Sunday, 11 May 2008

AWOL in the Little Foodies veg patch

Fading bluebells which were absolutely beautiful this year.

Now I hadn't intended to leave it a whole month without posting but before I knew it weeks had passed. I'm sorry that I haven't been actively reading or commenting and I do really appreciate all of your comments and e-mails, thank you and big hugs to all. I can't sit at the computer for too long (woe is me). Also, I've only really been cooking old favourites and had lost the enthusiasm for taking pictures. (Although I have cooked a couple of new things from the very controversial cheating Delia book... More of which another time.) As for my spine - I now can't wait for the hard physio to start as I know then that it wont take long to strengthen the old girl and everything will magically feel better. It does rather feel that Tinkerbell visited while in one of her naughty moods and cast a spell of doom and gloom on the house for a period of time.

Anyway, the weather has turned, along with our emotions and we are basking in sunshine. This morning Little and Small packed, prepared and consumed a picnic very early doors. On the strict understanding that it doesn't interfere with their other planned picnic, scheduled for this afternoon. In other words "Mama, if we have a picnic now we can still have another picnic later yes?!" For their impromptu picnics the boys are happy with anything. This morning they had whole raw carrots, sultanas, bread, thinly sliced chorizo and apple juice.

I love the whole adventure of a picnic, even ones consumed in the garden. Though I do believe that the rug (or blanket) spread out on the floor is what makes a picnic a picnic and not the food. I've had some very fancy picnics but if there hadn't been a rug then it just would have been food eaten outside.

Hubs has been working hard in the garden. Clearing out of control areas and generally tidying things up. I've been growing things from seed. I'm super proud of the pumpkin plants. The tomatoes are possibly a little late but hopefully if we get a late Indian Summer they'll be alright.

My old herb patch is going to be turned over to vegetables so Hubs has prepared a new area that will become my herb garden. So far there's just rosemary, bay, thyme and lavender. Soon, and all grown from seed, there will be mint (I'll try and contain it this time as in our last house I sort of let it run wild and it took over - lovely memories of the many mojitos it made, along with it's culinary uses of course). There will also be tarragon, flat leaf parsley, oregano, chamomile, hyssop, basil, coriander and chives.

The strawberry plants survived the winter and seem to be thriving.

We finally planted the apple tree which I bought from a nursery that was closing down last year.

One of the blueberry bushes.

The pumpkin plants, grown from seed. These have been great fun for the children and me. We planted the seeds in compost and then sealed the pots in plastic freezer bags. Within 10 days little shoots appeared and now after only a few weeks they look like this.

A chive flower.

We're growing the potato plants in tyres this year.
These are almost ready to be topped with another tyre and then filled with more compost.

The thyme is starting to flower.

This elderflower really makes me smile.
I thought we'd lost it as it was growing entwined with an old apple that we had to have cut down a few months after we first moved here.
I can't wait to make things with it.

Fairy flowers

...and despite the fact that after the children have blown them all over the garden we know that more dandelions will grow, because Small picks them all and gives them to me with such a delighted look on his face makes me not mind at all. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and trophy lawns can wait. Though Hubs did stick a sign on the gate when we had a family party last year which said 'RHS gold medal winner - best kept lawn.' If only you could have seen it, having had the tree house built and numerous other work it looked dreadful, it still does. Thank goodness for a sense of humour.

For now my friends... I'm off back to the garden for a little potter around. My inner sloth is now definitely my outer sloth!


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The garden sounds perfect! 'RHS gold medal winner - best kept lawn' for a family to have fun in and BBQ! Lovely flowers. So happy to have you back.!!

Marie said...

So glad to hear from you Amanda and that you are doing well. I was getting a bit worried as we had not heard from you in quite a while! Happy spring and gardening and everything else! XXOO

Sylvie said...

I'm glad to hear that you're getting better. Your garden sounds just wonderful. One day I hope to get one to, at the moment we just have a patch of mossy grass and as we're renting I'm not really gonna invest loads of money into putting in beds, just to move again.

