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.

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.

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.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

I am distracted...

... from my distraction by a distraction.
I'm watching a little video explaining biochar and my eyes wander below the line where I read that if I want to see an albino squirrel I should look at the upper right corner after 35:35. And, yes indeedy, there it is...

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Cabbage Wrap

The 'January Kings' that I sited on my hügelkultur started off with great promise. But as summer progressed they just sat, unblinking, hidebound. Above was the biggest - a scant 6 inches in diametre. I realize (a couple of mushroom blooms was a clue), that I didn't get a good balance of composting material in the mound and it must be too acidic. Something I am currently trying to redress.
The row of 'de Wädenswil' cabbages did very well in another part of the garden and I've got two 3 litre crocks of sauerkraut fermenting in the potting shed.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Hot Chili Peppers

... still going strong in the greenhouse

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Annual Group Photo

A total of 53 lbs. of squash here. The big green hubbard up top is a 20 lb. monster, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Friday, November 01, 2019


autumn colours
  without a pot
    of red-brown soup

Matsuo Basho

And now to prepare the perfect recipe for sausage (as described in Tampopo) I must get a wild boar to eat the yams, butcher it immediately afterwards and then roast it's yam-stuffed intestines.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Some Potatoes

"It was one of those deliberately lovely Roman autumn afternoons, when walking is a climax of crisp joy with the thought of a cup of tea as the final finial." Hadrian VII Baron Corvo

Friday, May 11, 2018

Double Red

I've just put my sweetcorn plants into the ground. It seems early, but they got to a size that demanded transplant. Two varieties this year, 'Supersweet Mama' and 'Double Red' from Real Seeds. These look interesting with the red pigmentation extending right down into the roots. I have noticed (though haven't researched) that pests generally seem less interested in red varieties. The slugs will demolish all the green lettuce and leave the red for later. Same with the cabbage white and even the pigeons when it comes to brassicas.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Tiny, Darting Things

The weather spiked again this past weekend, reaching 27° with not a cloud in sight. Unless you happened to be in the Shetland Isles, which sits up there in the top of the map looking like Al Capp's Joe Btfsplk.
Beetroot seedlings are now about an inch high and potato growth has just become apparent. Below, another sample from the bog/fen/swamp (hey swampy) ...

There amongst the tadpoles are a crustacean/amphipod, a couple of nematodes(?) perhaps, and about a thousand other tiny, darting things.