Thursday, 25 August 2011

How Long Till Christmas?

I couldn't believe my eyes the other day when, along with my monthly RHS The Garden magazine, this RHS Christmas Book & Gift Selection brochure dropped though my door. It's still August for goodness sake. We may not have had much of a summer but we're still four whole months away from Christmas. It won't stop me leafing through it though, and I will make a mental list of the things I would quite like to find at the bottom of my Christmas stocking. I've had some great gardening presents bought for me over the last few years, I always appreciate something new for the garden.

I popped to the allotment last night to harvest a few things and noticed that my onions are just about ready to be lifted. They've done extremely well this year and some are quite large. We don't use that many onions in cooking so we'll be able to provide my mum and dad with plenty too. I love to have an excess of produce as it feels so good to share it with friends and family.

The beans have now started to produce and we're getting a good amount to harvest already. We made some follow up sowings too of which the dwarf French beans are just about to flower, so we should get another later crop, but the climbing beans are still, well, climbing, so I hope there's enough time left for them to produce some beans. We should be eating beans for weeks to come.


  1. I think Christmas (in the shops and media) comes earlier every year!

    Sounds like your crops are doing well, we've had a good year for beans this year after a couple of dismaal years with it being too dry and blackfly attacking. We're dealing with an abundance of fruit this year, can't complain too much though :-)

  2. No! It's too early to think about Christmas! When I was teaching we used to ban the word until Dec, it became a bit of a joke with the children! Well done with your onions, mine were quite small, too dry early in the year I guess.

  3. I got that through the post at the weekend too. I think it has been hidden from me.

  4. You could have waited until after the Bank Holiday before mentioning Christmas!
    I'm pleased with my onions this year as well.
    I think that I'll be lucky to see any French climbing beans!
    Flighty xx

  5. having caught sight of Christmas cards in oxfam yesterday, I'm not surprised! I usually pretend to get organised and realise on my daughter's birthday on 19th November that I've got a lot to do!

  6. Dear Jo, I've received a Christmas card catalog already. Congrats on your produce -- I have very little right now. P. x

  7. Garden centres are starting to send out information saying that the dreaded festival is approaching too so they will be full of grottoes!

    At least Swillington remains plant orientated.

  8. Aaargh! I can't even mention the word. I planted a late crop of french beans but they are yet to flower. Fingers crossed.

  9. I love beans...and they do seem to produce for a long time once they get going....They are a very profitable veg to grow.

    I too love to be able to share my produce with family and friends!!

    My onions are ready to be lifted but are now going to have to wait another week until after my hols...schools back then too so things should be a little saner in my house!!

  10. We saw 'festive boxes' being unpacked in a shop last week :( I do confess that I collect ideas and small gifts with The Season in mind throughout the year, but it depresses me to see it commercially so early. Talk about wishing your life away... Mo

  11. Must admit to groaning Jo when this fell out of the mag but have had a sneaky peek and added a couple of books to the wish list :) Hope that your beans do well - we are eating them by the bucketful at the moment.

  12. Christmas brochures do seem to come earlier every year, I have to say I love anything to do with the month of December and the holidays. Also the month we generally get our first snow! Kelli

  13. In previous years, shops have had the decency to wait until the summer holidays have ended before stocking up with Christmas items, but it now gets earlier every year, Dawn. I've had good crops of beans for the last three years, since I've had my allotment. It seems to be the one thing that doesn't let me down.

    I can imagine the kids trying to remember not to mention Christmas in the classroom, Su. Shame about your onions, lots of crops have suffered this year due to the weather at the start of the season.

    I shall have a leaf through it sometime soon, Blue Shed Thinking. I need some inspiration for presents.

    Sorry, Flighty. Glad to hear that your onions have done well, but a shame about your beans. I could have shared some of mine with you if you lived nearer.

    I too like to be organised in plenty of time for Christmas, Projectforty, but even I think that August is far too early. I usually wait until October half term and then start the shopping. I think that's early enough.

    It seems that this is the time of year when I'm harvesting the most, Pam. I haven't even started thinking about Christmas cards yet.

    Yes, you can rely on Swillington, Sue. It seems that all the garden centres have jumped on the bandwagon now, they all have grottoes.

    Yes, it's far too early yet to be mentioning Christmas, Elaine. Hope your late crop of French beans do well for you, it's nice to extend the season a little.

    I think beans are the best vegetable that I grow, Tanya. They're so easy, don't require much attention, and have never let me down. I think my onions will have to wait a little while before they're lifted, it's throwing it down here today.

    I'm exactly the same, Mo. I have lots of ideas for Christmas, and I do pick small presents up throughout the year if I see something on special offer, or find something which is just right for someone, but I hate to see it all kick off in the shops so early. It takes the specialness of the season away when it's been going on for months.

    I haven't looked at it yet, Anna, but I'm sure there'll be things in there which will make it on to my wish list. Glad to hear that you're beans have done well.

    I love Christmas and the whole festive season too, Kelli, just not in August. I don't mind snow when the shopping is all done and we can just watch it falling from the window, but I don't like it to come so early that I have to put things off because of it. I think we had a bad enough winter last year, we don't want it quite so bad this year.

  14. Oh dear it starts after Bonfire Night in my book but I suppose poor High St sales mean it's even earlier this year. Just ignore it like I do until a last minute panic ensues!

  15. Hi Jo,
    I have always absolutely loved Christmas but being bombarded with it from the end of August is way too much even for me. I am getting better every year at ignoring the hype though.
    You have done very well to get such a good crop of onions, along with a lot of people here, ours have been really small.

  16. I'll try to ignore it, Damo, but I'm sure once the kids are back at school, Christmas will be well and truly in the shops, Damo. It's hard to ignore once it's everywhere.

    I feel exactly the same, Bluebell. I love Christmas, but seeing it come so early spoils the actual season. There's been a lot of unusual faliures this year, sorry to hear about your onions.


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