Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sowing Sunday

It's been a gorgeous weekend here in England, so pleasantly surprising for April.  I've seen my friends, eaten fabulous food, drank far too much wine and vodka (I didn't even realise you could get a magnum of vodka!) and have just spent the last few hours pootling around my garden, breathing on my veg (my German friend, Anna, who came for the weekend, is convinced that breathing on your plants encourages growth; I'm not sure the radishes and lettuce appreciated my garlic breath, but it's worth a try).

I love the summer and the fresh, local produce it brings. How fresh and local can you get than from your own back garden? I don't have a large garden, but my lovely dad made me a 'trough' for my baby seedlings to grow in. I blogged about this trough when it was built two weeks ago, here, and I'm going to document the progress of my veg garden on a Sunday, Sowing Sunday, ending with some dazzling recipes when it all comes to fruition.

So, to us start this off, here is a definitive list of how my garden grows:
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Mint (perfect for those Pimms afternoons)
  • Coriander
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Rosemary
  • 4 types of lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Spring onions
  • Beetroot (this is especially exciting as it's a stripy variety!)
  • Carrots
  • Runner beans
  • Dwarf Beans
  • Strawberries (where would the English be without strawberries in our fields and gardens?)
  • Blueberries (should be the first year these babies fruit. Very exciting).

Phew, that's quite a list, add to this the tomatoes and cucumber plants that are currently being kept warm in my Uncle John's greenhouse and you have a complete list of my summer garden, and I can't wait. I also have a 'surprise' box of seeds, I have no idea what will come from that, so watch this space.

Please let me know if there is anything else you think I should be planting, and what your recipe ideas are. I may have a veg gardening giveaway coming up and I'm really looking forward to hearing from you all.

So let me give today's update with photographic evidence of my growing success to date. My radishes are coming along at quite a pace, already nearly 2 inches high - not bad for two weeks work!

Radishes - growing at a pace, from a seed only two weeks ago.
The beetroot are on their way up and the carrots and onions are peeking through the cracks of the soil to reach that delicious sunshine. The lettuces and spinach are bursting through and the strawberries and blueberries are beginning to reveal their bright flowers. The herbs are springing back to life, making the most of the gorgeous weather.

I've got a bit of a thing for herbs, the way they can transform something relatively basic, normal and even bland, into something that is a feast for the senses. The same can, and should, be said of spices, but then the fragment leaves in my garden are just begging to be picked, I can't help but bring a few into the kitchen and let my creative side take force. The orange and rosemary cake worked a treat, and I have an idea for a savoury, salty shortbread that would work wonders sprinkled with thyme.... More to follow, as I hope you will follow me on my culinary, green fingered journey.

Until next week....

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