Monday, December 31, 2012

What's In A Year

I didn't think I was a superstitious person but two thousand and THIRTEEN could things get any worse? Looking back over my photos from 2012 I realised that I had a pretty good growing year in spite of challenging weather and feeling like I wasn't spending enough time cultivating. My usual small amount of seed sowing resulted in an even smaller than usual amount of plants but there were things that produced well for me without me doing anything such as the strawberries and artichokes. There will always be failure but hard work pays off and even when it feels as though we aren't doing our best we're often doing not too badly at all. And even when it feels as though we're weighted down with never ending disasters in truth we're never given more than we can cope with. I love not knowing what's in store. I've chosen twelve photos from 2012 with one more for luck: 2013, bring it on.
In early 2012 the purple sprouting broccoli I planted in 2011 was one of the best crops I've ever had. I also had some overwintered Chinese salad leaves.

I had good intentions; I managed to raise a good number of cosmos plants, no peppers and two sad little tomatillo plants that never grew very big but managed to put out a couple of flowers that never made it to fruits.

There weren't many meals made with produce from the allotment but this is one of my favourites, a very simple stir fry with garlic, soya sauce, stock and peanut butter.

The Easter Garden with little potato cave weighed a ton because of the thick layer of crocks I had but in the bottom of the dish. There was no way my four year old could carry it to school and even though I was hoping he would help this project was clearly made by mum alone. He still got a little certificate.

There is nothing like the first sight of my strawberry and cherry plum tree blossom.

And a short while later these! They weren't so sweet in 2012 but a sprinkling of sugar helped.

Another surprise for 2012 was my first harvest of globe artichokes. I always thought there wasn't much point to them and cooked them not expecting to like them. Eating them I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. My husband and I managed to eat all of these with my homemade garlic aioli in one sitting.

The crops were doing really well at Pollock Country Park in Glasgow at the height of summer. I really loved the giant saucepan bursting with delicious treats.

I visited The Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley for the first time in 2012. I took over 400 photographs and came home with this absolute beauty, the pleasantly scented Rosa Hot Chocolate. Named for it's colour NOT the scent. Though it looks more rouge and less chocolate in these photos. Maybe one day they will invent a rose that smells of chocolate.

Hastings is lovely all year round in any weather. We had enough balmy days to enjoy rock pooling and swimming in the sea.

My raised beds were neglected most of the year. The sweetcorn on the left produced a great crop. Stick it in leave it alone and as long as the badgers can't get at it gorgeous plump cobs are produced. The fennel and mint took over everywhere else.

My wee doggy is eleven now. He's showing his age but we've had lots of lovely walks together. The whole wood has changed colour to match his coat on this walk in Autumn.

Wishes you a gloriously green new year to you all X

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas day. I have been too busy to keep on top of my blog lately. I started volunteering at my son's school creating a little wildlife area, tidying up their garden and doing some gardening activities with the little ones. So much fun. I took some photos with my phone but haven't been able to download them.

Every time the kids come outside to do something they are bursting with excitement and enthusiasm and are so keen to get involved. I contacted the local council who delivered bark chippings for free. The kids loved filling the wheelbarrow and covering over the paths and other play areas where the grass had worn away. They planted spring bulbs, weeded and we moved some overgrown hebes to make more room for growing salad and veg next year. I have also been writing a grant application to create an outdoor learning space in a small overgrown woodland area. I really love working with the children.

A five year old was so funny picking and eating handfuls of chives for the first time. He was laughing his head off. I think he just loved the idea he could pick something that looked like grass and eat it. He filled his pockets with chives and went back to class.

A big thank you to all the parents who came to our Ground Force day. So much more can be achieved with a group of people and it's loads more fun too. My talented friend Polly showed the children how to make decorated jar lanterns. They were hung from trees and lit for the school's bonfire celebration. Looked fantastic. 

I didn't complain once about the bad weather this year. I really didn't have time to do much work on my allotment. It would have been very annoying if everyone had been raving about the amazing produce they were cultivating. When I heard of failed seedlings and poor growth I was quite glad I hadn't bothered. It's bad enough with the badgers and birds helping themselves to everything I grow.

Nevertheless, I wish everyone a bountiful harvest in 2013.
Lots of love, The Green Lady X

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