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

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

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

So we come to the end of 2020, a difficult year for all of us, but here at Reclaiming Paradise we like to celebrate what’s gone well (and not so well) in the garden and allotment. Every year we have some prizes and each year we add some new ones. Most Dramatic Vegetable This has been a good vegetable year. Most things have grown well and we haven’t had any unmanageable gluts. For an update on most of them, see my post on the 26 vegetables for the 2.6 challenge. Some stars have been: onions, peas (of course), marrows, cucumbers … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2020

Six from the allotment

I made it along to the allotment last week, for the first time in a while. We’ve been trying to social distance there and my allotment partner had been doing all the work this spring. I had a day off from working from home so made a trip to the allotment to do my share, complete with gloves and hand sanitizer for dealing with the gate. Here’s what was happening there. There was a friendly robin, sitting in the apple tree and hopping round my feet. It was excited by all the digging, finding food in the freshly dug soil. … Continue reading Six from the allotment

Store cupboard cake

Warning! There is not much about gardening in this post but there is cake. Everyone else has just discovered gardening and growing their own vegetables. I’m delighted and I really hope they stick with it. I should have spent the whole day in the garden too but it’s bitingly cold. I did sow some seeds and check up on my recently sprouted seedlings The peas have emerged in the egg boxes, but it is too cold to plant them out so I’ll leave them for another week or two. I also sowed tomatoes and cucumbers in the house and resowed … Continue reading Store cupboard cake

Fruit smoothie cake

I had another glut problem this morning. Not plums or marrows but bananas.  I don’t usually buy bananas, thinking that it is better generally to use up my own gluts first.  So someone else had stockpiled them in the knowledge that the younger generation often snatches them for on-the-go breakfasts, late night munchies and sophisticated peanut butter, banana and anything going in the fridge toasties.  The young people have gone away though, leaving me with a pile of blackening, squishy fruit that had begun to disintegrate in the fruit bowl. I hate waste so what to do with this? I … Continue reading Fruit smoothie cake

Autumn raspberries

Autumn raspberries are a delight. They start to ripen in early August when you want to shout at them to slow down – it’s not autumn yet. Then they keep on coming, handfuls at a time in my garden and in small bucketfulls at the allotment. I harvested these at the allotment at the weekend and hid them away in the freezer to be brought out in the depths of winter. But they are best eaten fresh, or mixed with other fruit in summer puddings or cakes. Another fruit that they mix well with are apples and this is where … Continue reading Autumn raspberries

Renewal

I don’t know about you but when I go out to spend a day in the garden, things never go quite according to plan. I did make a list, mostly concerning seed sowing, but, once I got outside, my mind turned to other things. First of all, it’s been the most glorious day – cold but with a with a spring tranquility. There was lots of birdsong, daffodils still in their full glory, some contended cats, taking it in turns to enjoy the flowers with me: While admiring these lovely primroses with Bella, I took a closer look at the … Continue reading Renewal

Yet another apple cake recipe

Thanks to the tomato, apple and courgettes gluts, there have been mutterings lately about ‘too many vegetables’ and that ‘vegetables with vegetables and vegetable sauce is not a proper meal’  at Reclaiming Paradise. So, when it came to making a start on the annual birthday cake marathon (everyone here except me has birthdays in October), I had to think of a way of making a cake that would help to use up the glut without being too obvious.  The result was Chocolate Apple Cake*: (Pictured, partly hogged, complete with some birthday music) Chocolate Apple Cake *recipe based on one from … Continue reading Yet another apple cake recipe