Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Welcoming the New Year

Welcoming the New Year has started with a cold, a heavily moulting Golden Retriever and a hell of a lot of cleaning. Not the most exciting way to begin a brand New Year but it would be hard for it to get worse than that.  On the plus side, I guess it’s semi-proactive, bar the coughing and spluttering of course.

Over the past year I feel as though I’ve neglected the garden and the blog somewhat, although starting a new business and a brand new career has eaten up a lot of my time.  In some strange way I seem to have engineered a very busy existence of late that revolves around work and animals, which leaves little time for anything else.  This will need further adjustment over the coming year although changes are already afoot.  As a start, I’ve resigned from my post as Allotment Secretary and adjusted various other things that will mean come sunnier times I’ll be able to garden care free, write more and finally get back to riding.  I seriously need to invest in lessons; perhaps this should be a resolution of mine?

Along with a lack of time, the weather has influenced my absence heavily and I can only pray that this changes in 2013.  Is it just me or does it feel as though the rain hasn’t really stopped since Spring?  The past month especially I’ve found that my allotment and garden has been largely submerged and much like Anne Wareham’s Yew hedges, I fear that I too will see losses come the Spring.  One benefit is that I still have a variety of bulbs that remain unplanted.  I say that its a benefit as if planted I fear they may have simply rotted in the waterlogged clay ground.  As soon as the soil drains a bit I’ll plant them up or save them for containers.  I do worry though that without a good cold spell we may also have a battle of epic proportions with marauding molluscs and other undesirables on our hands.  Failing a late Winter cold spell, perhaps an early Spring offensive would help?

The chickens have faired better than the plants and haven’t struggled too much.  Their badly timed moult has left them looking worse for wear although their desire to stand out in the rain when they have a perfectly good shelter baffles me.  The old girls have also decided that egg laying is “so last year” and I’m having to do with shop bought, which is not a patch on what the girls provide.

Overall 2012 has been a mixed bag.  A lot has been achieved and much has gone undone. Highlights have included attending the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and writing for some great blogs and publications.  2013 will be much the same I expect and I’m excited, as this may be the year that leads on to bigger and brighter things, or so I hope!

Happy New Year all!


  1. Thank you for yet another great blog posting. I do enjoy following your garden adventures. I have to ask, did your Christmas cactus blooms start white? I have several including one that throws wonderful white blooms that change to a delicate pink as they mature. I took a snip off a friend's plant last year that was a pretty coral color. Surprisingly, when my snip bloomed this fall it was not the same as the mother plant. It was a dark pink. This leads me to believe that the soil condition some how effects bloom color? Do you have any information about this? Certainly it has given me plenty to ponder.

    1. Hi Lizabetty and Happy New Year!

      That's a very good question. As far as I know flower colour can be affected by temperature when the buds are forming. Temps below around 14C at this time will enhance the pink colour in a coral plant or pink/red flowering plant and it will also add a pink tinge to white or yellow flowering plants too.

      I live in an old house which is typically cooler than most new builds and as my plant is away from direct light and heat sources I assume its kept quite cool for the majority of the time. My Nan also has a cactus that she keeps in her unheated porch and this blooms a very deep pink too.

      I hope that helps?


  2. Beautiful photograph! Wishing you a very happy new year and hopefully a drier one than 2012 was. :O)

  3. Just ran across this now. Yep, that seems to be a common theme - lots undone, but that means there's things to do on the plate for the New Year! Though you'll certainly end up with plenty undone once again it seems. Bit of a cycle!


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