Saturday 31 December 2011

Bee House

My Christmas presents usually contain something for the garden, and this year was no exception as Hubby bought me this lovely bee house. Although it's ceramic, the design is based on the original straw or wicker skeps which have been used for centuries to keep honey bees, though this is for Bumble Bees. It comes with hints and tips on how to attract bees to nest in the house so I shall be siting it at the back of my border in February and keeping my fingers crossed. It would be great if I could get some bees to nest in it, I'll certainly let you know how I get on with it.

I hope everyone's had a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for all the good wishes you left on my last post. The parsnips which I dug up from the allotment were delicious served with our Christmas dinner.

Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog this year, and those who have also left comments, they're very much appreciated. May I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year, and all the best for the 2012 growing season.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Why oh why didn't I go to the allotment to collect my Christmas veggies on Thursday? Instead, I left it till yesterday when it was raining cats and dogs and I got thoroughly wet through. Unfortunately, my sprouts just aren't good enough, so it's shop bought for another year, and my leeks are just far too small, so all we've ended up with for our Christmas dinner plate from the allotment is parsnips. They'll be delicious anyway.

As you can see, Archie is already in the Christmas spirit and is waiting for Santa Paws to arrive.

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.

Monday 19 December 2011


It's a good job that I've got plenty of leeks at the allotment as it would seem that I'll need to use quite a few at a time as they're so small. It's not the first time that my leeks haven't grown very big. I always start them off in a plant pot, but I think I'm leaving it too late before planting them out. I think I'll try transplanting them earlier next year and see if that makes a difference. This photo was taken a few weeks ago so they may have grown a little more by now.

I shall pop down to the allotment at the end of the week to see what veggies we'll be having with our Christmas dinner. I'm hoping that there'll be home grown sprouts on my Christmas dinner plate, but time will tell.

The weather has certainly turned colder just lately. I know many people in different parts of the country have experienced snow already. I'm starting to wonder if we're going to have a white Christmas again like we did last year.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Giveaway Winner

I'd like to announce that the winner of my giveaway is Lorna Watson from The Green Lady blog. The book will be winging it's way to you, Lorna, just as soon as you let me have your address.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the giveaway. I'm currently reading another book which I will offer as a giveaway prize at a later date so watch this space.

Monday 12 December 2011

Liebster Award

I'd like to thank Mum from Mum's Simply Living Blog for awarding me the Liebster Award. This award is given to blogs with less than two hundred followers, though I think this number has increased whilst it's being doing the rounds, it used to be one hundred followers.

The award comes with a few rules.

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to them.
3. Choose five blogs which you would like to pass the award on to and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'd like to pass the award on to the following five blogs.

I know that many people don't accept awards, so I don't want to put anyone under any pressure, especially at this time of year when it's so busy. I think it's nice to be able to recognise blogs which you enjoy reading though, so do take a peek at my nominations.

Thanks again for the award, Mum.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already done so. You have until 14th of December to leave a comment on my giveaway post.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Brussels Sprouts

I've tried a couple of times previously to grow Brussels sprouts without much success, but it looks as though I might manage to taste a few morsels this year. They can be quite hard to grow, producing opened leaves instead of those which are tightly packed. One of the reasons this happens is that the soil in which the plant is grown is too loose. It needs to be firm, so I make sure that I really tamp the soil down around the plant, though it hasn't made any difference in previous years. They're still a little on the small side yet, so I'm hoping that the winds that we're forcast don't blow them over or damage them in any way before they have a chance to develop. I don't need to grow many, there's only me in our house who will eat them. I don't think you can have a Christmas dinner without some sprouts on the plate.

The allotment is suffering from neglect at the moment. It's always busy at this time of year with Christmas preparations as well as other things taking priority over our time. I haven't managed to get all the winter digging done so it looks as though we'll be digging in spring instead, all my good intentions have fallen by the wayside yet again. The only thing we're visiting the plot for at the moment is to harvest.

I'm pleased with our veg stocks at the moment. At the allotment, we've got cavolo nero, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, curly kale, parsnips and leeks. There's onions and shallots in store. In the freezer there's mange tout, runner beans, French beans and carrots. We've still got the two pumpkins which we didn't get round to carving for Halloween which I haven't done anything with yet. We've got enough veg to see us through for a while yet.

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, don't forget to do so. You have until 14th of December to leave a comment on my giveaway post.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Book Giveaway

I've recently read Digger's Diary - Tales From The Allotment by Victor Osborne and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would offer it as a giveaway prize on my blog.

The blurb can tell you what the book is about much better than I'm able.

In a wild landscape of unkempt vegetation and higgledy-piggledy sheds, criss-crossed by tiny paths like secret jungle tracks, lies Victor Osborne's inner-city allotment. Here, along with fellow 'diggers' like the Ace Cultivator, the Birdman and even the Hon.Sec. himself, he grows everything from Brussels sprouts to sweet peas, not to mention greengages and tayberries. In this fascinating and charming chronicle of a year in the life of his own patch, he shares with us the highs and lows of a multi-ethnic gardening community in which status is determined not by your income but by the standard of your produce (especially at the Annual Show), and in which a night's unseasonal frost can ruin everything...

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning the book, please leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will run until 14th of December after which time a winner will be chosen at random. I'm happy to post worldwide.

I also have a giveaway running on my Through The Keyhole blog so pop over there to be in with a chance of winning.

Good Luck.
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