December in the Garden Smallholding

We’ve had some strange weather and seasons this year, I’ve usually cut the autumn raspberry canes down by now but they’re still fruiting, the summer canes are only just starting to lose their leaves. The rhubarb didn’t really die back properly and doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do either. Snow threatened to land last week but thankfully it came to nothing. I do like snow, I think most people do until the initial excitement and awe of it disappears, the novelty soon wears thin with me anyway. Around this time last year I remember trying to find my vegetable garden which was buried under several inches of cruel snow, at the moment I’m able to visit it whenever I feel the need to ponder or escape for some peace and quiet. Prodding at the soil and making plans in my mind for the coming growing season keeps me sane this time of year, it’s a need, an urge and I just have to be able to do it. There’s plenty of Gladiator parsnips left to pull, I will enjoy some roasted with rosemary sprigs tomorrow with my Christmas dinner. 

Wild birds are enjoying the food that I’m leaving out for them, they’ve already pecked their way through the dying sunflower heads of summer. I love watching the different types of garden birds that visit, it can be quite therapeutic as well as educational. A territorial robin has been amusing me this week, his antics certainly make washing up seem like less of a chore! Holly berries are also being devoured, it’s such a huge tree now that I don’t feel guilty about taking a few branches inside, along with Ivy for decoration.

Wishing all readers a lovely Christmas, many thanks for the visits to my blog and comments that you took the time to leave for me. I read each and every one of them, it’s nice to know that my little corner of blog land is being visited and enjoyed.

I’m a Winner!

Ooo how very exciting! I’ve just received confirmation that my photo (above) won third prize in a photo competition over at http://ukveggardeners.com/forum/topics/photo-competition-winners

Congratulations must go to first prize winner Carolyn over at http://urbanvegpatch.blogspot.com/ and second prize winner Mark Willis who can be found blogging here http://www.marksvegplot.blogspot.com Well done!

I will put my prize which is a seed bomb making kit from The Eden Project to good use at my allotment, it could do with a splash of colour and I adore wildflowers. Yay!

If you have an allotment, grow veg in your garden or patio tubs take a look at http://ukveggardeners.com and join this friendly community of gardeners.

Interesting Winter Salads

I enjoy the occasional fresh salad during winter, so with this in mind I decided to grow a few tasty things in the greenhouse. I’m growing autumn variety broad beans for the leaves only, autumn peas for young shoots and baby (immature) beets for leaves rather than roots. Herbs such as mint will overwinter well if kept frost-free and parsley will continue to grow happily if brought indoors during cold weather. Coriander is easily grown from seed all year round.

The plants are not going to be allowed to crop so I can afford to sow seed quite close together, packing in as many as I can. Fingers crossed for an interesting and tasty salad this winter. Have a go yourself!

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