17 Jan 2017

Pig Latin for gardeners

(Photo: Looking back on the glory years!) 

I'm fascinated how language constantly evolves and new words pop up. I discovered an amazing new-to-me word the other day - 'veganuary'. Heard of it?  I hadn't until I spotted the term in a vegetarian magazine. That should have given me the clue but of course I read it as VEG-anuary - what a brilliant word to start the food gardening year, I thought!  After reading the article, I realised the word was coined to adopt January as the month when people are challenged to try vegan (animal free) eating habits.

Ah well. Bubble burst. The upside to vegan-uary is that delicious healthy veg based recipes have been cropping up (pun intended) in a number of newspapers, supermarkets and magazines. This is a good thing as I need to refocus my diet on wholesome grub after christmas indulgences and, because I'm so enjoying the soups and salads that I've been eating in the past week, those meals are providing veg inspiration when choosing what to grow this year.  Always grow veg that will excite and inspire you to eat your produce.  So why not think in terms of veg-anuary!

Seed catalogues have been popping through my letterbox for a while now and plans for the growing year ahead are pretty much constantly in my thoughts.  The term veg-anuary perfectly suits my January pre-occupations and IMHO should be reclaimed for the month that veg growers choose their seeds.  It's now firmly taken root in my brain. (Second pun intended.)

Extending the concept, how about adulterating some more gardener's gibberish? I could veg-azzle and veg-ewel the garden this year with annuals and cut flowers among the veg. It will all be very veg-olly as I veg-uggle my time to tend my plants. And I'll be positively veg-oyful as I wander the plot in a veg-aunty fashion in the summer evenings. Too silly? Probably.

So back to the seed catalogues to hone my selection.  The list so far includes the basics - carrots, chard, beetroot, kale, broccoli, climbing beans, spring onions, salad leaves, tomatoes (pink ones are tempting me) peas and shallots; chillies and peppers in a mini-greenhouse. I have to work out how much I can fit in but I also rather fancy growing edamame (soya) beans, leeks, maybe some sweetcorn and more cape gooseberries this year. The jury's still out on courgettes but maybe just the one. And then there are the flowers ... I've seen a gorgeous old rose coloured Cosmos in the Chiltern Seeds catalogue and that's just for starters.  Ah, yes ... the start of a new gardening year; the love affair continues ...

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How's everyone else doing in their seed choices this year?  Keeping to the same-old or trying anything new? And who agrees that the word should be veg-anuary rather than vegan-uary!?

10 Jan 2017

Digging up the past


Hello and Happy New Year!  I'm wondering should I retitle my blog 'The Absent Blogger'?  I've not been around much recently! My 2016 stats show that I started twice the number of posts as were finished and published, leaving lots of good ideas and lovely experiences still sitting in my intray. Hmmm, not good. Writing went on the back burner for a number of reasons, the most recent of which was making the time to clear my parents' home before it was sold just before Christmas.  So why 'digging up the past'? Because I was allowed to dig up several plants to bring back to London as a living reminder of the garden that my mum loved.

25 Nov 2016

Let's hear it for ugly fruit!

Windfall apples

Given that the meagre fruit from my veg patch apple trees has long gone, I could hardly believe my eyes when I walked into my niece's garden the weekend before last; at the far far end of the garden, the branches of the two eating apple trees were still weighed down with fruit. Not only that but the grass all around was littered with windfalls so the fruit was definitely ready for picking.

21 Nov 2016

A glimpse of the Chiltern Hills

To the barrows

What would make your perfect weekend?  There's always something calling for my attention so the ideal weekend for me is when I make time to step away from normal life and enjoy something different.  It's not often that a few days come together as faultlessly as they did on the weekend before last. For a start I had a free Friday - always a good start! I planned three days of bliss with one day gardening, one day at an RHS show and Sunday walking in the Oxfordshire countryside with family. With sun:rain:sun weather, I couldn't have wished for better.

17 Nov 2016

RHS London Urban Garden Show 2016

Cactus light

Hoping that the weather forecast was accurate for the weekend, on my agenda for a very wet Saturday was the new Urban Garden show from RHS London.  What's that? A gardener hoping for a wet Saturday? I had my reasons; I wanted to get along to the show without having to choose between indoors or outside. The pull to be outside on a sunny day is strong.

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