New Year, new plans. . .

DSCF6921Is it really so long since I last blogged? Time to squeeze in the last post of 2015 before we turn in to the new year;  2016 certainly promises to be quite an adventure for us . . . of which more later.

Looking around the garden, it’s hard to believe January is just round the corner. I would have no difficulty picking a posy of summer flowers with calendula, cornflowers, candytuft, mallow, cerinthe and roses still all blooming well. Very pretty but not very seasonal!


The spring flowers are doing their bit, too.



At the business end of things, we have been harvesting plenty of vegetables throughout the autumn. The garlic and onions weren’t brilliant but we had a good crop of Desiree potatoes and a wide variety of squash for storing.


After a cold, slow start the tomatoes in the tunnel went on and on and we roasted and froze plenty of bags for winter use.


Likewise, once the French beans got going there was no stopping them.


The polytunnel  yielded a good crop of sweet peppers and chillies and the best cucumbers we’ve ever grown.


Back to the present, we’re enjoying decent helpings of swede and turnips and plenty of parsnips. Despite the caterpillars and aphids which have loved the mild weather, the sprouts have done us proud.



We’ve had masses of delicious cabbage, including the crunchy red ‘Kalibos’, so good in winter coleslaws especially with a Greek yogurt dressing rather than mayonnaise. The kale and chard are reliable croppers. . .



. . . and the purple sprouting is very close. Yum!



We’ve made quite a dent in the leek patch – no great hardship, I LOVE them! The chervil in the photo is self-set, it just won’t stop growing.


Someone needs to tell ‘Autumn Bliss’ that it’s winter now.


And so to 2016 and a new home, new garden and new adventure, this time in Asturias in northern Spain. The land is steep, the weather warm and wet (it’s Green Spain, not the Med) and perfect for growing. I’m not planning to take too many plants but I have lifted the asparagus: after all, I started growing these from seed nearly three years ago; they had a summer in France and a summer in Shropshire and next year should be ready to eat. I just can’t leave them behind, especially as the new shoots are already pushing up.



Happy New year to everyone – may the sun shine and your harvests be plentiful, wherever you are gardening. Tales from a Spanish garden to follow! 🙂





5 thoughts on “New Year, new plans. . .

  1. Happy New Year! I can’t believe you’re moving on again, after all that effort! But Asturias is lovely and the food and scenery are great. A real hidden gem of Spain with lots of nice old towns like Aviles and Oviedo. We spent a summer there in a super little harbour called San Esteban de Pravia. Whereabouts is your new garden and how big? Are you going to make Sidra from your apples?
    Your winter veg are looking very good. This mild, windy weather is pretty crazy all right. Which variety are the purple Brussels sprouts? Only a third of my sprouts have formed properly – is there some trick to that? I’ve sown asparagus this summer, the seedlings are now being babied under a cloche – hope they survive the winter when it comes.


  2. Happy New Year to you, too! No, we must be crazy really but those itchy feet are too hard to ignore and we might as well have another mad adventure while we can. We will be gardening on the side of a mountain about 20 minutes from the harbour town of Luarca, eight acres in all but almost half of that is forest. There’s a bit of flattish garden already but I think we’ll probably end up digging some serious terraces; can’t wait to see how things grow, it’s serious climbing bean country so I’m planning to try some new varieties. Not a huge amount of apples but several tonnes of kiwi fruit!!!!! The purple sprouts are ‘Red Bull’, it’s the best crop we’ve had in a long time, despite the aphids’ best efforts. I’m no expert but I think sprouts can be tricky things, we’ve always had mixed results with them. Likewise celeriac so I’m very envious of your crop! Good luck with the DIY. 🙂


    • It’s sure a nice part of the world, I just hope you don’t have to have to much to do with Spanish bureaucracy! Kiwis, eh? I wonder how you preserve those? I was tempted to put a few in here, but they would be marginal at best. How’s your Spanish coming along? There’s not much English spoken…


  3. Our Spanish is coming along well and although we wouldn’t expect anyone to speak English to us, there are a surprising amount of people who are happy to speak it which has certainly made finding and buying a property much easier. No problems so far with the bureaucracy either and – let’s face it – having had the French experience, we’re ready for anything! The owners of the house we’re buying tell us they manage to store the kiwis after harvesting at the end of November right through until the following June so I’m interested to see how that goes. Another possible harvest is saffron from the crocus – the meadow is full of them – but I don’t think I’ve got the patience for that one!


    • I cannot believe you’re moving again! How exciting eight acres with forest – perfect for piggies? I’d love to be able to give my hens a forest of their own they would be in their element. We’ve been in France 10 years this year and my garden will never be finished I fear although I have promised myself no more projects like another two polytunnels – NON.


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