Huge waves are crashing onto the rocks as the freezing sleet whips past in the winter gale. Yes, it is indeed “winter”. The garden is sleeping and static as the leaves fall and the last of the apples are finally picked from those bountiful espaliered trees against the south facing wall.
There is, of course, plenty of food still in the soil to be harvested – beetroot, curly kale and the magnificent parsnips.
We have almost finished the essential pruning and training of soft fruits and espaliers. The plum and apricot have grown like mad things – needing new wires and ties. I have learned to be “brutal” when pruning – it is certainly not easy to persuade our trees to grow exactly where we would like them.
One trick I can tell you – just scrape away a small piece of the bark above the buds you want to encourage – this diverts all the rising sap into those buds which will then grow strongly into the branches where you want them!
I have just taken delivery of my Swarey 518 WattHour portable power generator. It arrived (strangely) just a couple of hours before the big storm hit Northumberland and our power was cut! It is a BRILLIANT device – my music system has been playing now for over 2 hours and just reduced the charge by 8%. I can charge my computer, put on the lights and keep my mobile phone running. Everyone should have one – currently £320 on eBay. The power pack holds charge for at least 3 months without recharging.