Tag Archives: leeks

December Calendar 2015



This has been a strange warm and dry December in the Auvergne, with few frosts and many sunny days. However due to the sheltered nature of the garden in a forest clearing, it doesn’t get much sunlight this time of year, just 3 or 4 hours around midday. This has made acquiring photographs for this post a little challenging.

Most of the flowers are now over though we do have some winter pansies and heather still giving some colour. The roses though, have finally succumbed, but have given us a fantastic long season this year.


We have planted up 3 beds with field beans as a winter green manure, that we will dig in this spring. It’s the first time we have tried this so we will be interested to see how it turns out. They are all looking good and healthy at the moment but have only had to deal with light frosts down to -4 so far.

field bean

field bean

We still have leeks, kale and jerusalem artichokes which we are using throughout the winter. And I have discovered some new recipes using kale which are most welcome (thank you Jamie Oliver!)

nero di toscano

nero di toscano

The hyssop has finally been cut down after getting wind damaged but it gave us a couple of lovely photos this month.


For some garden inspiration I have had as a christmas gift  Mark Diacono’s “The New Kitchen Garden”  .

The-New-Kitchen-Garden-cover-e1425573630957The garden became a bit of a slog this year, mainly due to the immense heatwave we suffered during  July and August and I’m hoping this will get me inspired again! So farewell to 2015 and looking forward to a new growing season in 2016.


Canicule! A Long Hot Summer




We are in the middle of a heatwave here in the Auvergne and water restrictions are now in operation and we can only water between 8pm and 8am. Its around 29C (84F) today but heading back up to 35C (95F) later this week. However that is still a lot better than the high of 40C (104F) we hit last week.

The leek bed is looking particularly verdant and green though, in contrast to the parched grass around the raised beds. That is possibly because we have had enviromesh over the bed, giving some protection from the searing heat.

So gardening is restricted to early mornings before the temperature gets over 30C and we retreat to the relative cool of the house, it’s electric fan and the Tour de France!