Next door neighbours

The growing year started with a visit from wee Pat and his pals, our neighbours from the local nursery down the hill, who enjoyed both seeing the tadpoles in the pond and scoffing the contents of the biscuit tin.

The biscuit tin was replenished in time for the Lochend Growing Project's visit in November - some pics above. Lochend Community Growing Project is a local project encouraging people to grow vegetables.  I have so far been involved as a local in the group at the planning stage.  The group have got a great site down the road in Lochend, which they are currently reclaiming - putting in raised beds, fruit trees and in the long run a polytunnel. Do get in touch with them if you would like to get a raised bed this coming season, and get involved.  On our visit they were particularly interested in the composting toilet - which may or not bode well!

The final visit was like royalty visiting - the green carpet was well and truly laid out for @gardenergareth's visit in December.  Gareth is a gardener from Edinburgh, well Ratho, living in Donegal.  Not only that but it turns out he's on the radio! I'm a gardener from Ireland (folks live in Donegal) living in Edinburgh, who's not on the radio...

Having met and made pals on Twitter over the past year, when he said he was visiting home for christmas, it was too good not an opportunity to see if his wit was as quickfire in real-life, show him some sites and have a nice hogmanay pint of stout.  Gareth braved coming down to Leith, gave me some tips on a guerilla gardening site I got my eye on, visit the Lochend site and show him the allotment.  Jeez, that guy's #naemonty but he's sure is a professional when it came to the photos - he was like Zoolander!

Unfortunately he couldn't stay for a pint of the panda juice, but next time I'm travelling through Derry, passing Harry's in Burt, to visit mum and dad I'll pop in.  Rumours that Gareth forgot to shut the door when he and Leanne visited the Royal Yacht Britannia earlier that day are just that.  Meanwhile plans are already afoot to twin the growing cities of Leith with Derry, united in our love for good sustenance... Happy New Year all and best wishes for 2012!