1 Jan 2012

A brave new year

This is a very heartfelt season's greetings and happy New Year to all friends and readers. Writing this blog has been made so much nicer thanks to all of you who pop in here, and on Facebook, to comment and say hello. Thank you, you continue to make it all worthwhile and it's much appreciated. xx

I must admit I was feeling rather glum yesterday. I sat down to write a post and it was so negative, I deleted it. I don't celebrate the turning of the year as my new year starts when the soil starts to warm and I can spend longer hours outdoors.  My birthday is at the end of March - an Aries, if you believe such things - and that feels more like the new year for me.

I don't mind the shorter days of winter either, as long as there's a variation in the weather ... some winter sun would be nice, a sharp frost, some snow perhaps? I thrive on variety (and sunshine!) and, looking back over the year, I can see why I'm drawn back to the garden time and again.  There's always something new, interesting ... surprising, even ... to be seen and it's been quite a revelation to look back and browse through my 2011 photos.  I'd intended to choose one photo to sum up each month but, as ever, it all got a bit lengthy (42 photos in all, whooooops!) so I've put them in a slideshow. Watch if you wish.  (It's also at the top of the page under the 2011 tab.)


My Christmas has been a nice time to relax but I'm now ready to carry on with jobs that need doing and the first thing is to sort out my seeds and start to make plans for the 2012 veg patch.


The postman brought new seed catalogues from both Chiltern Seeds and from Thompson and Morgan who have very good offers on potato tubers at the moment. (20 potato tubers for £2.99, presumably plus postage but I'll probably snap up a pack of Charlottes, my favourite salad potato.)  My new Felco secateurs also arrived which was a happy moment - thank you UK Veg Gardeners! I meant to write about this yesterday but my internet was down - so frustrating after waiting for most of the holidays to get at the laptop (my son had commandeered it for his A level coursework, so needs must).

It just remains for me wish everyone the very best for 2012 as we go forth and garden together! I'm looking forward to reading your blogs in the months ahead.

Caro xx

39 comments:

  1. Happy New Year! You can't go wrong with a pair of Felcos. I've just been reading the T&M potato offers but I'm off to the Whitchurch Potato Day at the end of January which means I can buy single tubers of new varieties and bulk buy my favourites cheaply as well. Well worth it if you have one local to you. All the best for the new season!

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  2. Fantastic selection of photos, you certainly had great success with your fruit and veggies, very impressed by your sweet corn in November!Happy gardening for 2012!

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  3. Lovely round up of the year photos, wow well done! So much to look forward to in 2012. It's nice to have this time to organise a bit and plan and also enjoy photos of our favourite times of the year. I've loved having time to read your blog in the cold, dark days x

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  4. @Damo
    Thanks Damo, and to you too! A local potato day would be great as I could choose a few of each of my favourites - then I'd need a bit more space as well! Isn't it great to be able to look forward to the new growing season!

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  5. @Pauline
    Thank you Pauline! No-one was more surprised than me to be picking sweetcorn in November - what a strange year it's been for weather!

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  6. @The Green Lady
    Lorna thank you so much for your lovely comments. It's true, there's much to look forward to in 2012, and it's been a pleasure to have got to know you and your blog in 2011. Caro xx

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  7. Best wishes to you and yours for a very happy and productive year ahead.
    Bridget.

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  8. Happy New Year to you too :)

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  9. It's amazing that you're harvesting tomatoes in December, home grown beat supermarket bought hands down. My son's had a mountain of A level coursework as well as revision to do over Christmas too. It's back to school on Tuesday and he still hasn't finished everything. Thank you for continuing to visit my blog in 2011 and for all your comments, they're very much appreciated. All the very best for 2012.

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  10. I ordered some potatoes from T&M yesterday. I saw the £2.99 offer but I went for the Salad Collection instead. More expensive but more variety too (60 tubers at £12.99). I only grow spuds in pots so I don't really need a huge number.
    Happy snipping in 2012 with those secateurs. My book still hasn't arrived...

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  11. I know what you mean about feeling glum at this time of year but just think every day takes us closer to spring! Happy new year, get planning with those seed catalogues!

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  12. To Bridget and to Indie - thank you! and hope it's a good one for us all!

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  13. Great post Caro - it's good to look back and see just how successful the garden has been, I should think you are very pleased with all you have achieved in 2011. Here's to greater success in 2012. A special thank you for visiting all my blogs and for your generous comments.

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  14. Thank you for the great post Caro. Thank you for all your help and advice. Thank you for all the time you put into your blog...and for sharing with us. Thank you.

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  15. I love a good January seed sort out! It gets me in an organised frame of mind for the start of a new season. I'm sure you'll do great things with those Felcos as well - I got the same pair for my birthday in July and think they're the absolute bees knees.

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  16. @Jo
    Jo, thank you and believe me, I savoured every mouthful of lovely fresh tomatoes. I picked off the last half dozen yesterday, the weather here turned quite bitter and suddenly the plant looks very forlorn. I got them in just in time I think! Good luck to your son with his A levels, mine is in denial as to the sheer volume of work to be covered! x

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  17. @Mark Willis
    I think 20 tubers will do me, I like to grow a variety of veg so have to allocate space quite carefully. I may grow in bags this year to leave more room for other veg. Hope your book arrives soon, vagaries of British post, eh?

