Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! We have been celebrating with ice lanterns and glögg (thanks to Anja of ‘North by North’ for the recipe), no snow to set the scene but a lovely way to see in the new year.

When Sam and Adrienne were last here the days were long and hot and the cherry harvest was in full swing so it only seemed fair that they got to share in some of the booty again. This summer I am definitely going to put several jars of cherries to steep in alcohol for winter, they were delicious in the glögg but I have other ideas for using them, too. Just one of many plans for 2014…

The weather has been mixed – we had a great walk in warm sunshine on Christmas Day – but it’s predominantly wet and windy. A vicious storm blew the door off the polytunnel…

…and the veg have taken a real bashing.

The water butts are overflowing and the ground is saturated; it’s hard to believe we were so desperate for water last summer.

Digging vegetables for dinner out of the mud is an interesting business, but there is still a good selection hanging on out there. I’m particularly pleased with the ‘White Gem’ parsnips, they are all sorts of shapes and sizes but truly scrumptious, very sweet and they roast like a dream. Yum!

Roger has made me a beautiful squirrel box for Christmas so now we need to decide on the best place for siting it. We only have red squirrels here, they are much sweeter (and better behaved!) than the greys so we’re more than happy to encourage them. Fingers crossed for some babies in this snug little den.

Frustrated at not being able to get on the garden and dig some more, I’ve been sorting my seed basket and writing a list of bits and pieces to buy before the planting season kicks off. Having counted up nearly 50 different types of veg (and several varieties of many of those) I do wonder if I really need any more seeds at all?

Well yes, of course I do! The temptation to try new things is just too much to ignore and I’m happy to be led astray by other bloggers’ ideas and recommendations. I just hope the ground dries up sooner rather than later because I am certainly going to need more planting room – it’s time for the Big Dig of 2104 to begin. 🙂





8 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Your ice lanterns are lovely! Did you need a freezer to get them that way? – Hope you have tomatillo on your lists – it’s a really handy vegetable and VERY productive!


    • Yes, it was definitely a freezer job – not quite as romantic as putting them outside in freezing temperatures which no doubt you can do at certain times of the year! I haven’t grown tomatillos for years, I seem to remember they literally took over the polytunnel and self-set for several seasons afterwards. Very good for salsas, though. My list is growing ever longer… 🙂


  2. We had them outside in tubs last summer; they grew like mad and weren’t half so frost-sensitive as tomatoes. Pekka has replaced lemon with them in various dishes…


    • Well, after my depressing experience with tomatoes, maybe they would be a better bet especially if they’ll go outside. Certainly cheaper than lemons, too. I shall discuss it with the resident chef…


  3. The lanterns are lovely very festive – I’m glad you had to use the freezer! I hope the water has drained away – not much fun trying to harvest parsnips or leeks in that. Is that kale ‘fizz’ in the photo? We’ve been lucky so far it’s very mild and a bit grey but nothing is swimming in water. I think another seed delivery will be landing on Monday so I’ll have to get the seed box out and get planning proper…I’m going to try and not buy anymore seeds over and above another tiny list of wants that I’ll pick up in Spain in February.


    • It’s certainly very mild and looks to be set that way here all week – suits me fine, anything that shortens the winter! Yes, the kale is ‘Fizz’, our daughter Sarah grows it in her Welsh garden and gave me some seeds. It’s going well despite a late caterpillar infestation and is so pretty. I saw a red version on a seed website yesterday but resisted the temptation, I keep having to remind myself that more seeds = more digging…at this rate, there will be no grass left! 🙂


  4. We have to odd part that’s quite wet and can’t do anything with it,lucky for me I only have a few leeks and swede + beets left to pick. I’ve just took stock of my seeds and I have gone mad again,I was supposed to be cutting down.


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