A look back and a look ahead

Well its a new gardening season – spring is supposed to be well underway now but I’m not sure if anyone has told the weather gods that yet. Last year I wrote some blogs about the creatures inhabiting and visiting my garden and it seems a good point to look back on this before the new season gets really going.

Before writing those blogs I had only read some and not thought about actually writing one. After a guided tour of the software I got stuck in and found it relatively easy to use (but I did use a lot of different on-line technologies before I retired). However I did get stuck once or twice but was quickly helped by the Plant blog co-ordinator.

I had planned to write a few more in the late autumn but circumstances got in the way and they remained half-written! How come you seem to have less time once you retire? So, no more excuses, its time to put fingers to keyboard and get writing again.

Plant now has a team of bloggers who will contribute on various aspects of gardening and related topics this season. I plan to continue updating on the biodiversity in my garden and the community garden. From the latest photos of the activities at the community garden you can see that the beasties are moving in even before we get the veg going.

In my garden both plants and animals are getting on with the business of spring and I will write on my amphibian friends shortly.

Keeping a log of the comings and goings in my garden has made me aware of how our seasons seem to be more fluid these days – is this an indicator of climate change? For example, one of my rosemary plants (the smallest one) decided that the mild spell in February was the optimum time to flower even though there were no bees around. And, Bob (or son of Bob) my semi tame blackbird decided to get a head start on the breeding season and built his nest in the holly tree above my swing seat where he comes for food and got his lady friend to do her stuff. But then it turned cold again so he was demanding food several times a day in order to feed his missus and brood!

Reading Cathy’s recipes has given me ideas to use up gluts from the veg patch – one day I’ll manage to have a succession of veggies ready to harvest instead of loads of the same thing at once – looking forward to tips on this from PLANT blogs.

I’ve always checked where the fruit and veg I buy is coming from and get really annoyed in the supermarket when I know something is in season here but they only have for example spring onions from Chile in July or apples from China in late September! How can this be right? I tend to not buy and change what I plan to cook and eat so I can use produce from the UK at least if not Scotland.

I have read and heard about many “ugly veg” schemes starting up in some supermarkets but have yet to come across any locally. I think these are a great idea and will help local producers get a better market for their less than “perfect” crops, a carrot does not have to be perfectly shaped to be chopped up into soup or grated for carrot cake. If anyone has ugly veg going spare……

For now I’d encourage you to give blogging a go for the following reasons:

  1. It’s easier than you think
  2. If like me you don’t often write more than short e-mails or shopping lists it keeps you in the habit of writing
  3. It connects you with a much wider community of people with similar interests
  4. You learn new stuff when you research into your topic
  5. It’s fun!

Linda

I’ve lived in Tayport for 11 years and always enjoyed gardening. It was the garden of our house that played a big part in our decision to move to Tayport. My favourite gardening pastime is to sit on the swing seat with a coffee and watch all the creatures that visit. This changes with the seasons and there are many regulars and others that pass through. Regulars include frogs, toads, bumble bees, field mice, blackbirds, robins, sparrows, chaffinch, tits, wren and goldcrest. I have had a heron, sparrowhawk and squirrel pass through and would love to see a hedgehog visit but the stone walls surrounding the garden are probably preventing that. I’m not a particularly tidy gardener and have several “wild” areas – great for attracting insects and other critters.

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