Sneaky October


AH! I've lost a month! Now December is fast approaching and Christmas will be in full swing before you know it. Already I'm eyeing up corners of the house for potential tree spots, but no douglas firs for us. No, no. We'll be sparing ourselves the scattered needles and over stimulated cat-turned-squirrel + baubles scenario. Our squat little miniature kumquat is to be brought in from the cold and spackled with tinsel, twinkles and the usual lot to make for an exotic alternative to the usual evergreen pyramid.

The minds impression of Christmas, post full-swing and pre-Boxing Day.


Garden wise- not much is going on. The summer rush is over, things are slowing down and each night the frost threatens to take another victim and I keep reminding myself to fish out the fleece from what ever nook I poked it into and start covering the hardy-ish salad greens; the swiss chard, the mizuna, the land cress and the 'Marvel of four seasons' lettuce, with it's lovely soft blushed reddish leaves. This summer I grew 'Treviso Rosso' chicory with great success, annnnnd thennnnn decided that no, despite it's very attractive deep red leaves and the fact that it doesn't die, even when forgotten about, I don't like it. Still, this leafy green does get another chance. Come the middle of November I'll venture out to dig up the roots for forcing. More on that adventure later.
Now is also the time to start ear marking fruit trees for winter grafting and summer budding. Bearing in mind the terrible awfulness of this year for fruit, it's still work venturing out and seeing if there are any local trees which you'd like to have yourself.
Like today I found a few scraggly white bullace shrubs in my hedge, something I 'need' for my orchard hedgerow back in Hampshire, so I'll be remembering them next summer when the time comes to do bud grafting. An apple in the nearby neglected orchard made some sort of scrummy early apples, which I'd like to add as well, so later on when the tree is dormant, I'll graft a few of those too.

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  1. Have you tried cooking it? (I'm presuming it was the flavour rather than the plant itself you didn't like). I'm not a huge fan of chicory raw but I do like it wilted in the pan with a splash of vinegar and a sprinkle of salt.


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