Tag Archives: garden

Petal, Leaf & Seed – Book Review

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“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!)

Getting Creative with a new Potting Bench

I’ve been going Pinterest crazy recently for all things gardening and one thing that’s been high on my to-do list, especially with our continued Wintery weather, has been to create a potting shed sanctuary.

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Our Summerhouse, which also acts as my home office and a general dumping ground for out of season garden furniture and chicken bedding/feed etc. will be the perfect spot, once it’s been cleared out a bit.

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I’ve been gathering lots of ‘pinspiration‘ and spotted something at last weekend’s local auction that would make a perfect potting bench – thankfully, we won it and it was delivered today, along with some other bits n pieces.

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I couldn’t quite wait for it to be in situ before got ‘potting’ so I planted up a set of vintage scales with some succulents. S didn’t quite ‘get’ my vision with this one so will be interested to see if he likes it.

We also bought a vintage watering can and an old Edwardian foot bath a few weeks back that are also waiting on some potting action.

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In other news, the spring onion ends that I put in some water at the weekend, have indeed started sprouting (yes, another idea from Pinterest), although the celery isn’t looking quite so successful just yet.

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The post was also a joy – I received a new book on growing and preserving fruit to review, a packet of wildflower seeds from this year’s Grow Wild campaign and a sample of Baby Bio outdoor. Along with the seeds from a friend, I have a lot to be playing around with.

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We have a new front garden!

Our front garden was clearly made to be low-maintenance but we were desperate to create a ‘chocolate box’ country cottage look, especially as our back garden is mainly a kitchen garden.IMG_7716

We removed all the pebbles – most going to neighbours houses/gardens – it was quite amusing to find white car parking lines underneath from the days it was a pub.

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Then in came the landscapers to dig it all up, put in flower beds around the borders and creating a lawn – Sandy has been desperate to get a lawnmower (boys and toys?!) so now he can!

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We’ve got to wait 2-3 weeks for the grass to sort itself out before we can get in there and start planting, but in the meantime, we’ve been given some very clever-sounding garden planning software to try out/review – The Weatherstaff PlantingPlanner which I’m very excited about.

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FREE Wildflower seeds from Grow Wild (& WIN a DSLR camera)

The lovely folks at Grow Wild UK are again giving away thousands of FREE wildflower seed kits to the people of the UK.

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There’s no catch (this campaign is funded by BIG Lottery Fund) and it just takes a minute to register and you will be sent wildflower seeds native to your country that will attract bees, butterflies and insects and of course be beautiful too.

More information & claim your seeds here

Go get yours now!

#grewitmyselfie – You can also win a digital SLR camera by posting a pic of you and your plants on social media – more info here (awesome hashtag!)

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Honesty Box – had fun with this!

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Now all the girls are laying we seem to quickly build up a surplus of eggs, even with just the three of them, so we’ve been and set ourselves up an honesty box to sit out in the front garden.

Hopefully, between neighbours and hillwalkers, we’ll get some passing trade. Who knows, I may even start adding jams and other homemade goodies to it as well in due course.  Continue reading Honesty Box – had fun with this!

Pinterest – hanging basketfuls of inspiration

Pinterest is the perfect way to plan anything from a fancy dress outfit to a bucket list, and everything in between, however, I find it more than a little diverting for divine garden inspiration.

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So much so, I’ve had to turn my one gardening board into nine separate ones – a perfect task for a rainy day when getting outside wasn’t going to happen. Continue reading Pinterest – hanging basketfuls of inspiration