Brussels Sprouts are one of my most favourite vegetables. It is a happy day when the first sprouts are ready to pick, I even like to eat them for breakfast! Every year I grow several varieties to extend the sprout harvesting season – but sadly this year, it hasn’t gone according to plan.
October is such a busy time in my garden – harvesting, clearing, sowing, planting and getting everything ready for the winter months. Gardening plans have been hindered however by so much rain!
Hasn’t the month passed quickly? I can hardly believe that it is August on Thursday. Today I’ve been enjoying more of an indoor kind of day, catching up with things at my desk and general chores, because it has – finally, oh joy! – been raining. I love sunshine and warmth, but it has been very dry for my garden and the polytunnel has become so hot.
Over wintered and some spring sown spinach is bolting in the garden – it’s the time of year for spinach to flower – so we have an abundance of it to use. Yesterday I made two quite different dishes featuring spinach for the lunch for our compost course at Homeacres: rich chocolatey spinach brownies and a spinach pate, with a rich depth of flavours.
Kale, a nutrient dense vegetable high in vitamins, is well known for its many health benefits. Easy to grow and winter hardy in the UK, it’s a fantastic plant for the hungry home gardener. Kale’s delicious leaves make a tasty addition to all kinds of meals cooked and raw, but did you know that you can also eat other parts of this cruciferous vegetable and that growing it benefits wildlife too?!
It’s spring and I am thinking of winter vegetables! Root vegetables are surprisingly easy to grow using no dig methods. Yesterday I sowed parsnips, carrots, radish, Hamburg parsley and scorzonera into a recently applied mulch of compost on top of my heavy clay allotment soil.
New allotment plans, magazine articles, writing a new book and other plans for 2019.
It has been a busy time since my last blog post and how the garden has changed! The weather has been typically British, from unseasonably warm to icy cold (for Somerset) and back again. Mornings are misty, deciduous trees almost entirely without leaves now and anything frost tender has died.
The polytunnel has frozen a few times now, I love the patterns on the frozen polythene, although it is still reaching 30˚C in there some days. I have electronic thermometers in the greenhouse and polytunnel and it’s so interesting to see the extremes of temperatures undercover, compared with outside in the garden.
The best laid plans do not always come to fruition! Gardening is a great leveller. Whether you are growing on an allotment, in a window box or own a huge private estate, nature always has the upper hand – and that is exactly as it should be.
Like much of the country, Bruton has been very hot and dry for weeks and weeks. Frustratingly all of the recent rains have missed my small town.
The hedgerows are filled with creamy elderflowers. It’s time to forage! Choose elderflower heads that are in full blossom and at their most fragrant to make delicious drinks, skin care and preserves.
I’ve been busy in the kitchen making elderflower champagne, liqueur, vinegar, sugar, oil and dried elderflowers too. Here are the recipes.
May is always a busy month for gardeners and it feels even more so this year here – is that the same for you?
Every year I mulch my no dig allotment with an inch or two of composted manure or homemade compost, but this year I am trying something different!
March has felt much colder, wetter and darker than usual. Occasional bursts of golden sunshine and hints of the warmth that will (surely it must?!) be here soon have brightened an otherwise most peculiar month.
Every Monday I pour my morning coffee and plan my week. Last week was so busy with talks, writing, a course day on Saturday; there was little time for gardening at home, so I scheduled Sunday as a whole day of gardening at home.
Usually the end of February and early March heralds a dramatic increase of activity in the greenhouse – but the unusually cold weather means last week was more about snowing than sowing!
Happy New Year! I haven’t blogged for a while because Charles and I have been away. Before dawn on Christmas day we were at Heathrow airport and spent the day flying across Africa, to Cape Town. See how quiet the airport is at 4 in the morning!
My allotment has been quite neglected recently. All of my travels (Yorkshire for a wedding, then Thailand and Laos, with a work trip to Ireland just 2 days after returning), my work and autumnal weather suddenly arriving after a mild sunny spell – quite a shock after Thailand for me! – has meant that I am not quite where I would like to be for November 22nd. Nevermind though, it will all get done and I have had a lovely time.
This is the eighth in my series of blog posts, explaining how to grow vegetables and herbs which can be sown now to see you through the winter and spring – no hungry gap in 2018!
I have added the category No Hungry Gap, so you can find all of the blogs easily using the search facility.
I’ve mostly been concentrating on my at home garden, so it was a real pleasure to be able to spend some time at my allotment, getting ready for everything that will be planted there over the next week or so.
I’d let the brassicas go to flower for the wildlife, but now needed most of the space for new plantings.