Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Bee in heather

Bee in heather

With February drawing to a close, and bringing an end to winter (meteorologically speaking anyway), there is a sense of spring in the air. Today, began with a frost (ending winter on a cold note), but has turned into a lovely sunny day. The birds and bees are clearly feeling the change in the air, with plenty of chatter in the trees and buzzing in the heather. Our bees seem to have survived the winter, with plenty of activity at the entrance and around the garden. We won’t be taking the top off the hive to inspect the colony more fully just yet, as that would be unfair to subject the bees to the cold, but there seems to be a fair number flying about, which is a good sign. I’ve also spotted the first frog spawn in the wildlife pond, and hopefully next year we might get some in a new pond. Bring on spring!

Not quite part of the gang yet!

Not quite part of the gang yet!

Well another year is almost over. 2013 won’t go down as a particularly memorable year…nothing out of the ordinary happened. The garden gave us a mixed bag of crops. The polytunnel performed well, particularly over the hot summer, but the autumn crops and stored produce has been a bit hit and miss – the onions are not lasting well and most are turning brown and mushy; the Blue Banana squashes are starting to rot; the potatoes are very scabby, and the sprouts are a bit small. But the freezer is full and the shelves have plenty of preserves and chutneys to see us through.

We did gain a chicken this year (previous years have seen us down in numbers). Nora is beginning to settle in and is slowly being tolerated by the other chickens, but she will always be an outsider. The other chickens have certainly slowed down in production as they get older – we only managed 429 eggs this year, compared with 620 in 2012! Even so that’s plenty for us.

So, what of 2014? We’re still in discussion about the prospects for our large field, but I think by this time next year there will be something in there with four legs! We’ve just started preparations for a new log store, which will be more accessible for both unloading logs and getting them into the house, than the current one. It will also be bigger, so that we don’t end up filling up random crates with the excess logs… we have learnt from our previous endeavours. In the garden, I hope to create a few more flower beds, and possibly a small pond in the garden itself (we’ve only got the wildlife pond at the bottom of the field, which is not very visible from the house). I’ve bought my seeds for next year, and cut costs by sharing the order with my Mum. We should also be able to share seedlings and plants, which may mean a more diverse range of vegetables grown. Our orchard will hopefully become more fruitful, with most of the trees growing well. I’ve just pruned the apples and pears, and they all have plenty of buds on, so I hope we get a taste of all the apple varieties we have.

So we’ll raise a glass of sloe gin to a productive and eventful 2014. Happy New Year!


Droplets of rain on the Curly Kale

The full data for 2012 isn’t in yet, but it looks like it will be one of the wettest years on record for the UK. At the time of writing, only England had broken the previous record set in 2000. But 2012 still isn’t officially the wettest on record in Wales, with 2000 remaining the wettest ever. We weren’t in Wales at the time, but if 2012 is anything to go by, then 2000 must have been awful! Read the rest of this entry »

Frosty cabbage

It looks like winter has well and truly arrived. We measured -10°C in the polytunnel on Saturday night/Sunday morning and similarly temperatures last night. As I write the mercury is reading around -5°C. However, the sun is shining and everything is sparkling so while it may be cold at least it’s not snowing (yet!). Read the rest of this entry »

Modified version of the Summer Polaroid Pics template