an image of a wooden christmas tree behind a fence

Festival Countdown – Sunday 31st Dec, 2023

On Christmas Eve we had our last event of the year. A children’s event with a search game round the garden and art too, with Santa Claus in the book shed. Grown ups were invited too, for hot chocolate or tea, mince pies and biscuits, and a natter. It was also the culmination of Forest Gate Festive Countdown. Local residents …

Forest Voices – Saturday 16th December, 2023

It’s not quite the end of the year, but all the signs are there. Short days, bare trees, and few birds. Today, we have our mince pies, mulled wine and carols from Forest Voices who have grown in number from last time I heard them. Their volume swells through the garden with old carols and pops. We have a good …

Temperature – Sunday 10th December, 2023

It’s wet and its cold. We swaddle up to keep the heat in. We tell each other it is close to zero. That is the Celsius scale, formally known as Centigrade. The scale was invented by the Swedish Astronomer, Anders Celsius in 1742. 0ºC is the freezing point of water and 100ºC its boiling point. These keys points crop up …

Late Roses – 26th November, 2023

It has been cold the last few days, with a frost this morning. Frosts mean the end of the mushroom season but also has benefits in that they kill off pests like greenfly that would survive the winter. If our winters continue to be mild, and we get them without frosts we will have more pests attacking vegetables and decorative …

image of vine leaves

Vine Leaves – Sunday 12th November, 2023

Another wet November day. Chilly but not yet cold enough to deter mushrooms. On the limit though, perhaps the ground is holding a little heat, as in a walk in Epping Forest yesterday, I saw more mushrooms than I’d ever seen in the forest before, growing on the ground, on decaying stumps, and growing off trees. Few visitors today. It …

Our Frog – 29th October, 2023

Sunday was our Welcoming Winter celebration. It came in with a blast of rain over most of the day. We put up three gazebos, one for the children’s area, one for the musicians and another for their audience. The food tables were under our pergola, which is sizeable and close enough for the music to be heard. Our musicians were …

Honeysuckle Berries – Saturday 14th October, 2023

It’s a cold day, the breeze adding a chill. Spates of sunshine warm us up, but they don’t last long as the sky is full of drifting cloud. This is autumn seasonal weather, while we have been spoilt by an Indian summer with temperatures in the 20s, so temperatures 10 degrees cooler are a shock. Its scarves and fleeces today, …

Sycamore – Sunday 1st October, 2023

A tree makes news! How beautiful, how sad. I am of course referring to the sawing down of the tree in Sycamore Gap along Hadrian’s Wall. A tree made famous by its inclusion in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) with Kevin Costner as the outlaw. It was voted tree of the year in 2016 in the Woodland Trust Award. …

Dancers – Sunday 24th September, 2023

Last Sunday, around 60 of us came to the garden, to hear music in celebration of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. We listened to the violinist Adriana Cristea playing traditional Jewish melodies, as we ate honey cake and apple with honey. The violin sound covered much of the garden. I was surprised how far it carried, a small stringed …

Hawthorn – Sunday 17th September, 2023

It is autumn, or as, they say in the US, fall, an apt name as the big signifier is falling leaves. Meteorological autumn began on September 1st, astrological autumn in a few days with the equinox on September 21st.  Deciduous trees will lose all their leaves between now and December. This is very noticeable along Earlham Grove where curled, brown, …