Wednesday, 25 April 2012


The type of weather we have had recently presents big challenges to the gardener and the photographer. From the gardener's point of view, you never know what the weather is going to do: one minute it is bright and warm(ish); next minute it's windy and tipping it down with really heavy rain - or in some cases, hail. I am so glad of the protection that my mini-greenhouses offer, because this sort of weather can be lethal for young seedlings. I dare not leave them outside unprotected, so the mini-greenhouses with their zip-up front panels are ideal.

From the photgrapher's point of view, the stark contrast between light and shade can provide some dramatic shots, but it makes photographing "ordinary" things quite difficult, and I'm not sure that I have "cracked it" just yet...

Sunshine on black clouds

Lettuce "All Year Round"

Baby Leaf Salad


Swiss Chard - left over from last year, but looking good again

You've seen this one before, but I like it!  I also think it epitomises the "Light and Shade" challenge.

Shallots and Garlic securely netted!


Looking back at these photos I realise that my garden is not producing much at present, because all the raised beds are committed to things that won't be ready for at least a couple of months. This is why I have some quicker-growing crops in trays and boxes, like these Radishes:

Hopefully they will be ready in a couple of weeks from now - so actually now is the time for me to sow some more to replace them. Where, though?


  1. We've just harvested our first few raddish and have made lots of successional sowings of different varieties already. We have 3 salad beds but with one full of perpetual crops and another full of raddish and the third full of lettuce seedlings I don't know where to plant the rest!

    Yet again, your plot looks superb!

    Well done!


  2. I always plant radishes in one big planting and then regret it. But I really don't leaves space for them. I figured where they were was OK early on, but they need to be pulled when bean season start. The radishes, spinach, and baby Asian greens are all in spots that will have summer veggies. So in a month or so they will all be gone. I am doing successions of corn though. I've never grown a good crop and am trying different times. Hopefully I'll have lots of corn all summer long.

    And your photos look great. My tour photos were just going out early and clicking fast as it was cold and I didn't have my jacket on. The onions were half in shade and half in light. Not the best of photos.

  3. There seems to be a time lapse with your posts appearing on my e-mail they are all coming together or really delayed. So my commenting must seem a bit erratic. I can't believe you have a full-sized lettuce already, everything really looks healthy - it won't be long before you are harvesting again.

  4. I love how that Swiss chard looks. I have wanted to grow it for a while but it just never seems to do well for me. Your shallots look wonderful as well. The onion bulbs that I planted this year have produced nothing but green onions which was disappointing.

  5. All this strange weather has produced some wonderful looking skies too so I love that one of yours of the sunshine on the black clouds.

  6. We'll never be satisfied Mark. Not with the weather, not with our progress in the garden and not with our photographs. I suppose it's that sort of thing that just makes us strive to be better and keep up our interest. If we did things perfectly where would the challenge be?

  7. You are being too modest Mark..your garden looks fantastic and it just amazes me how much you get out of it. . . not to mention the photos, always wonderful. I too look for the sun in photos and almost never adjust the lighting. I read about shooting into the light and I find those are sometimes my best shots but hard to get without glare.

    Your Swiss Chard is in mint condition...will you let it go to seed? I have some carrots I think I will let go to seed for the umbels which are supposed to be good pollinator blooms as well.

  8. I've just noticed that the first radish I've sown this year have started to germinate. It won't be long until they're ready to harvest, they're a nice quick crop.

  9. I am eeying your asparagus. It is interesting to see that although it is spring there, and here is autumn, the plants that we usually able to grow in this different season is similar. Your shallot looks great.

  10. I reckon you could fit some radishes in between your shallots - but it may be an optical illusion.

  11. Love the wooden box with radishes!!

  12. Hi Mark,

    Where did you pick up those mini greenhouses? I'd like to snag me a few =)

  13. Andrea: I got the mini-greenhouses online, via a place called, but they are widely available. Most Garden Centres in the UK sell them too.

  14. Did you see the caterpillar in your lettuce photo?


  15. Hi Sandra; Do you mean the brown thing at bottom centre? That's a twig from the compost - but maybe there's a well-camouflaged GREEN caterpillar that I can't see...! :)


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