Saturday 24 October 2009

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple sage is a half hardy member of the sage family. Last winter we had some severe frosts and I thought I had lost it totally. However in the spring I noticed a couple of tiny green shoots so didn’t dig it up and ditch it. Slowly the green shoots became six inch stems and they remained like that for most of the miserable wet summer we had. Then in August it suddenly put on a spurt and started to grow until by September it was a 2ft high bush.DSCF0023 Now in October it is flowering and has the most interesting red flowers. DSCF0028 They are long like catkins DSCF0027 and as the flowers develop they are a bit like monbretia petals. There is only one in full bloom but lots coming on the plant. If they all flower it will be an amazing sight. Sage makes a very good herbal tea for sore throats. And a sandwich of brown bread and butter with sage leaves between will aid digestion and clean out the system!

Also I noticed I have one late roseDSCF0033 and a couple of non stop begonias blooming. DSCF0034 They are determined to show their colours on these grey days we’ve been having. And the blueberry has the most amazing red leaves. DSCF0035 For all it is nearly November the garden is very colourful.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Very quick Broccoli and Stilton soup!

This is a wonderful soup and so quick to make. Ideal for unexpected guests or for bonfire parties. Recipe makes sufficient for 4 people.

1 red onion, 2 large heads of broccoli, clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, black pepper, 1.5 pints of vegetable stock, 4 oz of blue stilton.

Put olive oil in large saucepan. Chop onion and broccoli and place in saucepan. Add minced garlic and ground black pepper. Stir and then heat on low for 5 minutes to sweat veggies. Make up 1.5 pints of vegetable stock using stock cube. Add to saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and add cut up cheese. Stir. Then liquidise until soup is smooth.

Put into bowls and enjoy. Is also good drunk from a mug. I’ve just had a mug in front of the fire and it was delicious. Add buttered granary bread and it’s a feast!

Monday 19 October 2009


I have been so touched by all the kind messages of support I have received. You are all so wonderful!

Not being inclined to garden at the moment I have been keeping busy by making some leaf appliqués. DSCF0020 I love the autumn and the way the leaves are all the colours of the rainbow. I have been doing these DSCF0017 blocks with my Friday morning class this term and it has been so therapeutic for me. Also I’ve been copyingDSCF0055 leaves onto fabric to be cut out and appliquéd DSCF0051 DSCF0050into a piece of work.  I think of all the subjects that I tackle leaves are the one I love the best.  Closely followed by the sea of course!

It has been very cold these last few days and I have started lighting fires as there is something very cosy about a wood fireDSCF0002 and the crackle and pop of the fire is very companionable. Because of the cold my squirrel has been becoming braver   and coming right up to the back door in the search for food. He is still stealing the bird seed out of the bird house but not enough to make it a problem!

Sunday 18 October 2009

Rising Like the Phoenix from the Ashes

Well it is now four weeks since my husband dropped the bombshell that he was leaving me after 45 years together but like the Phoenix I am now rising from the ashes. For those four weeks I have mourned and my garden has gone into hibernation! DSCF0014Now it is time to take stock and start again. There are still lots of flowers blooming in the garden. The self sown nasturtiums are still abundant and the begonias are hanging in there. DSCF0012 DSCF0011 If I had dead headed the dahlias I expect they would have done more but even so they are still colourful. DSCF0010

I’m going to have to start mowing the lawn. Not a job I relish so it's just as well it is a tiny lawn. At the moment it is growing toadstools. DSCF0005 DSCF0007 There have never been toadstools before so I don’t know why they have suddenly appeared. Perhaps it is something to do with the weather.

The herbs are hanging in there though they need some attention and I am still picking spinach and self blanching celery. The good part of this is that I can have carte blanche to do what I want and plant what I want. Can’t be all bad!