Six on Saturday – 5 January ’19

Well, it’s another New Year and outside its freezing today, so I am inside making bread and Kanelbullar (Swedish cardamom and cinnamon buns).  After a hot summer and masses of building work and the mad panic of decorating and tiling reading for Christmas, I am going to start the fab six on Saturday posts again.

The vegetable beds

Raised beds
The veg plot on a cold and frosty morning

We have struggled to be in the garden for 3-4 months of the summer this year as we had some building work done.  We had no kitchen so no way to eat a lot of the stuff we were growing.  At least we had tomatoes with nearly every meal.

Mulching ready for winter

Winter beds
Mulched and manured and covered up

We try to get a layer of compost and manure down on the empty beds and then cover with cardboard.  This is all part of the no dig idea of growing in raised beds.  So far it is working well.

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens

We been trying to grow a few more greens during the winter.  We have kale, sprouts, purple sprouting and chard already.  This year we have tried oriental mustard greens and love them.  Think of a peppery pak choi when raw and a good spinach flavour when wilted in a pan with butter.  Yummy!


Ralphee is trying to help

We have a couple of conventional compost bins that take a long time to rot down and actually give pretty wet stuff usually.  I see other on twitter etc have been trying out hot composting but I am not sure I have the time to turn the bins every day.  I think a bit more research needed.


White camellia in its pot for now

This year we have another garden project.  The area just outside the house is dead grass and mud from the building work.  However, we bought a beautiful white-flowered camellia to go in one cover that stays in the shade on cold winters morning.  I am looking forward to getting that planted and settled in this year.

Rhubarb Forcing

Rhubarb forcing underway

January always has ray of sunshine for me – forced rhubarb.  I was lucky enough to receive a play forcing pot as a present from my sister a few years ago.  Pop in on a healthy crown in January and wait til the yellow leaves pop the lid off in March.

Happy New Year and happy gardening, growing etc in 2019.

The “rules” of Six on Saturday are easy to follow and can be found on The Progator’s blog.  I recommend you give it a go, it is an addictive thing to do


  1. Fellow Stroudite newbies here glad we have found your blog great to see what fellow gardeners in area are up to! Hoping to grow veg at some point although we have gardened for yrs know very little about veg. Plenty about ornamental stuff like Hostas.

    You’re book marked!
    Wishing a very succesful gardening year .

    Matt and Gavin

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Just saw my rhubarb poking through. I only have one crown so don’t force it. I shall have to be patient. I am considering decommissioning my 3 raised beds and just having one big plot area. If I can be bothered…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m from Yorkshire too, nut now live down south. I have a couple of clay forcers for my rhubarb but also use an old chimney pot. In fact I’m not sure I’ve placed them yet on the crowns – I rotate them every year. Thanks for the reminder. Just popping out to do that now.

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  4. This is what I like about blogging- the opportunity to learn new things. And I’ve also learnt why my own rhubarb was such a failure… it’s far too hot here. I must say the rhubarb on the slow food site looks delicious! No wonder you can get such attractive forcing cones being where you are!

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  5. I grew up in Yorkshire and we eat lots of it there. Google the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle! It’s a real thing!
    Yes I think you could use the pot for other things. I have wondered about chicory but I think that quite hard to do. The celery idea is a good one.
    The pots were popular in English country houses. I remember visiting one place that had 1-200 plants and about 50 pots.
    But u
    You can use a black plastic bin too 😂


  6. Your rhubarb pot is so beautiful! I grew up in Ohio, in midwestern United States, and my father grew Rhubarb and covered it, but not with a fancy pot. As I recall, it was growing in the shade of a tree, and also he simply wrapped and tied heavy layers of newspaper around it for some time before the harvest. Otherwise, as you said, it would have been tough and stringy instead of pale pink, sweet and tender. My mother baked rhubarb pies with it and made rhubarb cobblers. It is too hot where I live now in the South to grow rhubarb, unfortunately.

    There are other vegetables that a forcing pot could also be used to cover, aren’t there? Celery, for instance? Asparagus, maybe? I’ve never done this. In fact I had forgotten about the whole thing until seeing your picture. Such a beautiful and unique gardening tool.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for the link to your info about rhubarb. I’ve never heard of anyone forcing it here, which isn’t to say it doesn’t happen. People simply grow it and pick the stalks when they’re ready. I had rhubarb growing but it had green stalks, which I’m told taste the same, but don’t look as nice. I dug it up and put it in the compost.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. No, never! The light starts the acid production and the rhubarb starts to get tough and sharp. You want it pale pink and super sweet.
This post has some more pictures of the forced stuff. It is such a pretty colour.


  9. I’m interested in the rhubarb forcing pot which I think is very decorative. Once you take the pot off, does the rhubarb need some time in the sun to colour up?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, thats very kind. We had a few days after Christmas tidying up. The cardboard is just a way to keep things neat. Charles Downing doesnt use raised beds, all of his no dig is simply layers and layers of compost year after year. So you are on the right track I think

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your garden is tidy and beautiful despite the fact that you didn’t have much time to go there this summer. I will also try the no-dig this year. I didn’t do it with cardboard, just manure, dead leaves in a thick layer and I’ll see. (I don’t have a raised bed like you: directly on the ground ).
    Forced rhubarb isn’t common here. I just miss the pot of terracotta but other chosen will do the trick.

    Liked by 2 people

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