A walk around my garden Tuesday December 17 2019

Photo taken February 2019.

Something I love to do is pot up a lot of bulbs to make a table display. Bulbs are fantastic value right now. Today I bought two sacks of daffodils reduced from £24 to £3. They were virtually giving them away. I just couldn’t resist. So the morning was spent cramming them into 6″ pots with recycled compost saved from summer. As pots of compost are not very inspiring, I’m sharing a photo of my table display from February this year. Isn’t it cheerful to think we will be looking at all this colour in just a few months.

From left to right, there’s white Carnegie hyacinths, yellow tete a tete daffodils, Blue Jacket hyacinths, white Joan of Arc crocus, and various bright and wonderfully scented primulas and primroses. The perfume carries all around the veg garden. Such a joy after a cold, wet autumn and winter.

Some bulbs just starting to come into flower are Paper White narcissi. I started these off a few months ago in 10″ pots in the cold poly tunnel. There will be a steady stream of highly -scented pure white flowers for the next three months. Fabulous for cut flower displays for the potting shed and house. My favourites.

This week I harvested some of the new potatoes grown in recycled compost bags for Christmas.

I wrote about planting them here :https://bramblegarden.com/2019/08/07/im-growing-new-potatoes-for-christmas/

There were a few critical comments on social media when I posted this. Some people said it was a waste of time, there wouldn’t be much of a crop, the potatoes just didn’t grow for them. I was quite down-hearted for a while, thinking I might have wasted my money on the seed potatoes. But, this week, I tentatively plunged my hand into the compost bags, and found these beauties. There’s lots more to harvest. The good thing about growing them in bags is you can just take a few at a time. So I’m glad I didn’t listen to negative comments and give up. I’ll certainly grow them again for next Christmas, and I’ll double the number of bags; that new potato taste is absolutely wonderful in the middle of winter. A special treat. Which is what gardening is all about, pushing the boundaries and trying something new. A little bit of success is so encouraging.

Another winter task I love is making plant labels from twigs. I’ve lots of self-sown ash and hazel trees in the garden with nice straight stems. A good way to control them and make something useful from the wood is to cut them into 8″ -10″ lengths and shave off one side for the writing. It’s a lovely soothing job when you’ve spent time battling through crowds for Christmas shopping. Restores balance and good humour!

Following a wander around my garden, there’s always a trip through the top gate and out on to the back fields. These trees are much admired every day of the year. There’s usually a buzzard perched in this first one. It flies along to the next tree, keeping just ahead of me, as I amble along. Quite often there’s a pheasant in the ditch. Meg almost catches the tail feathers as they leave it until the very last moment to fly away. She is being trained to stop and do no harm. But the pheasants don’t know they aren’t in any danger. They make quite a noisy fuss, skimming low over the fields right to the other side and safety.

Along our walk today we visit the sunflower field. Great clouds of small birds rise out of the crop. The sunflowers are like statues- all facing south, their heads frozen in time, but determinedly facing the sun. Backs to the north wind. Like us really. Today, I’m facing south and trying to catch any slight rays of sunshine I can.

I find lambs’ tails. Hazel catkins. That’s sunshine to me. Soon be spring, they seem to be saying.

What signs of spring have you found in your garden today? Have you got snowdrops showing through yet? Here they are poking through the ground, tiny milky white buds like the eye of a needle.

I like to read Six on Saturday. Mine are always more than six, and I can’t always take part on the right day. Life is too short to worry about these things. https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/six-on-saturday-14-12-2019/

35 thoughts on “A walk around my garden Tuesday December 17 2019

  1. is that tree an oak? It looks too familiar, like something that would live here. I so miss the big valley oaks that used to live in the Santa Clara Valley. It seems that oaks are appreciated more than other types of trees throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Every region has its favorite.

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    • Thank you Cathy. WordPress seems to keep switching my comments box off! Very annoying. I wondered why there were no comments. I’ve pressed lots of buttons and managed to get the comments box back. Thanks for alerting me. Xx

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  2. So glad you got a good crop of potatoes for Christmas! I know what you mean about negative comments – best to ignore them 😉 Your pots from last year are gorgeous – I have just got some crocus to plant for an indoor flowering experiment. Have you ever tried crocus indoors? I am travelling back home today after a visit to my parents – hasn’t it been another wet month for you. Hope you have a lovely Christmas Karen! xx

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    • Thank you Cathy. I hope your parents are well. We have had an atrocious month of floods. The garden resembles a swamp. There’s really nothing I can do out there until it starts to dry up. Start the crocus in the cold and dark, like hyacinths. After a month, bring them into a cold bright window. Bring them indoors when they are in bud. Have a super Christmas. Love karen xx

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  3. Karen excellent buy the bags of daffodils at only 3 pounds! Planting them in pots is a pleasure and then seeing them bloom is wonderful. I love your table full of different bulbs in bloom, it has made me smile and it has raised my spirits. With your permission I will print it and I will put it on the wall of my table to always see it. Paper White daffodils begin to bloom, I love it. Congratulations on the potato harvest. You are absolutely right Karen: it should be relaxing to make plant labels with the stems of your ash and hazelnuts, and very ecological. Meg and the pheasant: how good is Meg. Hazel catkins are divine and yes, Spring will soon arrive. I am very happy that you have a good day to walk in the countryside and in your wonderful garden. Here we have been raining a lot without stopping for days and what we have left until Sunday: but a very welcome rain. Little is left for Christmas Eve, if you don’t write more blogs, Merry Christmas and may peace, love and best wishes accompany you, Mr B. and your whole family. Karen a lot of love, a lot of health, a lot of strength, a lot of encouragement for your whole family, for you and for Mr B. Loving caresses for Meg and Grace. Take care of you all very much. Keep warm. Good weekend. Affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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    • Thank you Margarita. Sorry for the delayed reply. I’ve been ill with a virus. Had two days in bed. Have had to catch up with my to-do list! What a rush. Just about there now. Have a wonderful Christmas and New year. Much love. Karen xxx

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      • Karen, I’m so sorry you were sick with a virus in bed. I hope you’re well at all, but keep taking care of yourself. Thank you very much for your congratulations. Look at the ipad, send you a message. Karen wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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      • Thank you Margarita, I’m much better now thank goodness. So grateful to only have three days in bed! Phew I thought I would be ill until Christmas. Luckily, I’ve got everything done, and now all I’ve got to do is cook on Christmas Day. Will look for your message. Much love. Karen xx


      • Thanks Karen, I find it hard to think of myself as a teacher, I’ve been in horticulture for more years than I care to remember & I still have imposter syndrome! Hopefully I can still keep posting useful items – & there’s an awful lot of gardening to come! Best, Gary

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    • Thank you Audrey. I’m pottering about bundling up the labels and tying them with twine to give as Christmas presents. At the end of the day, they can be composted. Happy Christmas to you too 🙂🌱 xx

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  4. I am glad that your potatoes worked out well. I am not a large potato consumer but I do enjoy some new potatoes. The bags might work out well for me as my soil is often too dry for root vegetables (not this year, though!). Amelia

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