Sunday, 1 May 2011

My little patch

I think perhaps in the grander scheme of things I am way behind those "gardeners" who have set their seeds early; but I tend to wait until the finer weather in view of the fact that when I have planted things out early I have ended up losing the lot, so I tend to err on the side of caution, especially with the set up that I have at the moment.  

To me the best thing is planting seeds from scratch, to me that is what gardening is all about, coaxing and nurturing life from to what in effect looks like dried hard seeds of different descriptions, with no apparent signs of life into something that is breathing and living.  

Some of my first batch of seeds that I set a couple of weeks ago are now through; my plum tomatoes and my yellow courgettes.  

 I am well chuffed "some of my babies are through".  I now have the job of pricking these out into individual pots, to let them grow on that little bit more before planting them out in their final positions, but may leave the tomatoes a day or two longer as I suspect there are still some more seeds to come through, but the courgettes will get done.  I am now eagerly waiting for the rest of the seeds to peek through.

I love yellow courgettes, there is no need to peel these as the peel is softer than that of the green courgettes, although I grow the green as well and often use both yellow and green together with aubergines, tomatoes and onion to make a lovely Ratatouille.  Yum!
Here we go me and my food again.

The herb garden is starting to look productive especially after the major tidy up in the last few weeks.  The sages two a variegated variety called Ictarine Sage and an ordinary bluey/green sage - I dry both and when thoroughly dry "rub" them and then store in a large preserving jar and use them in home-made stuffings throughout the year.  I use an awful lot of sage.

The chives are also in full bloom; I love these with long slender stems that are so full of flavour, especially when they sprout their purple flowers. The chive plants are about three to four years old and each year I get a few more flowers.  Chives are superb with egg dishes of any kind and nice chopped or snipped into cheese cream or grated and then served with home baked potatoes.

The ordinary garden mint is starting to come through too; I love home cooked new potatoes of any description, cooked with a hint of mint - so fresh so zesty.  It wakens up the palette especially after the winter months, where with the best will in the world our palettes become a little jaded.  But mint soon zips up a simple meal.  I am always very grateful to my herb border for adding flavour to my simple homespun meals.

At the beginning of the week a very good friend bought me one of my plants off my wish list which is a lemo verbena.  This plant has a lovely lemony zesty smell that when you dry the leaves and then use them in a pot pourri smell absolutely wonderful.  I first came upon this plant on one of my trips down to Cornwall and brought it home.  In those days I did not know what to do with this very lovely plant, and then someone bought me a wooden carved box with an Elizabethan pot pourri in that smelt absolutely divine.  The main ingredient in this mix was the dried lemon verbena.  But the dried leaves  and fresh leaves can also be used in drinks, fruit salads, jellies, cakes, stuffings, apple dishes and home made ice cream or sorbet.

I still need to get some Tarragon plants though as I nearly always make up a batch of Tarragon vinegar - home made always tastes lovely.

Anyway have to go the garden is calling.



N.B. This is the lemon verbena I was bought as a present by my friend earlier in the week it was a lovely surprise.


  1. I've wanted a lemon verbena plant for ages as I like my teas and salads but never got round to it. Thats it your interesting post has spurd me on

  2. Hi CS welcome to my blog. You will not regret getting a lemon verbena plant. The one I was bought as a present is a very large specimen - normally you just get them in the size of the smallest herb pots. They are a lovely addition to the garden.



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