Using the plot

The produce is really starting to come home to roost now. We are drafting in the neighbours to try and keep on top of the gluts. The rainy spells have finally shifted me out of the deckchair on the gin terrace. However, in anticipation of next year’s summer balcony boozing I have started the first of my flavoured hooch batches. I was too slow off the mark for rose petals (the rain has done for them) but a cracking year for herbs has led to mixed citrus, mint, basil and pomegranate vodka and basil, lime and wild strawberry rum. Volunteer tasters will be welcome.

The lavender harvest has been rather cut short by rain, but I did get a tray for pot pourri and enough for a big batch of lavender shortbread. I was going to make more today but rain stopped play so I made hazelnut and cranberry instead – bustin’ fine (recipe loaded). I sandwiched a few together with Nutella for added oomph. Keith “my body is a temple” was snooty and declared the aforesaid nut spread should never darken our pantry door again. “It is all fat and sugar” he intoned. “So” I replied “is butter icing”. He has now sloped off for an indignant snooze with the dog and the paper…

I was particularly pleased with a sea bream recipe I devised a few days ago. It despatched a job lot of beans and tomatoes and a whole courgette (they are coming thick and fast), took 10 minutes to cook and involved ONLY ONE PAN for the fish, veg, a side dish and accompanying garlic bread. This is what you want when it is your turn to do the dishes. I have loaded that recipe too and your designated pot washer can thank me later…

Between showers proper gardening has recommenced. Now weeds can be pulled, as opposed to chiselled out, the barrow fills quickly! Cutting back is also well underway. It’s amazing what you rediscover when the eight foot monsters at the front are whacked down. Homes must be found for all the new plants I have grown. I am trying to resist the urge to dig holes in the apparently empty spaces where last year I carefully rehomed the autumn crocus – my watch words are “prod first, dig later…” I think my best bet will be to hoof out a portion of the more thuggish spreaders – I have my eye on some daisies and a pink achillea which has underperformed flower wise. Their days are numbered…

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