Potager Garden: Storm bubbles, tea and gingerbread

It takes a lot to keep our youngest out of the garden. This morning she could not understand why the rest of us were not keen to play out in the biggest storm to hit Britain so far this year: Storm Dennis is arriving today. Our garden is quite sheltered and I find the gales…

Potager Garden: February 2020

My little helper, who pulls on her boots the moment she sees me fetch the kitchen door key, joins me in the garden today. I’m so pleased to see tiny crocuses popping up in the old terracotta pots I bought from the library plant sale last year. I like the look of these old frost-hardened…

Almanac: Winter … and a welcome return to tree climbing

Our visit to Bradgate today is a special one.  It is a welcome return to tree climbing.  Our second eldest son has spent the last six months recovering from a broken arm, caused by a painful cyst in the bone. To our immense relief, he has had an all-clear that everything has healed and he…

Potager Garden: Late winter in the garden with a little helper

It is very cold today, but the bright sunshine and clear skies make the garden irresistable. Warmed by cups of hot tomato soup, we check the vegetable plot’s progress. All of our onion sets are now sprouting. The seed company have just sent through a delayed order of giant garlic bulbs and, as I usually…

Almanac: The Old Treehouses

Just a short journey from home there are vast acres of parkland, with rocky outcrops, banks of bracken, gentle streams and, near the top of one of the many rolling hills, a cluster of trees known in my family as “the treehouses.”  These are ancient trees that are hollowed out with many years of rough…

Travel Diaries: Lincolnshire Tour – The Cathedral at dusk

Lincoln Cathedral at dusk On the occasions when our adventures are city-based, our family of six  pack our rucksacks just as if we were about to hike across fields or mountains and we treat the landscape exactly the same.  We walk and explore, and try and find the hidden corners that breathe character into the…

Almanac: Waiting for spring – stream walking the forest

When the forest paths turn to slippy, ankle-deep mud in the winter months, we like to take our four children stream-walking.   This is one of the forests to the north of the village we live in and we like to visit after heavy rain, when the tiny streams are full and running much more…