Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Putting My Feet Up

It seems that winter is certainly on it's way. We've had nothing but rain and strong winds for the last week, which means that digging over the allotment has been put on hold. Instead, I'm getting my gardening fix by putting up my feet and reading my magazines. I currently subscribe to Gardener's World magazine and Grow Your Own magazine, and I also have a stack of gardening books at hand ready for the long winter evenings when I'm confined to the house because of bad weather.

One thing I am short of is a good cook book. I have the usual celebrity chef books, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson etc. but I really want something aimed specifically at allotmenteers which also gives advice about storing and preserving so wondered if anyone has any recommendations.

Now that things in the garden have come to a bit of a standstill I won't be updating the blog as often as usual. There's so much to blog about in the summer months when everything is happily growing away, but much less in winter and I don't want each post to read that I haven't done anything due to the weather, I'm sure it would only get monotonous. From now on I'll only blog when I have something constructive to blog about. I hope that's ok.


  1. The weather is really dismal isn't it and I've promised to work on the allotment on Friday to give it a good digging over - I really hope it stops raining! Winter is not a good time for a gardening blog I agree so look forward to seeing you as and when. Enjoy those magazines!

    Jeanne x

  2. I have noticed that all those gardening magazines repeat articles. They don’t copy/paste them, but they do write about same topics in same seasons of each year. So I don’t buy them anymore. My magazines are now garden blogs.
    A good cooking / preserving / storing book is always good to have.

  3. Yes blogging about the garden during the winter will certainly not be happening once I am finished tidying it away, especially as I become a serious armchair gardener perusing seed catalogues and the like during the colder months.

    I'll be blogging more about the wildlife I spy through my windows and my arts and craft creations.

    Like vrlarica I also no longer subscribe to G.mags but my three year stack of them (2004 - 2007) were well thumbed this year for advice and inspiration, my favourites are Kitchen garden and Organic Gardening from HDRA membership.

  4. Yes it's definitely time for catching up on reading and making plans Jo. We need winter for a breather :) As for books you might want to have a peek at 'The Allotment Seasonal Planner' by Andi Clevely and 'How To Store Your Garden Produce' by Piers Warren. Also there is an excellent Readers Digest Book - 'Food From Your Garden'.

  5. P.S Made a mistake with the title of the last book Jo - it's 'Food From Your Garden and Allotment'.

  6. OK then, you're excused for now. But if I see you playing hooky down the shoppping arcade again there will be trouble young lady. Now go and do your homework!

  7. I think everyone has slowed down a bit with the end of the season. Funnily enough my husband bought me a copy of 'Grow Your Own' yesterday! I don't often buy them new any more, just dig out last year's copy - surprising how it all seems brand new if you leave it long enough!
    I can also recommend John Seymour's The New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency - plenty of food for thought!

  8. Hi Jo, Thanks for the comment about my hydrangea heads - I love the colours and I love that I haven't paid a small fortune for them! I know what you mean about downing tools for the winter. It's tough to get motivated when it's too cold outside. I discovered this blog yesterday ( - it's full of recipes and Hazel has had a cookbook published. I haven't tried any yet but will be having a trawl through soon. Hope this helps! Carolyn x

  9. Hope you can gt out to the allotment a little in breaks from the weather. Thanks for your comment on my desert plants. They develop strange shapes to adapt.

  10. More time on your hands? More time for blogging rather than gardening!

    Have you seen the allotment2kitchen blog devoted to both growing and cooking? See what you think

  11. Hi Jo,
    This weather is horrid huh?
    The best book we use is the Readers Digest Volume "The Allotment Gardeners Cookbook". The ISBN # is: 978-0-276-44260-5. We have used this a hell of a lot ! It's well thumbed!

    We buy all our books from the Book Depository( , they are rarely beaten on price, and do free postage!

    We also use the gardening forums for recipe idea's - there's loads of info out there. See for links to some forums, as well as a comprehensive list of chef's websites!

    Of course, I should also recommend a visit to our recipe blog: !

    We cant thank you enough for the award too, we've had over 400 hits on our sites since receiving it, now we're getting worried we're not posting enough updates !!!

    All the best to you and yours.

    Gary, Jen & Ruby

  12. I hope you managed to get something done at the allotment on Friday, Jeanne. It's a case of grabbing the good weather when we can at the moment, isn't it?

    I do understand what you mean, Vrtlarica. The magazines do tend to recycle their advice year on year but I still can't resist buying them. Garden blogs are great too though.

    I think you've got the right idea there, Kella. Armchair gardening is much cosier in winter.

    Thanks for the recommendations, Anna. I'll have a look for those books.

    Thanks, Dawn. I did have a good excuse for being at the shopping arcade though, Christmas shopping.

    My dad keeps a pile of old gardening magazines, Rachael. He does the same as you and looks back over previous years. Thanks for the book recommendation, it sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the link, Carolyn, I'll have a look later, it sounds great.

    I'm sure we've got a few decent days left, Mary Delle. It's just a case of taking advantage of them when they come along.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Mal, and thank you for the link. I've just had a quick look at the blog and it looks great, I'll have a better look later.

    Thanks for popping by, Gary, Jen & Ruby. You're very welcome, you have a great blog and it's definitely one I'll be following. Thanks also for the book recommendation. It's always good to know what other people think before you buy it.

  13. Hi Jo. You've probably had a enough of those top shelf mags by now...I've raided my kitchen shelves to discover how old my tastes are:

    "The 1992 Glenfiddich Award Winning Cookery Writer of the Year" Linda Brown's "The Cook's Garden" and Sophie Grigson's "Eat Your Greens" reprinted 5 times 1993!

  14. Oh I so know the feeling. I have no gardening vim at the moment, and strangely no gardening book/magazine lust. I keep waiting for it to strike, but it hasn't struck yet. I almost feel like going to the doctor about it!

  15. If you are still looking for a good cookbook, "The Joy of Cooking" always answers my questions, it seems to have everything covered. It has a lot of info on veggies.

  16. Hi, Jo, I found your blog through Avis (City Diggity) who kindly nominated me for the award... good idea, had me checking out a lot of new blogs. Maureen at Allotment Heaven is one of my favorite blogs, and I see she has just created a new one with recipes. You might want to check it out ... there's a link on her site. Pam

  17. Thanks Mal, some more there for me to check out.

    I'm sure you'll get back that urge in the near future, Linda, there's Christmas to get over first and then I bet it will be back in a flash.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Kat. I'll look out for that.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, Pam, and for your comment. Congratulations on the award, it's great how we can find so many new blogs through these awards. I love Maureen's blog too so will be following her new recipe blog with interest.


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