Saturday, August 08, 2020

Tom-ay-to Tom-ah-to

It may be another bumper year for tomatoes. We are eating as fast as we can and also oven-roasting and freezing batches. The chief factor in their survival over the coming weeks will be my ability to keep up with their water needs as the gods have been no help whatsoever. These are possibly the driest 5 months I have experienced in London and currently a prolonged hot spell with no rain in sight. Ugh.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Spectral Dust

Dang! I see, too late, that there was a 'potato photo of the year' contest. Next time.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


The one in the middle is about 10 foot tall, bloom the size of a large dinner plate and the base of the stem is about 2 inches diameter. The others were gifts of Dr.K, so I don't know the variety but have several blooms per plant of about 6 inch diameter and overall height is close to 10 feet as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Curly Cukes

Coming thick and fast now... Telegraph and Longue de Chine

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Dug some second early Charlottes yesterday. When I opened my storage sack I found these. They look a bit like arteries feeding some desiccated organs. Perhaps if I was more adept at haruspicy I might decipher a message regarding this year's harvest.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Winsome X 6

Started hatching three weeks ago today. Another week and they will be able to go outside, for now I've been bringing outside in to them.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Solstice Stock-Taking

After zero rain in May we have had a couple of nice wettings this month so everything is looking a bit happier. One sunflower is taller than me now, potatoes are flowering, first blueberry has ripened and tayberries continue to produce copiously. I especially like the things that just self seed - foxglove, nasturtiums, chard - popping up in a path or next to a cabbage. Still no red tomatoes, but we've eaten a courgette.

Friday, June 05, 2020

June Already

And that day of rain in April was it. There was a promise of rain yesterday which didn't materialize. So watering has been an almost nightly activity. Collected the first handfuls of snow peas and giant Tayberries. Small tomatoes forming on 'Peasant' early variety and tiny little cucumber beginnings are visible. And I can never get enough of marvelling at tendrils...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


An end to our drought! And with the rain the mercury has dropped to 10°. I removed all my seedlings and plants from the greenhouse and cosseted them indoors under the grow lamp for the day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Seed Packets

Above are some of the newly designed seed packets from 'Real Seeds' which I received this winter. I have only just discovered footage of their 120 year old seed packing machine! Brilliant. See it in action here.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Barley Patch

My trial 'field' of Lawina Hull-less Barley is coming along nicely!

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Remains of Today

Cleaning up, re-positioning and re-kajiggering the hen house to make it into a duck domicile has turned up the treasures pictured here.
Exhibit a. A solitary wasp nest

Exhibit b. Dead Peacock butterfly

Saturday, March 28, 2020


H has sent me this very helpful guide to manoeuvring one's sheep...

Monday, March 23, 2020


Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

W.H.Auden The Fall of Rome

Pigeon nesting near London Bridge, possibly unaware of the pandemic

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Up-side?

It hasn't been this quiet since Eyjafjallajökull blew.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

First Pull

Back from hibernation now and glorious weather in the garden - when it's not raining.
Today we'll have our first taste of rhubarb ...

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Green Meat Radish

"I first of all found that radishes agreed with me, then they did not,
now they do again."
Michel de Montaigne

Friday, January 03, 2020

January 2020

Temperatures remain mild here in SE London and we haven't had a ground frost yet. We had 150% of our average rainfall and 1.3° above average temperature in December.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Tiny Tim

'He' has discovered the seed I put out for the robin.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Meruhen Kabocha

Just split open my only Meruhen Kabocha squash. Beautiful thick dry dark orange flesh. A tip-top fruit which tonight will be cooked with chestnuts, rice, sage, and butter. A recipe found on the internet.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

Jardin au Crépuscule

The weatherman predicts 0° tonight. We have shifted the lemon tree into the greenhouse.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


Time to recycle nutrients, but here and there, small pockets of resistance.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Still In Bloom

"Nasturtiums and other Indian flowers are still in bloom: a sure token that there has been no frost."
Gilbert White
November 11th 1772

The temperature has dipped as low as 2° at night this past week, but has been hovering between 8° to 10° during the daytime. Good weather for getting on with the pruning, weeding and tidying.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


A few King Edward potatoes formed fruiting berries. Now harvested, cleaned, fermented, dried and stored.
Oh the possibilities!

Friday, November 08, 2019

Bird Bath

I have overhauled, weeded and removed the box edging (done in by the box leaf-mining caterpillars) in the central circular bed. And the birdbath - pieced together from ceramic shards I have collected along the Thames at low tide - is now sited in the middle on a plinth high enough to be clear of any feline intruders.
Motif inspired by Tom Waits.