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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas and New Year

*waves* Hello web folks! Christmas is over, New Year too. It's been another busy one with dinners at various parents houses (hands up if you don't want to see a plate of turkey again until next December!?). There was a lot of homemaking for us this Christmas, my two niece's received a knitted scarf each, various other family and friends got Pumpkin Jam, Plum and Vanilla Jam, Plum Vodka, Plumbs in Brandy. I also made some dark choc and mint sweeties. Nath got some of the sweeties and a knitted fish hat amongst his presents.

The plums came from a very old tree down the end of my parents back garden. I feel quite sentimental about this particular tree as it's older than I am (and I'm case you are wondering). When I was very small it used to bear a toddler swing off one of it's old gnarled branches. I have no idea how long victoria plum trees should last, fruiting is always a bit sparse and some years there is virtually no fruit and any fruit borne is dropped before ripening, but it did OK this year (any advice for caring for an elderly plum tree would be much appreciated! If you have any advice please leave me some advice in the comment section below).
I home made more presents this year than last year, and I hope to increase this again next year. Not only is it a more cost effective and self gratifying way to spend my money (buying ingredients) but it also means that the biggest gift I give my loved ones is this special season is my time and personal consideration. Surely worth more than splashing the cash.
How considerate of nature to give us a picture perfect week or so, with a thaw just before we go back to work. I am hoping this will give me enough time to scrape up the leaves from my front drive and spread that over the veg beds and dig up the remaining veg (parsnips and salsify...which hopefully made it through intact). I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and wish you all a happy New Year.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Shhh! The garden is sleeping.

The garden has been very cold this week, most of the snow has cleared and the nightly freezing fog is decorating the garden with ice crystals. It's very pretty. The picture above is the Nigella seed heads.
Bejewelled cobwebs adorn the metal shed.
There are many jobs I need to do in the garden, like raking the leaves that fall from the roadside trees in front of our house and spreading them over the vegetable beds as winter mulch, and I still have some supplies in the ground but it's too cold to dig. I'm not sure it's a fun time of year to be a chicken really, they must be chilly and glad of each other for warmth.

Still, despite the inconvenience it does make for a lovely spectacle.

Update on the Pumpkin Jam - Try it, it's scrummy on toast...a bit like mulled wine jam really.