Since there is not much gardening going on at My Tiny Plot at the moment I thought I would share some of my favourite things from around our Christmassy house.
I LOVE Christmas and have made it my duty over the past 10 years to be the person ‘in charge’ of Christmas in our house. The photo above is of the latest addition to our snow village (I make something new every year). It’s a clock tower. Every village needs one!
Here is our ‘bar’. Ha! I say bar but the only thing in it seems to be bourbon which I don’t drink – but I know someone who does. This year, the tipples got a Christmas makeover with some twinkly lights and a golden reindeer. Well after all, it ‘is’ Christmas.
This is cool. It’s a tiny wooden village that spins around when you light the candles. I bought it from a shop called Hansel und Gretel when I lived in Bath. Sadly it’s not there anymore but it was officially the most Christmassy shop in the world and sold crazy German, wooden gifts of all shapes and sizes.
Marika the Elf on the Shelf. She’s great. She appears on Dec 1st, has a direct line to Santa and is ‘watching you’. Oh yes, that means you Devon Carson, age 4 and a bit!
Hmmm… let’s see what’s next?
Yes, Holiday Nog! Santa wants some and so he should. I’m testing a diet without dairy (tummy issues) and was so sad to be missing out on drinking vats of cream mixed with raw egg this Christmas. Sadness avoided – Holiday Nog! I might add that only in America would this exist – and probably Portland too.
Voluspa, Voluspa, Voluspa. My house would smell of dog if it wasn’t for you. This one smells of Christmas trees dipped in Lemons. What-is-not-to-love.
I’ll post some more of my Christmas favourites soon.
So this is my kitchen garden ‘after’ we power-washed the brick pathways.
And this was my kitchen garden ‘before’ we power-washed the pathways. To be honest, I was completely happy with the way it looked before. I thought the brick was quite bright, and gave the garden an almost cheery look. But, gosh I didn’t realise how dirty they were. And…dangerous! It was so slippy out there on a wet day.
It’s a little too ‘new’ for my liking right now. But nothing a few months of Winter weather won’t sort out.
Oh and when I say ‘we’ power-washed the brick pathways I obviously mean my husband. I was far too busy planning next year’s seed purchase and pulling up old Tomato plants to help.
This ‘has’ to be the last harvest of the Peppers. They have just been the troupers of the garden this year. And they all came from a lowly bag of mini-Peppers that I bought at Safeway. My little boy wanted to save the seed and plant them. I had low expectations and prepared him for the worst. But no, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. They grew, and they flowered, and they fruited and some of them even changed colour from green to yellow, to red! And boy are they sweet. Nope, you never can tell where your next best thing is going to come from. Turning my nose up at these seeds was my mistake. Not only are they free, but they’re the best we’ve grown yet!
The Tomato here is the very last of the greenhouse Toms. And the Lettuce is Winter Density with some Radicchio for flavour! Go Autumn.
There’s not much left in the garden right now but there is a small corner, just in-front of the greenhouse door that is bursting with colour and looking quite good. It’s the Winter Density Lettuce and Chard. They are in the sunniest part of the garden so they are still getting a decent amount of sun each day. And quite frankly they are loving it.
Behind them (out of shot) is the grape-vine that is slowly turning a lovely Autumnal shade. I’m so glad I decided to plant these right next to the greenhouse. It means that I have something cheerful to look at as I potter around filling seed packets and organising plant pots (I do a lot of that!).
Garlic (Crimson Rose).
And these mini Peppers that I saved the seed from some shop-bought Peppers that I liked. I also have Chilli Peppers to bring in and Aubergines if they get a bit bigger.
My outdoor Tomatoes are finished but the Tomatoes in the greenhouse are still going strong. Not much left now. Some Kale, Broccoli, French Beans, and Squash. Winter Lettuce is coming along and so is the Spinach.
Gosh! It seems too early to be really beginning Autumn but the temperature has dropped and my Pumpkins are ready!. I’ve harvested two large Red Warty Thing pumpkins. Six Pumpkin Pie’s and about 15 Acorn Squashes (that taste really nutty by the way).
I’m very happy about everything. Except the Autumn bit that is!
One of our neighbours kindly gave us a table football for our boys to play with. So I gave him this little veg box from my garden. I had great fun putting it together. I lined the box with brown paper and picked all the stuff that was ready. Then I tied a bunch of Spring Onions with string, and some Basil too. And bagged up some of my saved seed, Parsnips, Bush Beans, Poppies and Sweetpeas and left it on his front porch. He said, ‘Thanks very much but what is the long curly thing?’ – Tromboncino.
I’m having some success with Sweetcorn. It’s already pretty big and showing signs of fruiting. It’s been pretty windy here over the last few days and so I was a bit worried about it. But as long as the great dane stays out of the garden (unlike last year) then I think we should be all good.
It’s amazing to me how far ahead vegetable gardens in Portland are (of the UK). I just watched Gardeners’ World and Monty was just planting his Sweetcorn last week. I was never really successful with Sweetcorn in England. A few cobs here and there but mostly it would end in failure. Fingers crossed here.
The orchard grass is growing. I sowed my Eco Lawn back in May and it has done wonderfully. I watered it every day for two weeks until established and now I haven’t watered it for about two weeks. It still looks great and is starting to throw up the odd flower. We often mow pathways into it. And when it gets too long mow it down completely and start again. I’m very pleased with it.
This is what the orchard looked like back in February when I planted it.
This is what it looked like last year when the orchard was a mere glint in my eye.
Well, the last time we saw the patterned garden was back in April when I just put some of the plants in. Now it’s in full flow.
There was a vague plan, but I haven’t stuck to it in its entirety. I sowed a row of Beetroot down the middle of the pattern and none of them germinated. I think the seed was old. And so I replaced them with Lettuce. Also, the slugs ate my Spinach seedlings and I decided it was getting too hot for Spinach and so I replaced them with a sowing of French Beans. So there has been some movement in the design.
I think it looks pretty good. Next time I do it I might keep some of the taller plants like Kale either in the middle or at the sides. The tall Kale in the middle means you can’t see some of the smaller stuff.
I do like the way the Onions pop through between the Lettuces though. That works.