Purple Sprouting Broccoli for the Patient Gardener

Gardens & Homes

The Garden Smallholder

I confess to not being a very patient person in many areas of my life, however, I’ve discovered that I am in fact a very patient gardener. For a whole year I’ve been waiting for Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli (PSB) to reward my efforts, I’m pleased to announce the wait is finally over. If you’re not a patient gardener, this crop is not for you. Sow from February, plant out from late spring and harvest the following spring. Now that’s a long old wait.

I will admit, wood pigeons set the harvest period back slightly, stripping the top florets just as they began to grow in February. I could have prevented that from happening by netting the plants, but, as regular readers to my blog will know, that’s not something I feel comfortable doing. The weather was awful in February, greenery and food were scarce for most wildlife (I do put out food for wild birds but the…

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The humble dandelion

Beekeepers: An Important Link to Survival!

Apiarylandlord's Blog

When we inspected the hives at Hughenden Manor yesterday, the pollen being brought in seemed particularly vibrant in colour.  We saw bright yellow and also a bright orange.  I’d not anticipated such generous pollen loads with the days of heavy rain we’d had.  A field of oil seed rape may account for the yellow.  Implication is that honey bees go mad for OSR so the fact some were visiting something else was interesting in itself.

Heading for my pollen guide – or an online resource. http://www.bristolbeekeepers.org.uk/  shows dandelion might be the most likely source and as we drove away I saw quite a few dandelions.  perhaps the frequent downpours had stopped grass mowing leaving more dandelions on view?  The dandelions seemed fully open (and it was about 4 pm).

This video clip certainly started the brain cells pondering.  It reminded me that dandelions appear almost everywhere and once there…

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The Nesting Great Blues

Happy Earth Day let’s help protect our home, every step counts! xo

Serenity Spell

I’m lucky to have close access to the Green Cay and Wakodahatchee Wetlands (Seminole for “created waters”), and when we’re not able to hike the Everglades or some of the other far-reaching natural area, a stroll around these boardwalks will soothe my spirits. It’s full-on nesting and baby season, and while I’ve posted some pics of the anhingas and others (the baby gators I’ve yet to post), I’ve saved the biggest for last: the ever-so-graceful Great Blue Herons. Their displays at the rookery fuel the attentions of every amateur and professional photographer and birdwatcher for miles, and the meek (*me*) have no place if it’s crowded…which is fine, because while the herons are divine, there’s plenty of other loveliness to be found when no one’s looking.

The Great Blue parents share the responsibilities of feeding their young at the nest, by hunting on a full-time schedule and regurgitating the…

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Farm Fresh: Farming in Dubai’s desert

Array of recipes to compliment various  needs & tastes!