersEarlier in the week I dug up the oca tubers.

I wasn’t surprised to find that most of them hadn’t bulked up and were no bigger than cherries.  These are the biggest ones on an eight inch plate to give you an idea of their size. I’ll keep a handful to grow next year.  I’ll let you know what the rest taste like once I’ve cooked and eaten them.


Have a good weekend!

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Three shades of white

Following on from last Sunday’s post here is another flower and more two vegetables that I’ll be growing next year.

almost-white-pot-marigoldThe pot marigold Snow Princess  is quoted as being the whitest one yet, and has both dark and light centres.

I have had a few creamy-white Flighty’s favourites, like this one, appear on the plot over the years.

It’ll be interesting to see just how white this new variety is.


This year I grew the black seeded French climbing bean Cobra and next year I’ll be growing another round podded variety Sultana which has white ones.

I’ve been recommended to try the runner bean Moonlight, which has white beans and flowers, a British variety bred which apparently performs well even in the poorest of weather.  This one has the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Have a good week!

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Last rose and first daffodils

It rained most of Sunday and Monday so when I looked round on Tuesday morning I was relieved to see that although the ground was soggy it wasn’t waterlogged.

Last rose 'Pretty Lady'


The past week has seen a hard frost, heavy rain and high winds so yesterday  I was surprised to see what must surely now be the last rose Pretty Lady for this year.  




Daffodils apppearing


I was also surprised to see these first daffodils appearing.  They’re some of the ones that I didn’t dig up when I planted the new ones in September.


Have a good weekend!

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The flowers and vegetables…

Calendula officinalis 'Oops a Daisy'that I’ll be growing next year will be much the same as previously, although there will be some different varieties.


The flowers are mostly ones that I’ve saved along with a handful that I recently bought  from  Chiltern Seeds last month when they had a sale.  They included this colourful dwarf pot marigold Oopsy Daisy which I’m going to grow in the long planter once the crocus have finished, and try in a pot at home on the windowsill.


broad-bean-crimson-floweredAs usual I bought my vegetable seeds from MoreVeg. I ordered them online on a Sunday afternoon, got sent an email late the next day to say they were in the post and received them the following morning.  As well as being well packaged there was a hand written note which said…Hello Mike, Thank you for your order, Happy gardening, Rachel@MoreVeg.  The eleven packets of seeds cost just over £10- so were post free which was another bonus. If like me you only need small quantities of seeds then do try them.  I’m particularly looking forward to growing the broad bean Crimson Flowereda heritage variety that doesn’t grow too tall and mostly immune to blackfly.

(Pictures with thanks to Chiltern Seeds and MoreVeg.)

Have a good week!

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Winding down

I’ve been making the most of the few sunny days over the past week or so to do some hoeing, pruning and weeding.

Yesterday I weeded the raspberry patch, pulled up the cosmos and pruned the Michaelmas daisies.  That just leaves cutting the comfrey to add to the compost heap and digging up the oca tubers, both of which I’ll hopefully do next week.



It’s good to see new growth on the Red Valerian (Centranthrus ruber), which was still flowering a few weeks ago.





The poached egg plants (Limnanthes douglasii) are prolific self-seeders and already growing well around the dustbin lid pond for next year.



During the days when it’s been chilly, damp and dull I’ve spent some time seed sorting and now only have the pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) left to do.  Much as I enjoy doing this I will be glad when I’ve finished.

I’ve also got most of the flower and vegetable seeds I want for next year.  As usual I’ll be buying onion sets and seed potatoes at the horticultural society trading shed in January.

Have a good weekend!

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Remembrance Sunday 2016

Always & Forever

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