Showing posts from April, 2018

So, sow good

It's major catch up time this week, with seed sowing underway at last*. Quite a few have been sown at home, and the others are set to be dealt with at the allotment this weekend, once I've cleared the raised beds of all the naughty weeds that have sprung up. I'm particularly looking forward to trialling the new Optigrow seeds I've been given (at the bottom centre of the picture) as they might just help me make up for lost time. So far I'm particularly impressed with the cucumber seeds I'm trialling courtesy of Mr Fothergill as they all germinated within 4 days. These come with their own mini greenhouse and coir based compost; the latter was great to watch grow from its 1cm high starter disc to an impressive 5cms when I added the water**. Our curries have been transformed this year by the use of fresh turmeric, which in turn gives a wonderfully fresh flavour. I was delighted to find there's lots of information about growing and the use of this i

A different kind of tea

I'm delighted to offer a different kind of cuppa for #nationalteaday as I'm allergic to the usual stuff*. Instead I'm exploring a different kind of tea via those found in Henriette Kress's Practical Herbs 1 . For those in the know, Kress's double volume has been available in a pdf format for a number of years and it's clear from the interweb she's a well regarded herbalist in her field. Now it's available in book form and for me, the first volume I received to review for today's tea blog tour has the clearest and most detailed explanation I've found of the preservation of herbs and their use as herbal oils, salves, syrups, vinegars, tinctures and teas. There's the added bonus of what to do when it all goes wrong - which is often omitted in all kinds of reference books - and here we have the voice of experience to help make things better, in the herbal world at least. We're quite early in the foraging season which combined with ou

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Rethinking the plot

Writing a post for Blooms Day after an absence of several months is a sure sign that things are beginning to get back to normal, at last. However, I decided to start this post with a photo from outside VP Gardens . It's hard to resist the first sunny bloom-filled scene of the year from yesterday's walk with friends, especially when we found a host of golden daffodils in nearby Allington, with more yellow springtime goodness* sprinkled beneath a willow tree just beginning to sprout its cloak of green. Like most of you reading this, spring has come late here this year. The farmers are saying they're a month behind with their work because it's been so cold and wet. I must be one of the few people taking comfort from that because of my enforced 'holiday' from gardening. It was good to get out in the sunshine at last - not just for yesterday's walk - but also to see and smell my favourite 'Thalia' daffodils in bloom. To be honest I've spe

Things in Unusual Places #22: Tea cup

In the past I've dismissed the giant cup and saucer planters you can buy as a bit twee and kitsch . However, this understated blue one stuffed with large succulents - which graced the shop window of a local funeral directors - made my day yesterday.

Veg Plotting in the news

Yesterday's gardening section in The Telegraph was HUGE! I had a little slot in there thanks to my friend Naomi . Sadly the weather forecast is against most of the tasks mentioned, though today's weather looks generally OK for a spot of raised bed making or plot mulching*, and there's plenty of opportunity for sowing seeds indoors**. It was so relaxing (and less painful currently) to do this over the phone rather than bashing it out on the computer. Thanks to Naomi who did the latter as well as our call. There are lots more hints and tips here  -  not just from me - with some that are doable whatever the weather. Note that the full online version is only available to subscribers. As NAH says, now I've got to get on with it myself. What are your garden projects this weekend? * = unless you have a broken wrist ** = which I will be doing... gingerly!