Whether you have a garden, maybe even a dedicated herb patch in your garden, a window box or windowsill you always have room for growing herbs of your own. I love using fresh herbs in cooking, especially in the summer but I can’t believe the price of buying them from a supermarket. I have a sunny little corner in my garden now where I have a few herbs in some pots but before that I grew them on my kitchen windowsill.
Dobies of Devon got in
I'm not going to lie. I haven't been donning my gardening gloves recently as much as I have done in the past. Apparently as you get older you get inexplicably busier and growing my own fruit and veg took a back seat while I was getting on with many other things. Rocket Gardens got in touch to see if I would like to try out one of their kits. Their Patio Container garden seemed like the ideal one for me; lots of it can be grown in pots or grow bags
I love this time of year; everything is happening and alive. Things are changing colour or from flower to fruit and there's nothing like watching that happen to something you've spent time nurturing. I have a few fruit trees which are easy because other than a quick drink in a particularly dry spell I just leave them to their own devices. It's only the birds and bugs I now have to find a way to deter from my booty.
The above left picture shows
Growing my own fruit and veg is something I immensely enjoy. I have to admit I have rather a 'chuck it in and let it get on with itself' attitude but it's served me very well in the past. I don't let myself get bogged down in specific seed insertion depths, lopping off this and tying up that. I figure that if something wants to grow then it will and I only help it along with a bit of watering, weeding and the occasional addition of manure.
My Auntie Jean was not in fact my Auntie; she was my Granny’s sister which made her my Great Auntie. When I was at primary school I used to gambol back to my Granny’s house every day to have a sandwich, play some cards and on the best days have some sweets. My Auntie Jean’s house was conveniently on the way to my Granny’s and I used to stop off some days to have a glass of squash and catch up on the latest news.
Some days the two sisters
This is almost the meal that changed my life: broad beans and feta. Until a few years ago I considered any food that wasn’t plain boiled pasta disgusting. I was completely disinterested in anything that wasn’t beige and flavourless. I went to University and had to start fending for myself so a few more exciting things crept into my culinary repertoire; a little melted butter on my pasta for example. I know, exotic.
I suppose I was what you
Oh how the garden doth not grow. If you partake in any form of gardening and live in the UK you'll know how I feel. I took these pictures about a week ago so they're slightly old now but it's not much improved from then due to the persistent, relentless, miserable rain. Normally rain doesn't bother me because it means my vegetables are happy but June and July have been the worst I've ever gardened in. Still, it's not all bad...
My apple tree
Vegetable seeds started to go in to the soil and under the cloches back in March and now, in May, all sorts of things are happening. Since the first year I started gardening I grow what I know and always something new. This year I'm growing: beans (broad and purple), peas, courgettes (patty-pan, cousa courgette and bent Summer squash), tomatoes and maybe something else I'm yet to decide on. Peas are the newcomers in the patch this year.
Sometimes carrots can be taken for granted. The base of a soup or stew, added to stock or shoved on the side of the plate. What a shame. They are such glorious things in their own right and there is no carrot sweeter than a home grown carrot. I planted these little beauties a few months back expecting them to be riddled with carrot fly and a complete disaster. The results have been quite the opposite. I am now inundated.
Before you ask, the one
Recently it has become apparent that most of the meals I eat are vegetable orientated. There are two reasons for this; firstly I have a cornucopia of vegetables in my garden at present and each one needs celebrating in its own way and secondly meat is so expensive.
I can go into Sainsbury's and pick up four chicken breasts for £6. Not the extra special ones, not the organic ones, just the standard ones. My alternative is to go to the farmer's