I’ve just realised that we’ve spent the past few weekends revelling in the extended period of dry, warm and, (mostly) sunny weather and I haven’t recorded any of our labours. Rather than trying to remember everything we’ve done I’m going to cheat by going through all the cards and seed packets to see what we’ve sown/planted so far this year – it’s quite an impressive list! Continue reading A Planting Extravaganza
After over a week of rain and fog, I finally got a couple of precious hours in the garden before it started to pour down again. I made good use of that time however and potted and planted out almost 100 plants.
The chickens destroyed our herb garden so I used the opportunity to get a much better selection of plants that I would be more likely to use. We now have bay, sage, lovage, blue and white borage, lemon verbena, lemon balm, caraway, chamomile, rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, fennel, and mint. I’ve also taken the precaution of sticking bamboo all the way around so the girls can’t get in and feast.
I got a total bargain of 36 perennial posti-plugs for 36p with my last Thompson & Morgan purchase so now have Erigeron Stallone, Armeria Ballerina, Echinacea Pink Parasol and Nectar Pink, Coreopsis Early Sunrise and Delphinium Magin Fountain so they’re all potted on and will be great additions for our new front garden when we’re ready to plant.
Our long shady bed under the beech hedge has now been planted up with a selection of periwinkles, Tiarellas, Muscari, Leptinella and Heuchera, now just waiting on the Hellibores to fill the gaps.
I split the courgettes and tomatoes that grew from some ‘seed pods’ that I was sent – the courgettes look amazing, never tried them before but very impressed so far, and potted both of these on along with a sweet pepper. I also caned the blackcurrant and a gooseberry so they’re looking much tidier.
The beauty of potting all these things just before it rains is that you can skip the watering stage – probably how I got so much done before the heavens opened again. Everything’s crossed for some better weather as there’s so much to do out there.
In the week that saw us celebrate our 3rd anniversary of moving to our country cottage we saw a lot of changes in the garden.
We have a pair of nesting blue tits in our bird box (yay), the starlings have already fledged and there are now sparrows in their old nest. The swallows are back swooping and darting all around and the geese have returned to the fields roundabout, some with young. After a seemingly never-ending Winter, Spring is most definitely here.
The garden has gone bonkers, everything’s growing and blooming and budding and it’s heartwarming to see! The cherry blossom is out and the beech hedge is finally turning, that fresh green really makes a difference in our garden.
The (short) spell of warmer, sunny weather was filled to the brim with ‘getting shit done’ in the garden – everything from getting the potting shed set-up to clearing, weeding and edging, sowing seeds and bulbs (better late than never) and I even made up some hanging baskets inspired by the book Crops in Pots, that I reviewed a while back.
We had a lovely trip to The Secret Herb Garden (LOVE this place) to source new herbs as the chickens have self-seasoned and destroyed what we had. We got lemon verbena, lovage and borage (inspired by Petal, Leaf, Seed), several new rosemarys, chamomile, sage, lemon balm, oregano, fennel, jasmine and rhubarb, amongst others.
Our new front lawn is looking great and we’ve just bought a new mower and hedge cutter so we’re getting tooled up to tackle the front garden.
So much to do now but sadly the torrential rain is back so no idea when we’ll be able to crack on – we live in hope though, always hope!
“Cooking with the treasures of the garden”
Have you ever infused a fig leaf in custard and had it’s coconut and elderflower scent waft up to you on clouds of milky steam? or picked a handful of fennel seeds when they are still green and fat and scalded them with boiling water for a sweet, grassy, anise-scented tea? Or maybe you have decorated a salad with bright purple sage flowers, with a flavour that’s deeply herbal yet honeyed? If the answer to any of these questions is no, this book will open your eyes to the hidden flavours in your garden.
Well someone clearly knew me when they bought me this as a birthday present! What a lovely lovely book!
On reading the introduction above I immediately wanted to answer yes, Yes, YES to all of those questions! Just those opening words sent me off on a deliciously intoxicating foodie daydream.
Petal, Leaf Seed by Lia Leendertz does exactly what it says on the tin and offers up a whole heap of recipes from cocktails and drinks through to main meals and desserts with butters, tisanes, sprinkles and sherbets along the way. It covers Spring, Summer, vegetable and herb flowers, fruit leaves, exotic leaves, leaves from herbs as well as herb, vegetable & flower seeds.
It’s the most bizarre thing, but every time I’ve picked this book up, I’ve sniffed the pages as if expecting to release the aromas from the glorious photography within.
I have a feeling that this book might well be to blame for some of my next few plant purchases, I’ve already added lemon verbena and borage to my list. My new favourite recipe book for sure – a perfect gift for a gardening loving foodie! (Thank you G!)
A gorgeous warm, sunny day here in the Pentlands – it’s days like this that really make me appreciate just how lucky I am to work at home from our garden shed!
After the weekend’s prep we had another planter to fill so in went spinach, mizuna and spring onions. I also planted my broccoli and brussel sprout seedlings. Continue reading Broccoli, Brussels & Borage – Weds 11th June