Showing posts from December, 2019

Festive and Green

Fun times with friends (thanks for the photo, Clare) and a festive Slovenia made for a very special time when we visited recently. As you can see Bled was both festive and green, and being a garden blogger it's natural that I should celebrate both with this post about my travels there. Let's see what I found... We loved the Christmas lights in Ljubljana, with each street having its own theme. One had musical notes to accompany the classical music being played there; another had planets, comets and galaxies which made the crowd go 'Oooh!' when they were switched on in the early evening. The pictured street was more intriguing, with it's double DNA helix, a sperm, a nucleus, and a female egg. Too bad we found out just a few hours before we were to leave that there's a guided walk around the lights , which reveals the artist Zmago Modic's intentions. I'm speculating that as a Catholic country, this represents the immaculate conception. There

Postcard from Slovenia

I'm back from a long weekend in Slovenia , thanks to my friend F from WI who organised a girls' weekend for four of us after she fell in love with the country on her summer holidays this year. The view is of Lake Bled with its island and castle. We decided to take the local bus there from the capital Ljubljana, which was an adventure as it wound its way through tiny Alpine-like villages to get there. As you can see we had perfect weather for our walk around the lake, before retiring to a cafe for a delicious lunch. The Slovenian people are welcoming and convivial, with a quiet confidence born out of their love for this recently formed country. The food and wine are fantastic, and there is so much to see and do, whether you prefer cultural exploits, exploring the natural world, an active or sporty holiday, or a mix of all three. Our time there was a perfect antidote to the winter blues. I'll be back in a few days time to show you some the festive delights and gree

Weekend Wandering: Enchanted Christmas

Last weekend I had the good fortune to see Westonbirt 's Enchanted Christmas thanks to a press pass 45 minutes ahead of the public's entry. After what seemed like weeks of rain and miserable grey weather, it felt good to be out in the crisp, fresh air. It was a perfect evening, albeit rather chilly - a great excuse for a sneaky hot chocolate afterwards! It was the first time I'd visited the famous and award winning Christmas show, despite the Arboretum being a few miles away. The crowds I'd heard about had put me off, but seeing the show's trail is in the Old Arboretum and entry is staggered into various slots over the evening, there is actually plenty of room for everyone to have a good time. We're starved of light at this time of the year, so a festive offering which shows off some of the Arboretum's most stately trees makes sense and is the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Some of the lights stay the same, but many change through a rainbow

Review of the Year: Tomatoes

I ate my last home-grown tomato for breakfast this morning, so I thought I'd have a look back today on how this year's crop fared. It's been my best tomato season ever, partly helped by the weather and then boosted much further with the gifted 'Crimson Crush' seeds via Dalefoot Compost , who invited me to trial their new tomato compost this year. A few years ago I almost gave up growing tomatoes, because I can only grow them outdoors where they're at their most susceptible to blight. However, recent success from Simon Crawford's tomato breeding programme has resulted in not only strong blight resistance in his tomatoes, they're full of flavour* too. 'Crimson Crush' is one of his and were supplied for this trial by Pennard Plants , yay. I almost despaired this year too. June was unseasonably cold and my tomato plants took on an alarming purple hue. Luckily the weather soon turned warm and when my friend from Oz came to stay in early J