This week has had a slight Christmas feel to it and as Little Sis’ has been nagging me for another blog to read I thought I would write about her favourite thing – brussels sprouts for Christmas Dinner!
I had a slight panic that, due to the cold Spring, I was way behind with seed planting and had done nothing about brussels sprouts or parsnips for Christmas Dinner. I sowed a couple of rows of parsnips in one of my new raised beds and I am pleased to advise that, unlike last year, we appear to have successful germination. A staple of our winter diet is spicy parsnip soup, so this is a relief as last year we spent a fortune buying parsnips.
The variety is Tender and True (“Delicious for Roasting”) and from to sowing to cropping is 28-32 weeks – so we should just make it for Christmas dinner!
As I was over a month late with the sprouts I opted for a variety called Evesham Special (large, old-fashioned flavour sprouts) promising a heavy, early crop from medium sized plants, ideal for exposed sites. Sowings in February indicate cropping from September so fingers crossed we will have plenty for Christmas.
On another Christmas theme, our lucky dip perennial box arrived this week. This was a special email offer from Suttons back in April – 4 x 18 different lucky dip perennials for £9.99. We had forgotten about it so it was a bit like Christmas opening the box to see what was inside. Our four lucky dips were:
Dianthus – I am not a big fan but Mr Mac is. We have two in the garden already which, despite my deliberate neglect, continue to thrive. They will now be joined by another 18!
Coreopsis – I was quite happy about this because I tried to grow these from seed last year and the slugs ate every single one. I was reluctant to try again but now I don’t have to.
Monarda – I had never heard of this but believe the common name is Beebalm.
Sedum – Mr Mac had been after some of this so he was pleased. According to the catalogue it offers “drought-tolerant” late summer colour. Not something we usually have a problem with but it would be a nice problem to have for a change!
Normally what happens at Christmas is I receive my presents and then go out and buy what I really wanted! The same was true this week. We are fortunate that Scotland’s flagship gardening show – Gardening Scotland – takes place less than a 15 minute drive away. The show was last weekend and Mr Mac and I set off with good intentions “not to go draft”- but we were like kids in a sweet shop.
I bought some Helenium plants and another couple of Meconopsis to supplement the pathetic specimens I bought online. Mr Mac got some Lupins, Heuchera and some alpines. We also invested in another couple of Clemetis – a white and pink Montana for some spring colour.
Finally, on a present theme, I was bemoaning to Mr Mac how I am concerned that there has been no activity from the Calla Lillies I planted in a pot. All the other bulbs are starting to show but not the lillies.
When I came home from work the other evening, look what was sitting at the from door…….