Deborah said...

I'm so glad to hear from you again Amanda! I hope that the pain is gone soon. Your garden looks so amazing!

kitchenmage said...

What a delightful bit of spring!

When I find myself overwhelmed with work, I often head outside for a bit of air. I'm bookmarking this page so I can come back and smell your virtual flowers when I need a moment's breather.

Baking Soda said...

Hi Amanda, glad to see you back! Your garden looks lovely and yr plans even better. I admire any one who exudes a deep notion of what to do in the garden, I'm more on the hubs side of sticking a medal on the fence as a warning.

I think I will be adventurous and start a little herb potted garden this year. I was so happy to see rosemary, thyme and mint survive!

David Hall said...

Good to see you back on the Blog Amanda! Wheres the food though? :o)


Pat said...

Hi Amanda, glad to have you back blogging again. The garden sounds lovely and glad you are enjoying it too. Our little patch is growing well too. Big hugs and hope you start feeling better real soon.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh hurrah for you being back! I love your pumpkin plants, you're so clever. I kill anything i try to grow, how the kids have stayed alive this long, i've no idea. The potatoes in the tyre!! what a cool idea!
don't be overdoing it now will you??!

Trig said...

Amanda - no matter how close I get to my feminine side, I simply can't post on flora and fauna. Something just blocks it, I'm afraid. However, you'd probably like this flickr slideshow that my dad shot on Saturday and emailed me yesterday. It's a brood of great tits in the garden in Hackney.

KJ said...

Good to have you back. I think there are few things more lovely than a carpet of bluebells.

Asha said...

Welcome back Amanda! Great to see your post and what a beautiful Spring post t is too! LOVED each one of the plant, enjoy.Can't wait for Summer harvest!:))

Joanna said...

Hi Amanda ... we've missed you - welcome back! And let's hope the picnicking weather keeps up for days and days, weeks and weeks, and that it only rains gently at night ;)

Hope the physio is all that it should be


Aimée said...

Hi Amanda!
Such lovely photos from your garden!I think I love gardening almost as much as cooking.It's so rewarding.We'll be keeping each other updated on our gardens...happy planting!

Cynthia said...

The garden is definitely in full bloon. Glad to hear that you are up and about pottering about.

Culinary Cowgirl said...

Good to hear from you again - enjoy the great weather! (And I am still laughing about the mojito comment)

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Meeta said...

oh gorgeous it's good to see you!!! I miss you and this post put a smile on my face.

Anonymous said...

Afternoon, I have just read you latest and I am glad the herbs etc are coming along nicely. Elderflower with apple makes a lovely drink and also a very tasty apple pie. I have made soap with elderflower in before. Infact I might make it again if hubby will allow another soap - i think he may run for the hills.

Kelly-Jane said...

I thought I'd posted on here, blogger must have eaten it - or else I wrote it and did't submit!

Anyhow, beautiful pictures from your garden :)


Cottage Smallholder said...

Great to see you back Amanda with a wonderful, inspiring post.

Hope that you are feeling better soon.

Margaret said...

Hello Little Foodies. Hope you are on the mend Amanda. Mx

ChichaJo said...

Your garden deserves a gold medal in my book! :) I loved looking at the photos :) So nice to see you back and to hear what you have been up to!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hello All,

Thank you very much for your comments. Some of them made me laugh, if you could see our garden it's like Steptoe's yard sometimes.

Trig, loved your Dad's film. It wouldn't let me leave a comment though.

David, honestly, the food is right there, well sort of, it will be from about 8 weeks time.

Thanks again
Amanda x

Gemma said...

Sorry to join in the commenting so late but I am only just getting back into the swing of reading and blogging. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your physio gets going soon, it must be hard with so much you want to do and 2 small people to do it with! I just wanted to say that your garden looks lovely and I'm looking forward to reading all about your Lebanese adventures. I have just got Arabesque and it is a great book.

Gemma x


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