The past couple of weeks have seen me developing back twinges from clearing overwintered vegetables such as kale and spinach, digging in muck and turning the compost heaps.

Of course the flowers cheer you up with every dig though, and the pots outside the front door have multiplied in number.

We inherited an almond tree in the back garden and although we haven't used the nuts yet (shelling them takes so long it's not yet worth our while investing the time) the early pink blossom is so welcome.


A couple of years ago I planted a few blackthorn bushes in order to get my own crop of sloes. If you pick sloes you’ll know how competitive it gets - people don't leave them enough time to benefit from the first frost for fear of missing out on a harvest and everyone is so secretive about where they grow… Grow your own I say! The blackthorn blossom is now making a promising show, although last year we didn't get a successful crop. Fingers crossed for this year because I'm running out of sloe gin…

We pulled up the turnips this weekend and they'll be on a special dish this week, lightly pickled. I'm waiting for chef to confirm the whole dish. They are brassicas, which surprised me as I assumed they'd be roots and you'd grow them in the same rotation as carrots. But nope, they’ve been planted in this year’s brassica bed, following last year's year's peas and beans. It's was good to have something growing over winter and I might plant turnips again this late Summer/Autumn to keep production going during those cold months.