The weekly view ….. time to get down and dirty!

A deep-deep sleep in my own bed.

Waking to the sound of seagulls on the roofs, people on their way to work, of cars passing by all to the backdrop of Radio 4. The sound of home.

A bright sunny day – a  warm welcome thank you.

I pull on my gardening scruffs of old t-shirts, ski socks, fleece lined trousers and my trusty Dr Marten boots, a beanie and scarf complete the look.

I pack my gardening bag – a flask, of tea, a box of fruit and nuts to snack on, pencil and plant labels, tissues, hand cream, notebook and camera, a couple of garlic bulbs to plant  and packets of Broad Beans to sow. Off I tramp through the familiar streets to the allotment – I must take you on my walk one day soon, there’s lots to see from a park to old pubs, to trees in bud, see glimpses and wobbly-wonky pavements and houses.

A trip to the plot to assess the ravages of winter. Face up to the brown claggy clay soil, the overgrown brambles, the dislodged netting, the weeds and all manner of other “urgent” jobs that need to be jobbed.

Now it’s time to dig for my dinner – A handful of Leeks, another of Cavolo Nero, a bunch of Parsley, some Salad Leaves and a teeny picking of Purple Sprouting Broccoli- the season’s first and oh so special.

I was going to make a meal of this and that and a bit of the other. A favourite allotment mélange or mash up if you’re not French. But looking for inspiration I found a tempting Puy Lentil, Leek and Poached Egg recipe by Sophie Grigson. It sounds and looks like a tasty meal, we’ll see how it turns out first eh?!


post script – of course the weather has since changed – sea fog rolling in and now rain and low cloud, Spring is here 😉



  • Lovely post Claire. A ‘digging for your dinner’ expedition sounds fabulous, especially when accompanied by a very well-packed gardening bag! The lentil, leek and poached egg recipe sounds amazing. Did you try it? Happy Spring!

    • The lentils were good, butI think I’ll play with the recipe a bit more- the original one had Chorizo, so that would add anothe rlayer of flavour. Still very tasty though !

  • Count me in as being jealous…you’re already eating from your garden, while my garlic is barely peeking above the soil. And it’s snowing. Again….
    Welcome home, and enjoy it a little bit extra, just for me – ok?

  • I know you enjoy being back in your garden. With three days of snow on top of the already foot or two of snow on the ground…I am another envious gardener hoping for the arrival of warming spring weather.

    • Oh my goodness Karen I hadn’t realised you still had snow. It shows me how temperate our climate is here, a bit more sun would always be appreciated though 🙂

  • Claire, can’t you divert this rain offshore before it rolls into mid-Sussex? The garden is far beyond soggy now!

  • That first look in the Spring is always a bit daunting for me, seeing all those urgent chores. Once I get my hands into it, though, the worst is over. How nice to be able to have vegetables and herbs from the garden right now! My garden, too, is still buried under about 2 feet of snow. Thanks, Claire!

    • 2 foot of snow is a lot of snow Cindy! I’ve just looked up Beaver Island on Google Maps, and understand where you live now 🙂 Stay warm my friend!

  • Ahhh, the list of garden work. At least we know that we aren’t alone while we’re doing it! I love that you have things to harvest. I must put more effort into a winter garden next year!

  • Oh, so the Cavolo Nero did survive! Oh so lucky you! Happy to see you all togged out and heading back to the allotment, Claire – and hoping you DO take us along on that walk soon!

  • I hope that you don’t have to spend a weekend gardening in the same ice cold wind as we have … you have some serious job in front of you and I’m so looking forward to the upcoming post about the life … in the “plot”.
    I was looking for that recipe … but no link what so ever- have you missed on a purpose. I really liked title of the dish.
    I wish you a great weekend.

  • Oh Claire, I’m so envious! More snow here again today, but the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow. I’m hoping it warms up enough to melt it all away so I can get out there and start digging!

  • It’s a good feeling to be home isn’t it and now I feel it in two places! Sounds like the allotment was behaving while you were away 🙂 Maybe catch up next week?

  • Digging for your dinner? I think I’ll pass on that for now. No telling what I’ll find — and that’s just under the snow cover without breaking ground at all. That’s OK. Spring will get here when it gets here, and not a moment before. Deep, eh?

  • the browns and greys of winter slowly giving way to the greens and yellows of early spring. ah yes, life, as do the seasons, is moving forward once again.

  • While you were away you more than likely missed one of my posts dedicated to sharing my story of keeping the garden healthy and alive throughout our winters–which means very little dormancy. I don’t suffer from the inability to get to the garden because of weather conditions, but instead I experience garden fatigue. Twelve months of weeds and watering and dead-heading…and I share this only because I see that in some ways, despite the work, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to still enjoy the lifecycle of the gardening and I don’t really know what it is to have to wait for it. I hear your enthusiasm and delight at getting back to garden routines and it’s a lovely, contagious feeling you’re putting out there. I’m so glad you’re feeling spring and at home in your allotment. It’s perhaps felt like a long winter to you, but I can remember the post where you were putting things back in the shed…and it feels like it was just weeks ago to me. I’m really looking forward to what you’ll be growing and then sharing, Claire. I hope spring comes and stays awhile for you! 🙂

  • Welcome home, dear Claire! I am ‘home’ here again at last, after having for some very weird and annoying reason fallen off your subscription list and been unable to climb back aboard, so I am glad to share in homecoming with you! xoxo

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