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  18. @freerangegirl
    Just a little drop of midday sunshine brought cheer today - AND I noticed it was still light at 4.20 so, slowly but surely, the days are gradually getting longer again. As per your advice, have been sorting out my seed box - happy days!

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  19. @elaine rickett
    Elaine, now I should balance it up and write of all the failures of 2012 as well!! But you're right, going back through the year does give a sense of having achieved something and the motivation to push on with things - spurred on by lovely friends such as yourself! Caro x

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  20. @Erin
    Erin, thanks and compliments right back at you because I've really enjoyed discovering and reading your blog this year! You've done so well with your garden, it's a treat to see your progress. Wishing you continued success in 2012 - I look forward to reading all about it! Caro x

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  21. You know, I always used to get the January blues in London as well. The weather down there just seems to stay grey from November to March... Cheer up though since it's not long until the growing season begins. In fact I'm sowing my first packet of seeds soon - Exhibition sized onions. Whoo hoo! Roll on spring :)

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  22. @suburban veg gardener
    Oh me too, Jules! Just started on the January seed sorting, it's good to focus on what to grow this year and I have a few new veg on my list. I'll have to be ruthless with the space available! (Less strawberries, more sweetcorn!)

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  23. @Tanya @ Lovely Greens
    Tanya, thank you for your encouraging words; It's hard because I know the glums will get me sooner or later and I try to ward them off - sometimes with more success than others! It's much too grey here in London, I really question why I stay sometimes! Roll on springtime!!

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  24. Most envious of those secateurs Caro :) I also had a T & M catalogue in the post - I think that it was the third one they have sent me. It's a testing time of year but spring is creeping nearer each day. May the New Year treat you and your crops kindly!

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  25. Just sourced a load of well rotted horse manure for my veg plot. But with the miserable weather in yorkshire i'll leave that job until later in the week.
    I think i'll spend the afternoon infront of the fire with my seed catalouges planning this years crops.

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  26. I loved your photos and they really cheered me up on what is a dull and cold day here. I know what you mean about New Year. When I posted about not liking it I was worried I might sound like a party pooper, so it is always nice to know others feel the same way too. I noticed it seemed to be a bit lighter last night as well. Wasn't sure whether it was just wishful thinking. Hope you have a great New Year.

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    Replies
    1. Welly, thank you for your kind and lovely comments. I always try and write when I'm in a positive frame of mind so I was wary of how my glums would be interpreted. It IS nice to know that I'm not alone in this and hopefully a few sunny days will put things to rights. Wishing you all the best in 2012 - keep up the good writing, I'm hugely enjoying reading your blog! Caro x

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  27. A lovely post! I think that all gardeners feel like that at this time of year but it won't be long before it's a different story.
    I really enjoy looking through the Chiltern Seeds catalogue and dreaming of what I'd grow if I had a big garden. Flighty xx

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    1. Thank you Flighty - as ever putting things in perspective! And it's true the spring will be on us all too soon and I won't have a moment to spare! Better get on with the seed orders! xx

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  28. @Anna
    I have two garden tools that I've felt very pleased to acquire in the past year, Anna: the Felcos are one and my PKS copper trowel is the other. Both make me feel somewhat more professional when they're with me in the garden - silly I know, but it's lovely having the best! Given the storms we're suffering today, I'm hoping for kindly weather this year as well! Thanks for all your lovely comments, Caro x

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  29. @David Massey
    Oh I love the sound of spending the afternoon in front of the fire - sounds so cosy! I was eyeing up the manure mounds at the farm the other day, big holes show that many gardeners have made their way there already and it's on my list to do soon once the rain stops and the ground is less muddy!

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  30. Loved your slide show. Got me itching to get out and start sowing some seeds straight away. Big thanks for the mention above. V.best Naomi

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    1. Naomi, thank you! I'm pondering sewing a few seeds myself, if this mild weather holds.

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  31. Great slide show. It's a good way to look back on the year and what you've accomplished. I could go a bit mad with seed catalogues so I'm going to try and restrict myself this year...

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    1. Thanks Janet, it was really good to look back through the year, especially seeing the photos taken in the summer. Suddenly the summer doesn't seem too far off again ... !

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  32. Happy new year and thank you for your lovely comments on my blog too. I love the snow on your blog, shame we don't have any in reality (love a snow day off of work!) Enjoy perusing your catalouges, can't wait to see what you are up to in 2012.
    Rach x

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    1. Hi Rachel, Happy New Year to you too! I'm pleased that you're still with us, even if you can't grow your own this year. The temperatures are dropping here so at least we'll get a good frost, hopefully it will be enough to kill off a few garden pests! I'll hopefully post my 2012 plans quite soon ... !! Caro x

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  33. I really hope you have cheered up. It was great reading about feeling glum as I was able to admit to myself that I felt the same. Grey and more grey here for such a long time, yes bring on the frosty sunny days! And seeds can be very cheering:~))

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  34. Thank you Foxglove, I have cheered up - a little bit of winter sunshine this past week did the trick, that and being able to get outside which always works wonders for me! It's the grey days and enforced inside days which bring me down. And you're right, choosing seeds and planning for the next growing season helps as well. Hope that you're also feeling a bit brighter? Caro xx

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Comments on my posts are much appreciated and help to build an online community of blog friends. Recently, though, spam comments have been left so I have decided it's time to turn on comment moderation. I hope this won't deter real blog friends from commenting.
Caro x

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