A good week

At the front of the flats is a narrow strip of garden that is full of shrubs and trees where I often see robins, chaffinches, blue tits and blackbirds.  On Monday morning I got a really good look at a goldcrest which was perched on the branch of a nearby shrub.  It’s a bird that I’ve never seen before, and according to my Birds in Your Garden book it’s the tiniest resident British bird.

This morning I was walking to the local shopping centre when I heard the familiar cheep cheeping of some house sparrows and looking up at the roof guttering of a house could see a handful of them.  Sadly they’re a bird I rarely see nowadays so it was good to see these.

On Tuesday morning I was back at the hospital for a post-operation check-up. My appointment was for 10.30 am but I didn’t see the doctor until an hour later.  During that time I sat in the waiting area watching a constant stream of people coming and going keeping the three receptionists busy.  When I got to see the doctor he asked if I’d had any problems since the operation, had a quick look and gentle prod at my abdomen, said all was okay and wished me a Merry Christmas. All of which took less than five minutes.

There’s been little, or no, sunshine here during the week but today is dry and mild. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some tidying up, and weeding round, the raspberry patch tomorrow morning.

Have a good weekend!

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Perfect for pollinators

The plot robinI spent Wednesday morning on the plot in the sunshine,  with the robin keeping me company.  I pulled up all the black, manky pot marigolds which I added to the compost heap, then hoed over the areas but left any weeding for another day.


Looking at the log pile and surrounding wild patch I’ve decided that next spring instead of doing a minimal tidy-up, as I usually do, I’m going to do major one including replacing most of the logs.   It’ll be the first time that I’ve done this since I’ve had the plot.

The log pile & wild patch

RHS Perfect for Pollinators

Once it’s all done I will sow a mix of centranthus ruber Snowcloud and phacelia tancetifolia in the surrounding area. According to the RHS both are perfect for pollinators

Have a good week!

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Tree Following December 2015

Neither Liz or I are doing specific Tree Following posts this month so this is just a general one to see the year out.  Some people are still following one and their posts can be read via here.

We’ve both enjoyed following our respective trees through the year and are now looking for a new one to follow next year.  Liz has mentioned a couple that sound interesting whilst I’m looking at one, or maybe two, that are much more common and familiar.

Details of what Tree Following is all about can be found here.  Do have a read and perhaps you’ll decide to join us next year if you’re not already a tree follower.

Traditional Christmas treeAt this time of year it’s the traditional Christmas tree that is familiar to most people but in some places there are rather more unusual ones to be seen.

A different Christmas tree

Happy tree following, and have a good weekend!

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It was surprisingly mild…

and still blowy, but dry,  this morning when I took a look round the plot to make sure all was okay, which thankfully  it was.

Poached egg plants around the dustbin lid pond

One of the first annuals to flower next spring will be the poached egg plants (limnanthes douglasii) which grow all round the dustbin lid pond.  These are all self-seeded plants which are already a few inches tall.


Collomia grandiflora


The collomia grandiflora plants are also doing well. The only problem being that they’re several feet away on the neighbouring plot!  I will be transplanting them before Brian starts to dig his plot over in the early spring and digs them up as weeds.



california poppy


Back on my plot there are plenty of California poppies (eschscholzia californica) growing in the right place. I will also be sowing  more seeds in the spring , including the white variety Alba.




I always let a few teasels (dipsacus fullonum) grow around the log pile area which is the ideal place.  Any others that have appeared I will dig up.   As well as being impressive looking plants during the summer and winter I always hope to see goldfinches on them one day feeding on the seeds.

Have a good week!

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I rather wish

I wasn’t surprised when I read yesterday that November had been the dullest for over sixty years with something like seventeen days without any sunshine.  One consolation was that being mostly mild it meant that we could enjoy the flowers in the garden and on the plot for longer than we usually do.

Yesterday morning was sunny so I went for a walk round the allotments then spent a couple of hours doing some plot pottering with the robin for company.

Death of an AirmanI returned home to find that the Christmas present book to myself had arrived.

I’m a long-time aviation enthusiast and crime fiction buff,  especially the 1920s and 30s, so I’m looking forward to reading Death of an Airman by Christopher St. John Sprigg, which was originally published in 1934.

I rather wish that I could settle down somewhere like this to read it.

Painting by Stephen Darbishire

It’s a wonderful picture by Stephen Darbishire who is one of my favourite artists.

Have a good weekend!

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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!


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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