Slow painting

Saturday 23 October 2010

Saturday morning in the kitchen

Finally I'm getting round to ordering for next season. On a damp, chill Saturday morning yesterday it was a comforting thing to do, especially with that leisurely weekend mug of tea at hand.

From Suttons, I've ordered onion and shallot sets. Sturon and Hercules in onions, Jermor and Delvad, both French varieties, in shallots. Although I grew overwintering onions last year and they came up well, I ended up harvesting them at the same time as the spring-sown ones. With no advantage in terms of early cropping, at least up here, I didn't want to take up ground over the winter when we plan to make headway on the central path and general structure of the plot.

And I gave in at the last minute and ordered a small bag of second early salad potatoes - Anya. We'll see how they do. I hope they'll be the waxy, nutty-tasting salad potato that they claim to be.

Since my garlic this year was a miserable failure, I've gone for Scottish-bred varieties from The Really Garlicky Company near Nairn. Various people have recommended 'Music' as doing well in Scottish conditions, so we'll give it a go.

If you're noticing the castles and thistles on my mug, it's a commemorative Emma Bridgewater design celebrating 200 years of Johnston's of Elgin woollen mill. I'll post some photos of the mill on Occasional Scotland soon.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day October

Getting a bit tattered now, but still blooming in the absence of frost, the dwarf hollyhocks that were part of my bargain buy of plug plants at the beginning of the summer. It seems a very long time ago that I was cosseting them in individual pots.

The nameless hydrangea is into its dusky, burgundy phase, before turning copper and russet later in the autumn.

The second flush of roses has been very strong this year, but with very little scent.

And the Jackmanii clematis goes on blooming.

Self-seeded nasturtiums from a couple of years ago are still popping up. I leave them each year because they provide late food for the bees.

A last summery hydrangea flowerhead. All the rest are now the colour of lace dipped in tea.

In this warm October, this is what's blooming in my garden. But change is on the way, with the BBC weather map tonight showing winds straight from the Arctic by the middle of the week.

More October blooms are at Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Friday 8 October 2010


Crisp homegrown apples. Not ours, but a present from our allotment neighbour. Thank you, Robert!

It's a good year for apples, and so far no thefts. Sadly a bumper crop sometimes attracts that dastardly breed, the allotment thief.