It’s January the 6th, Christmas is over, the decorations are down and all that’s left is to hoover up the pine needles – which I’ll probably still be finding under the sofa for months. Normally this is the gloomiest time of the year but the weather is glorious at the moment, clear blue skies and a sun that is almost warm. My garden has really taken a battering over the past week with some of the strongest winds I’ve seen in years. The Cavolo Nero in particular is looking very sorry for itself.
The unseasonally bright weather is confusing the plants. There are a few leaves still clinging to my apricot tree which really should be bare by now, and some green shoots coming up already. The garlic I planted in November is looking very encouraging.
With a few days off work in the next couple of weeks I am looking forward to a few hours of Veg Gardener Porn, in other words, sitting in front of the fire with a cup of tea and a pile of seed catalogues planning the year to come. This year I’m intrigued by the idea of Calypso, a leaf coriander which is apparently slow to bolt (http://www.thompson-morgan.com/vegetables/all-other-vegetables/herbs/coriander-calypso/4784TM) and as a huge fan of winter squash am keen to try the Squashkin which is apparently a combination of two of my favourites Crown Prince and Butternut squash (http://www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk/squashkin-seeds-pid2904.html).
But even more exciting is my purple sprouting broccoli. I planted a number of different varieties last year which, in theory, will give me a steady supply of PSB throughout the spring. The earliest variety “Rudolph” was supposed to be ready for Christmas but wasn’t. Today however, as I lugged the Christmas tree out of the house I saw that one of the plants was looking distinctly promising. Not quite ready for harvesting but not far off. As I’ve got eight PSB plants in the garden I think that there’s likely to be a fair amount of kitchen experimentation to expand my repertoire going on in the next couple of months, you have been warned!