Getting Started….

DSC_0022As most people know, we’re not having the best spring weather here in the UK.  Last week it snowed, since then it has rained continuously and is still rather cold.  It makes working in the garden very hard, not just that I get sodden (which, oddly, I don’t mind all that much) but it’s just too muddy, the grass is soaking, very sponge-like and it becomes slippery rather quickly.  Once the snow thawed, I did spend some of the weekend weeding the vegetable beds and removing all the wind blown debris, mostly uncleaned plant pots and plastic cloches that have broken out of their storage places in the high winds, but the majority of my ‘gardening’ has been indoors, sowing weeds.  So far, I have started :

Tomatoes – Sungold, Brandywine, San Marzone, Tigerella & Ildi

Aubergine – Money Maker F1, Aubergine Slim Jim 

Sweet Pepper – Topepo Rosso, Jumbo Sweet F1 Hybrid, Worldbeater

Chilli – Hot Stuff x 3, Long Red Slim Cayenne

I’m avoiding being over ambitious and getting too much going, as I know that if the weather doesn’t warm up soon, I wont be able to put the seedlings into the greenhouse and I’ll end up with leggy plants.  I should really be adding cucumbers, courgettes and melons at this point, but I think I’ll wait a bit longer.  I have, however, sown seeds today for:

Cape Gooseberry Giant

Artichoke Violette di Choiggia

The large wooden trough I ordered has arrived…..in flat pack….very flat pack (ie a pile of wood).  Obviously I didn’t read the small print and this was an expensive purchase so I was a bit grumpy when I can home from school run one day to find the pile of wood on my doorstep….it’ll be fine, I just need to find time to build it.  I grow a lot in containers and I heard on Gardener’s Question Time (BBC Radio 4) a great idea to plant in guttering, ie not just start crops in there (which I often do) but to plant things such as salad leaves, for the duration.  I like this idea, so I’m going to order some deep square guttering to attach in lines to the fence or side of the shed.  I’m not mad keen on lots of plastic in the garden, I already struggle with the huge plastic tubs I use, they are very practical but not very pretty, but maybe some additional carefully placed guttering will be OK.  

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On another subject, my quest for the perfect tea loaf continues and today, using my brand new copy of the revamped Delia’s Cakes, I made the Irish Tea Cake.  I really like the styling of Delia’s recent books and the recipes in this one are great, all her best cakes.  I noticed she mostly uses spreadable butter for her baking now, which makes sense with it’s oil and butter combination, plus it is so much easier to work with than solid block butter.

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Finally, I’ve bought a couple of lovely vintage table clothes recently.  I inherited some from Mum, but they are almost too delicate to use (there are a few holes that need repairing) but I fell so in love with the beautiful coloured embroidery, I hunted a couple down on Etsy (from the UK shop Fitzroy and Cole), all we need now is some sunshine so I can lay the table and enjoy a nice afternoon tea 🙂

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