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through the door Phocas the Gardener

Saint Phocas is the patron saint of gardeners. Phocas used to feed the poor and became skilled at growing herbs to aid the sick. Contributed by AJ of GCF Grave Tending services

There is, as yet no evidence of a similar weather pattern developing. Indeed the latest predictions for the period around the 25th would indicate that any whiteness will be due to frost and fog and that generally there will be little in the way of serious winter weather at that time.

In Season

What a varied November we have just had! Not typical of the month at all and so different from the November of a year ago when its icy tail was the forerunner of “The Big Freeze”. Just twelve months ago we experienced the coldest December for 100 years. As early as 23rd November, the Scottish borders and Northumberland experienced a light dusting of snow and from the 24th weather

Much of the fruit and vegetables we buy from supermarkets has travelled hundreds, maybe thousands of miles to reach us, the transportation burning fuel and contributing to the pollution of the atmosphere. This can be avoided by buying local (i.e. British) when in season. Here are some of the fruit and vegetables currently in season:


Scandinavia brought 2” of snow to Northern and Eastern parts of Scotland and England. Although we in the South suffered from the low temperatures it was not until 2nd December that we felt the full effect of the winter weather that most other parts of the country had been enduring for more than a week. During the night of 1st-2nd December a heavy snowbelt moved into Southern England with accumulations starting from 8pm.By morning considerable depths were recorded throughout the region, Brighton 32cm (13”),Horsham 35cm (14”) and 60cm (24”) on the South Downs. The falls resulted in major disruption to transport, with roads impassable, huge queues at mainline rail termini and both Gatwick and Heathrow airports closed for a time. After a short respite around the middle of the month more snow was to fall on the 18th causing chaos for seasonal shoppers. There was no let up in the cold weather until after the holiday. Will we suffer similarly this year? At the end of November last year a northern blocking established itself over Greenland resulting in the Jet Stream moving south which allowed cold air to flow from the east.

Fruit - Again this month there is little, however I am informed that some local strawberries will be available in some shops. Vegetables - A good choice this month including; J e r u s a l e m artichoke, seakale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, chicory,


marrow, onion, parsnip, winter radish, salsify, scorzonera (black salsify), spinach beet, swede, turnip.

Warning - Rogue Gardeners!

Beware when employing a gardener; there are many good, genuine ones around but also an increasing number of rogues who will overcharge and possibly do more harm than good in your garden.

In one area there has been a 50% increase in complaints to trading standards about garden and tree work in the past year.

Gardening 25

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