I live on an island off the North West coast of Scotland. It is often wet and windy with temperatures on average a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the country. Because of our maritime climate, we don’t see much in the way of heavy snow or frost; instead we get gales - a lot of those! But there can be the most glorious sunshine and clearest blue skies - enough to keep me happy, anyway.
There’s no doubt about it, though, growing anything here can be a challenge. A couple of years ago, I renovated the garden to make it easier to manage. One of the things I invested in was a polycrub, for growing fruit and vegetables. I’ve mentioned it a lot on my Instagram feed, but I don’t think I ever explained what it is - basically a rigid poly tunnel, made from polycarbonate and recycled feeding tubes from the fish farming industry. They were developed in Shetland (ask them about winter gales!) and are built to withstand very high wind speeds.
It is, quite simply, the best investment I have made. I can grow anything in there - its definitely the way to go here. It feels so sturdy and secure, the space is amazing and it just makes growing our own food so much easier and satisfying, while being undercover means that there is always something to harvest.
Right now, the fruiting vegetables are coming to and end, and the salads and leafy greens are coming into their own. There are still carrots, beets, turnips and leeks too. The tomatoes have been magnificent this year - so juicy and sweet. We’re still picking the odd one or two, but they are really over for this year. We’ll miss them. I grow a lot of greens and its great to nip out and pull a few leaves fresh for dinner. I often find I am craving for green stuff as the winter wears on. There wont be much new growth now until after the New Year, when the days begin to lengthen again, but there’s enough to keep us going.
I’ve planted garlic in one of the raised beds outside. The variety I’m trying this year is Vallelado, which I bought from a seller on ebay. It’s actually a really good place to get plants and seeds from. Many small growers and nurseries sell from there, and I’ve always been really happy with the quality.
The flower beds, which were ablaze with blooms in the summer, are shrinking back down to bare branches and blackened foliage, but there are still pops of colour to enjoy. Sedum Autumn Joy is so well named, and this one has been absolutely stunning this year. I moved it from another part of the garden, where it was being completely overshadowed by another plant, and it is certainly repaying me for the favour
Well, that’s my November 2018 garden tour - I hope you enjoyed it. Its my aim to do this on a monthly basis, and chart my progress as I go through the year. It’s where I started when I first had a blog, and so now I’ve come full circle! xx