Time for Some Optimism

seed cataloguesWell, the decorations are down and it’s time to start thinking about spending more time in the garden. I would be out there now, but it’s raining hard and the wind is blowing. Instead I have lit the fire and gathered together a big pile of gardening catalogues. I am definitely going to plant cucamelons and sweet potatoes again, they were such a huge success and so easy. Check out James Wong’s website for details and where to buy. I want more flowers, that means heading over to Sarah Raven for inspiration. The sweet peas I bought last year did us proud, flowering right through to October and so they will definitely be on the list.

But, as for what else to grow…. I am lacking inspiration. As poor students and then even poorer new parents, our garden was  built on the rule that everything planted (except seeds) must be evergreen or edible. Finally, after more than 25 years together Mr T has agreed that gardening can be more indulgent. He bought me garden vouchers for Christmas and I hope that some of my floral ambitions might be realised at long last. I want huge blousy peonies and Hydrangeas, scented roses which bloom all summer and masses of cut flowers for the house. Such grand plans require serious thought and I foresee quite a few garden visits on the horizon.

This still leaves me with the problem of what to plant in the vegetable patch and what to add to the cutting garden I planted last year. Time for strong coffee, then a long wish list to be written. There are few better ways to while away a wet January afternoon!

Where do you go for garden inspiration?  I’d love to hear your favourites, especially if they’re in the North West of England.

Already I have these on my list:

Stonyford Cottage (just up the hill)

Bluebell Cottage (another local favouite)

Walkden Gardens (never been, but much recommended)



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  1. Definitely Bluebell, some wonderful ideas there. No gardening here, about a foot of snow covering everything and supposed to be minus 10 F tonight. Howling gale too, just lovely!


  2. Tracey

     /  January 6, 2014

    How lovely to hear from you Gillie, have been thinking about how cold your winters must be!


  3. The Editors of Garden Variety

     /  January 6, 2014

    Hello there. I like to stop by and visit Seeds Savers Exchange’s catalog. I love to have a bit of history with the seeds I buy to share with the kids!


  4. Tracey

     /  January 6, 2014

    Thanks, I love to swap seeds – it’s a great way to discover new varieties – and many you just can’t buy!


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  • Blimey! My crochet a pumpkin workshop at @ditzyrosemakes is sold out already - thanks to everyone who has booked - there are dates planned for workshops in October & November so if you missed out on pumpkins look out for more soon (inc granny squares on 10th November).
#crochet #amigurumi #learntocrochet #lovecrochet #cheshire #ditzyrosemakery And in contrast to previous photo of moody grey sky, the sun just hit the dew on the nasturtiums!
#girlgardener #ediblegarden #naturelover #nofilter When you're enjoying a quiet mug of tea & the sound of geese becomes deafening! Seeing far more fly over the house this year (& occassionally landing in the field, calling to each other then taking off and regrouping as if they have practised for years!! Lots of red admirals in the garden today
#naturelover #redadmiral #butterfly #embracingautumn #girlgardener #wildgarden Sunday loaf. I've always baked bread -  not very successfully - but earlier this year I treated myself to a workshop with Andy, who runs the Coffee Kitchen bakery in Cockermouth. He taught us that bread making can be slow &  gentle, that bread is a living food & that inspired me to keep learning & keep experimenting. This is a 100% spelt sourdough fresh from the oven. Mr T is desperate for it to cool down so he can have a slice, thickly spread with butter! Thanks @thecoffkitchen for all your patience & advice.
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