Friday, 10 April 2009
Watered the Busy lizzies in the greenhouse - some are looking very sad - i am not sure what I am doing wrong :o(
Also planted some Begonia tubers - I can't remember ordering them - so they will be a nice surprise.
Off to the seaside for the long Easter weekend, I hope everything survives my absence.
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Currently wading through the rhubarb - which got me thinking about its nutritious properties -
"Rhubarb is a good source of fibre and contains moderate levels of vitamin C and calcium. Studies have linked the fibre from rhubarb in the diet with reduced cholesterol levels."
This is the recipe I am following today
Rhubarb Pudding with Cream
- 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Trim rhubarb and cut into slices. Combine with water and sugar and simmer until soft. Stir in vanilla. Blend cornstarch with a little cold water to make a smooth, stiff paste. Stir into rhubarb and cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened and clear.
Pour rhubarb into glass serving dish and chill. At serving time, whip cream, add sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff. Pipe through pastry tube in decorative swirls on pudding, or cover top of pudding with spoonfuls of whipped cream.
Monday, 6 April 2009
We went to the allotments and had a peep at how the tadpoles were coming along - no changes yet they are just very, very wriggly. Then we saw the magnificent cockerel (we call him Lester but have no idea if he even has a name) and his harem of 3 black feathered hens. The kids love it when he stretches his neck up high in the air and a loud 'cock-a-doodle-do' is released. We used to hear him daily from the house but we don't notice it anymore.
We had a mooch through the little woods on the Common - collecting sticks to use as row markers on the veg plots. Little one fell in some thorns so had to pick them out of his little hands bless him.
The kids made all sorts of concotions in the garden - herbs, mud, rhubarb, water - all mixed up and left in little pots for me to clear up at a later date! Nice!
The dogs retrieved all the collected sticks from out of the wagon and promptly chewed them up - so it was a bit of a wasted journey!
Lunch is now done and dusted and little man is having his afternoon nap. Jas and I are off to put in the rest of the Winston seed potatoes and sow some peas.
They (the powers that be) forecast rain for tomorrow, which is typical as I will be housebound and without wheels as my jalopy is in for a service.
I have just finished planting the rest of the seed potaotoes so I now have some space back in the spare room!
I have also stuck in a row of Jessy (snap) Peas - I dug a drill 2" deep x 6" wide and put the peas in 2" apart in a zig zag formation. I used my riddle (giant sieve) and covered the peas with 2" of fine soil. I haven't watered them in as rain is on its way! But I have covered them with a cloche until I get some fine netting from the garden centre to keep the birds off. Last year my pea attempt failed miserably - I think the pigeons got the lot!
Sunday, 5 April 2009
I spent most of the day outside sowing and planting.
I decided it was time to get my seed potatoes, that I have been chitting for several weeks, into the earth.
I purchased two different varieties that had been recommended by the previous owner - they do well in my soil - Cara (a first early) and Winston (a main crop).
I bought a small bag of each variety from the local gardening club at £2.20 a bag - I ordered them back end of last year and picked them up on 1st March 2009.
The Cara's had much longer shoots than the Winston's I have noticed - I wonder if this is because they are earlies and grow faster??
I dug a hole 15cm deep and popped in a seed potato - with the shoots pointing upwards and then back filled it. I managed to get all the Cara's in by the days end and will continue with the Winston's tomorrow.
I also spent some time in the greenhouse - potting-on my Busy Lizzie Imaptiens Mixed miniplugs that I ordered on special offer from T&M. A few had perished as I took a while to get them potted on. But in the main they look healthy.
I sowed 2 varieties of tomato seeds - Golden Sunrise, a yellow tomato - for the greenhouse and Alicante, a crop which is ideal for beginners so I am told (sounds good to me!) which I am going to have a go at growing outside this year.
I also sowed some Marconi Rosso Pepper Seeds - I tried growing peppers outdoors last year with little success so I am going to keep these for the greenhouse this year.
Finally my Dad gave me some mini-propagators with herb seeds last year - they have been left in the greenhouse all winter so i am not sure how well the seeds have fared but I have popped the basil and parsley on some compost and lightly covered them and will see what happens - fingers crossed.
I also took the decision to move my strawberry plants that had become pot bound - again not sure how they will fare but they are in the herb garden now rather than in pots. I don't have much luck with Strawbs - namely they get attacked by Bentley - no he's not a disease but my lovely dog - he adores the fruit and always get to them before I do!
After a pleasant day outside I had a hot soak in the bath followed by fish and chips and an early night - lovely!
Monday, 30 March 2009
Just finished eating the last of the sprout tops that had run on, kindly givento us by Roy. Roy used to own this cottage before us and his allotment runs parallel to my back garden. They were delicious and something we had never eaten before.
I am also in the throes of making Spring rhubarb sorbet. I have more than enough rhubarb left to make another batch for the freezer tomorrow.
Spring Rhubarb Sorbet
500g Pink Spring Rhubarb - washed & trimmed into 1" pieces
225g Caster Sugar
1 lemon - juice only
Heat rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a pan with lid on for 15-20mins until soft.
Whizz until smooth with hand blender.
Let it go cold.
Pop in ice cream maker until almost frozen - then transfer to tub for freezing.
The mix is almost cold now and the ice cream machine is ready for action - will let you know how it tastes tomorrow...
My first blog post...exciting!
I moved house last year to a country cottage with a huge garden - .25 of an acre. It had 3 well tended veg plots and the previous owners are a hard act to follow on the gardening front.
I wanted to start a blog mainly to help with diarising (is that a word?) my planting and making it easy to look back on year after year. My successes, my disasters etc.
Today after much internet research I planted out my 10 x Gijnlm (don't ask me how to pronounce that!) Asparagus Crowns.
I dug a trench- 8" deep , filled 2" of it with compost, topped the compost with soil in a ridge shape and laid the crowns in a spider like fashion on top of the ridge about 4" from the top of the trench. Then back filled the trench.
Boy they need some space - luckily that's not something I am short of right now.
They also need plenty of time - its going to be 3 years before I can tuck into a plate of buttered asparagus tips!
Hopefully good things come to those who wait...