Wednesday, April 22, 2015

waste not… want not

Don't forget, when you've eaten the last pork pie, the final mushroom and three sad grapes, those little plastic trays could be very useful in the greenhouse at this time of year.

Ugly… but useful.

Friday, April 17, 2015

When life gives you violets...

April is the leanest time of year in my veg garden. It’s full of promise by way of seedlings in the greenhouse but I can’t find much to pick for dinner! 
There’s sprouting broccoli-a-plenty and some faithful chard but I dug up the last of the leeks this week and the salad leaves have to be carefully rationed. 
Of course rhubarb has flounced its way centre stage with characteristic effusion but there's a limit to how much rhubarb one can reasonably consume. 

Quietly prolific however is my favourite spring flower, the violet. Best appreciated from a hands and knees position, the garden is twinkling with hundreds of these dainty flowers, from deepest velvety purple to pure white. 

So, when life gives you violets.... take a fist full into the kitchen have fun with crystallised flowers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hitting the right note

“Play it like something you hear down by the river” Edward Elgar

Beautiful spring day. It’s warm already.  
I pulled a bucket full of weeds before breakfast as the rising sun leached through the willow and across the pond. 
Now I’m in the studio and have just tuned into Radio 3 which is playing a spirited recording of Elgar’s La Capricieuse for violin and piano. 
A perfect way to start the day. 
Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring has sprung

Wheeling barrow loads of compost the length and breadth of the garden could quickly become tedious and back breaking but with the right attitude and consistently deep knee bends, the monotony is soon eclipsed by the reviving breath of spring...

Past the pond fringed with downy willow buds, duck under the bean tree avoiding trampling the primroses, good time to transplant snowdrops, hug the perimeter of the chicken pen... pause for a quick chat and egg count. The fluffy bantam has surprised us all by coming in to lay again. At eight years old I really didn’t think she had much life left in her. Cross the flagstones, carefully, patches are slippery, hmm, the tulips have been nibbled by deer or rabbits but the irises are looking good, mental note to move the chrysanthemums and to sow stubby rather than elegantly pointed parsnips which never emerge intact from our clay soil 

And so the narrative grows with each gladly shovelled load.