Summer harvest begins

As we pass midsummer the harvest in the garden and allotment is really getting into full flow. The soft fruits are appearing: raspberries, redcurrants, strawberries and even some cherries this year, rescued from the tree before the blackbirds got to them. All this bounty is helping me towards my target of sixty different harvestable fruits, vegetables, herbs and weeds to celebrate my sixtieth birthday. I’ve now passed the half way point and am reasonably optimistic that I’ll meet my target – for an update see here As well as all the summer fruits, the overwintered broad beans are producing great … Continue reading Summer harvest begins

Apple and walnut scones

It was a day for using up nearly the last of the Howgate Wonder apples. I remembered making apple and walnut bread a couple of years ago – all on the blog here – and that it had been slightly unsatisfactory, my conclusion being that the recipe would be better adapted as scones. So scones it was – and gosh they were good. So revised recipe here: Apple and Walnut Scones 250g wholemeal flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 100g grated cheese 50g chopped walnuts 2 apples, chopped up small (or one Howgate Wonder) 3 eggs … Continue reading Apple and walnut scones

Christmas cooking

Dedicated vegetable growers will be able to make an entire Christmas dinner from the garden. I am dedicated but not sufficiently organised or successful to do that. However, we did manage to have Howgate Wonder apples for every meal on Christmas Day: some fruit salad for breakfast, some pieces of apple as part of a snack lunch and in both the red cabbage (a family tradition, cabbage from the farmers’ market) and the Christmas Pudding for the main feast. We also had our own Brussels sprouts, rosemary in the roast potatoes and bay leaf in the bread sauce. For Boxing … Continue reading Christmas cooking

A very purple SixOnSaturday

Astonishingly I’ve managed a #Sixon Saturday today – here we go – First of all in the pic above is a bunch of flowers from the garden for my Mum, all blues and purples and whites: lavender (still flowering), a deep purple salvia, white cosmos, blue phacelia. (that’s all the purples though) The sun is still reaching the back of the garden and these Shropshire Lad roses are just gorgeous. They smell as good as they look. The roses in the front garden are also still doing well. The one above is a Gertrude Jekyll. Also in the sun in … Continue reading A very purple SixOnSaturday

Apples and raspberries

It’s October which means apple season. The apples are in full flow – pictured here a couple of giant Howgate Wonders, with a sensibly sized Sunset for scale October is also birthday season at Reclaiming Paradise which means the apples are put to good use in a variety of cakes. My mother’s is the first birthday of the month, so I used these monsters to make a chocolate apple cake – recipe here . Since she was 85, candles seemed excessive, but I wanted to decorate it with something special. This handful of raspberries, fresh from the garden, seemed the … Continue reading Apples and raspberries

Start of the preserving season

The jam making season has started here at Reclaiming Paradise. I’ve got a glut of green tomatoes, plums, runner beans, courgettes, a couple of marrows, apples on their way and one giant cucumber Where to to start? Some of the tomatoes are ripening but a few of the others have blight so I reckoned I need to pick some and start the preserving season. Whether to make plum jam and green tomato chutney, or green tomato marmalade and plum chutney? I decided on the marmalade first – it’s simmering away as I write: See here for the recipe – green … Continue reading Start of the preserving season

Midsummer colours

Today has been hot and sunny and everything was full of colour. I stopped to admire this glorious climbing rose ‘Shropshire Lad’, which has established well along my hedge at the back of the garden. It smells of Turkish Delight and has beautiful flowers: The first nasturtium flowers of the season went in a salad, along with my red tinged lettuce At the allotment today, I planted out the last of my rainbow chard seedlings and spotted their glorious pink roots: It was almost too difficult to plant these in the soil they were so lovely. It was a good … Continue reading Midsummer colours

Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Once again I failed to do a #SixonSaturday post but I did submit these rather lovely foxgloves via twitter. These are all growing along the back hedge and the new fence at the side of the garden, some transplanted from the raspberry bed during a weeding session back in January – for more see here – they have come out rather well, I think. I had wondered about doing a six for my six varieties of peas, but didn’t quite get round to it. So here they are for you, rather late on Sunday instead: I’ve already forgotten which one … Continue reading Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Some Easter Baking

I was pleased to be able to see my Mum on Easter Day. She has difficulty remembering about lockdown rules and was expecting a big family party ‘You will bring some baking won’t you?’ Sadly most of the family are unable to travel because of the current lockdown in Scotland so it was a very small gathering. However, challenge accepted. I made a pie (vegetarian – no bunnies were harmed). And some biscuits – also no bunnies harmed etc And an ‘Allotment Cake’ which I forgot to photograph (photo is from one I made a few years ago) Allotment Cake … Continue reading Some Easter Baking

Dancing on Ice

It’s still very icy here so not much happening in the garden but this little crocus is another tiny sign of spring. Meanwhile Bella has been exploring the frozen pond. She’s a great lover of water and the pond provides fascination for her all year round. Yesterday she spent a lot of time just sitting on the ice. What was she thinking about? Why did she do this? I don’t know. You tell me. The photos are a little blurry because they were taken through the window – if I’d gone outside after her she would have coming running in. … Continue reading Dancing on Ice