Category Archives: in the garden

Spring flowers

I’m trying to make an effort this summer to practice different photographic techniques.  When I was in the garden recently, I decided to photograph flower heads with a backing behind them, so that all you can see is the flower.  I like the effect, but it does make me want a proper macro lens so that I can do super zoomed in photos!

Daffodil

Tulips

Red cowslip

Potatoes and beans and garlic, oh my!

Spring is here, and the first veg have now gone in the ground (the garlic doesn’t count as we left it to over-winter).

Veg beds March 2014

The first bed is the garlic, which is growing well (the mild winter has definitely helped!).  The bed covered in fleece has beans in it.  The fleece isn’t so much to protect against cold weather as it is to stop the birds having lunch!  Sometimes they are greedy even though there are already two feeders in the garden!  The third bed at the back has potatoes in it.

Dunnock in the garden

Here’s a dunnock from the garden.  The buds of the cherry tree are just starting to open. We’ll have blossom soon.

Spring March 2014

The cat and the compost

This post is a cat photo post, which I know we all like :)  First off though, thanks for hanging with me whilst I fixed the website.  I really need to stop tinkering, as it never ends well!  Just a quick note to say that if you have my email address saved, it has now changed and I couldn’t figure out how to forward emails from the old account.  Please message me on Twitter or fill out the contact form if you want the new address.

Anyway, cat photos! The real reason you’re here!

The cat and the compost

The cat and the compost 2

The cat and the compost 3

First allotment session of 2014

The weather yesterday (Sunday) was absolutely lovely.  It was t-shirt weather, and it was time to visit the allotment and clear the weeds from winter.

Sadly, the weeds have absolutely loved the mild winter we’ve had, and they have spread EVERYWHERE.  We may be fighting a losing battle with the allotment this year.  We’d already decided we were going to pull back a bit this year.  We share it with some friends, but our garden was neglected last year and we want to focus on that instead.  So I may get fewer allotment visits this year.

Allotment March 2014 1

These daisies are a new addition to the weed problem at the allotment, but they’re so pretty that I will leave them!  Here is a bunch peaking through the crazy paving path.

Allotment March 2014 2

We never cleared up before winter, so there are lots of dead plants everywhere from last summer.  This is what a sunflower head looks like after a winter!

Allotment March 2014 3

Lots of insects are now waking up.  This little ladybird had to be moved as that’s a weed he’s walking on!

Allotment March 2014 4

I also found this little chap when I was clearing weeds.  I think it’s a baby toad.  He was tiny!

Allotment March 2014 5

I love nettles when they’re in flower.  This clump are an early source of food for insects, so we won’t clear them for a while (there are plenty of other weeds to clear!).

Allotment March 2014 6

The rosemary bush is also in bloom.  The delicate lilac flowers are very pretty.

I don’t have any photos of the allotment itself, as it’s a right mess!

Staring out the window

Last week I got struck down with the lurgy, twice!  First I had a cold, and then I had a stomach bug, and I spent a lot of time staring out the window watching the birds.  I took a few photos when I could, although some of the birds refused to come near the window so I could get a good shot!

The mornings are getting light now, and the birds are starting to sing all day again.  I’m glad spring is on its way, although we haven’t had a bad winter here in Lincolnshire (coast excepted, given that they flooded).  A couple of weekends ago we weeded the garden for the first time, and today I saw my first butterfly.  Soon it will be time to plant seeds and get ready for veg growing.

Blue Tit March 2014

Blue Tit

Starling March 2014

Song thrush

Female blackbird March 2014

Female blackbird

Male blackbird March 2014

Male blackbird

Family of blackbirds March 2014

Mummy and daddy blackbird having lunch :)

Chaffinch March 2014

Chaffinch

Great Tit March 2014

Great tit

Robin March 2014

Robin

Robin 2 March 2014

Wren March 2014

I think this is a wren, but it wouldn’t come out of the hedgerow so I didn’t get a positive ID.

A busy little garden

The birds have now moved back into the garden, after being absent for most of the summer.  It always surprises me how many different birds pop up in the garden to get some food.  I live in suburbia, and yet there is so much wildlife around me making a home.

I took all these photos in the space of an hour.  I’m afraid they’re a bit rubbish because I took them through a window, but I hope you enjoy them anyway!

Birds in the garden Dec 1

Robin

Birds in the garden Dec 2

Blackbird

Birds in the garden Dec 3

Blue tit

Birds in the garden Dec 4

Song thrush

Birds in the garden Dec 5

Wren

Season of squashes and damp rain

As the title states, it’s the season of squashes and damp rain.  If you are British, you are know what damp rain is.  It’s the drizzly rain that comes at the beginning of winter and gets everywhere.  You can’t escape it’s fuzzy wetness whenever you go outside.  It’s basically like living in a cloud.  You know how Arctic regions have lots of different kinds of snow?  Britain has lots of different kinds of rain.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the weather!  I wanted to show you all the squashes we’ve harvested this year at the allotment.

Squashes

We’re growing two types of squash: butternut squash (which I forgot to photograph) and a winter squash.  We’ve harvested 27 of these winter squashes from four plants.  Not bad going.  They basically taste like butternut squash, but have more seeds inside.  Hopefully they’ll last through winter so we’ve got some fresh veg to keep us going.

The pumpkin is one of Simon’s (who we share the allotment with), it’s such a rich orange colour.  He has quite a few and we didn’t grow any this year, so hopefully we can have one of his for pumpkin soup!

In which I build a frog pond

A couple of weeks ago, I built a frog pond.  I was inspired by the RSPB’s new “Give nature a home” campaign, and it did not go well because the stupid thing drained away even though I had covered the holes in the flower pot.  So, last week I built version 2.

This time, I bought a flower pot specifically for the project, and made sure at point of sale that it did not have any drainage holes in it.  I also ended up buying two pond plants, just because. I built some little frog houses out of broken pieces of terracotta, and put some twigs and bits of wood around to make it homely.

I live next to a railway line, and so I built it right next to the embankment.  It’s not an easy spot to take photographs in, but hopefully it’s wild enough for our little amphibian friends.

Frog pond

So now I have built it, but will they come? I hope so!

The allotment in July

Although I haven’t mentioned much about the allotment except strawberries, the rest of it is growing!  I took a few pictures for you when I was there the other day, although for some reason I didn’t photograph the beans.  This year, for the first time, we are growing broad beans.  A friend gave us some they’d grown last year, and they were delicious.  I can’t wait for ours to be ready!

Everything is still running a bit behind after the weather in May.  I guess it isn’t going to catch up now, and will just be late all year.  The strawberries have almost finished now, so we may have a few weeks where nothing is ready to harvest, before the beans start.  We have been getting occasional mange tout from the garden, but definitely not a full crop yet.

We’ve pulled up a couple of onions, but we will probably leave the rest in the ground for a while longer.  They vary considerably in size this year, I guess because of the weather (and the weeds!). We’ve not had much success with potatoes this year, but we’ve put some new ones in this week that should be ready in November.

Apples

Apples

Potato flowers

Potato flowers

Cherries

Cherries

Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants

Red apple

Red apple

Blueberries

Blueberries

onion head

Last year’s onions, producing seeds.

Archie and the bird bath

Gratuitous Archie photo!

How are your vegetables and fruits progressing?