Sunday, 10 January 2016

Winter pastime

Winter has finally arrived, although thanks to our microclimate we haven't had any snow, unlike the rest of southern Scotland and the Central Belt. The weather has been pretty atrocious but at least no flooding. We managed to see the New Year in with aurora borealis. That just has to be a good omen.

In the greenhouse, the salad, spring cabbage and cauliflower seedlings are coming along and a dozen or so peas Douce Provence. I hope the lower temperature will spell the death knell for the aphids still remaining in the conservatory.
Winter greenhouse
Outside we're giving the chickens the freedom of the top paddock since they've grazed down their entire area and we figure they can't do much damage at this time of year. The hand-reared chickens have a much more varied diet than the ones we bought. They graze a lot more and especially like dock leaf and ground elder. They seem to love exploring the new area, but unfortunately seem more drawn to the front garden (where I had spread some mulch, which they love to throw around) than the lush grass. Soruss usually gives the game away by crowing loudly outside our kitchen window. Then one of us goes out to herd them back again with a stick. It's a bit like herding cats.

We're just about to run out of onions, despite planting about 400 last year, but the rest of the alliums are still plentiful.
Leek Musselburgh bed
The Egyptian onions have spread a lot
Other veg are beginning to appear:
Rhubarb, rhubarb
Garlic shoots
Broad bean Aguadulce
Any visitors will have to take away some neeps since we've got so many:

Swedes Marian
And the purple-sprouting broccoli looks ready to eat already:

Purple-sprouting broccoli
Because of the bad weather the DIY has been progressing apace, but we are heartily sick of it. Bring on the hedge planting of February and the polytunnel installation of March.


  1. It looks all so unbelievable and delicious! We are just having a blizzard, and even without that, there would be nothing edible sprouting from the ground.

  2. Snow is forecast for tonight, but it will be gone so quick that I probably won't have time to take photos. Looking forward to lots and lots of broccoli soon.

    1. I'd be green and purple with envy but fortunately we have still got plenty of green and purple (and white) cauliflower in the freezer - that helps some...

  3. Proper neeps they look fantastic! Mine were very small - funny how the 'big' neeps here grow small while the 'little' turnips grow big! You'd have to be Scottish to get that I think! My celeriac (sob) grown from seed, planted out, growing fabulous leaves (still), NO bulking up what so every will probably go straight to flower stalk...ah for warmth and rain but then we'd all get blight!

    1. The big neeps and the swollen celeriacs must be due to all that good Scottish rain we had last summer! I always sow quite a lot of extra celeriac, just in case half of them don't bulk up.